In Greek mythology, Eurypylus /jʊˈrɪpləs/ (Ancient Greek: Εὐρύπυλος Eurypylos) was the name of several different people. Of them the best known are two participants in the Trojan War: one (the son of Euaemon) on the side of the Achaeans, and the other (the son of Telephus) on the side of the Trojans.

Son of Euaemon

Eurypylus was a Thessalian king, son of Euaemon and Ops.[1] Another source gives his mother's name as either Deipyle or Deityche.[2] Alternate genealogies made him a son of Hyperochus and father of Ormenus.[3]

Eurypylus led the Thessalians during the Trojan War being a former suitor of Helen.[4] He led one of the larger contingents of ships, 40.[5] He fought valiantly and is often listed amongst the first rank of Greek heroes such as Idomeneus, Diomedes, Ajax, etc.[6] In the Iliad he was one of several to accept Hector's challenge to single combat, but was eliminated in the drawing of lots.[7] He went to the aid of Ajax the Great when the latter was wounded and tired from hard fighting and was compelled to withdraw from combat: in defending Ajax he killed Apisaon but was wounded in the thigh and put out of action by one of Paris' arrows.[8] This happened in the same book that all the other major Achaean warriors were wounded and put out of action.[9] When he withdrew from battle, his wounds were tended by Patroclus, just after Nestor had convinced Patroclus either to convince Achilles to return to the fight or don his armor himself.[10] Eurypylus slew no less than four opponents, including the aforementioned Apisaon, Hypsenor,[11] Melanthius[12] and Axion:[13] this makes the account of Hyginus wrong in informing that Eurypylus killed only one defender of Troy.[14] He was also one of the Greeks to enter the Trojan Horse.[15]

Eurypylus survived the Trojan War; his further destiny as described by Pausanias was as follows. After the war, Eurypylus got a chest as part of his victory spoils. The chest was abandoned by Aeneas when he fled from Troy, or was intentionally left behind by Cassandra who placed a curse on it to whichever Greek would open the chest. Inside the chest was an image of Dionysus, made by Hephaestus and given to the Trojans by Zeus. When Eurypylus opened the chest he went mad. During a period of sanity he went to Delphi to seek a cure for his malady. The priestess told him to find a people making an unusual sacrifice and settle there. Eventually he came to Aroe (later Patrae), where he found people sacrificing a youth and a maiden to Artemis, to propitiate the goddess for the crime of Comaetho and Melanippus, who had polluted her shrine. The people of the town recognised him as a leader an oracle had said would come to them and bring about an image and cult of a foreign deity, at which point the sacrifices were to cease. After this Eurypylus regained his sanity and the people of Patrae no longer needed to make human sacrifices. His tomb was in the city, and after the events the people of the area sacrificed to him as a hero at the festival of Dionysus.[16]

Son of Telephus

Neoptolemus killing Eurypylus, attic black-figure amphora by the Antimenes Painter, ca. 510 BC, Martin von Wagner Museum (L 309).

Eurypylus was son of Telephus and Astyoche.[17] Some write of Astyoche as his wife rather than mother.[18] At the request of Priam, Astyoche bribed him with a golden vine to fight on the side of the Trojans during the end of the Trojan War in command of a group of Mysians and Ceteians. Priam himself was encouraging Eurypylus to assist Troy in the war by sending him various precious gifts and even promising him Cassandra's hand in marriage.[19] Eurypylus was noted both for being one of the most handsome men ever (next to Memnon) and for fighting valiantly.[20] He killed a number of opponents, including Machaon[21] and Nireus[22] and was finally killed by Neoptolemus.[23] Because of him having killed Machaon, a son of Asclepius, his name was not to be pronounced in the temple of Asclepius in Pergamum.[24] Eurypylus had a son, Grynus, who became king in Mysia and was known as the eponym of Gryneion.[25]

Son of Poseidon

There were two distinct sons of Poseidon bearing the name Eurypylus.

Eurypylus of Cos

Eurypylus was king of the island of Cos. He was son of Poseidon and Astypalaea, husband of Clytie and father of Chalciope, Chalcon and Antagoras.[26] Heracles landed on Cos to escape a storm sent upon him by Hera, but the Coans took him for a pirate and attacked him; in a battle that ensued, Eurypylus was killed by Heracles.[27] In another version, Heracles planned the attack on Cos because he liked Eurypylus' daughter Chalciope and intended to abduct her.[28] Chalciope is indeed known as the mother of Heracles's son Thessalus.[29]

Eurypylus of Cyrene

Yet another Eurypylus was a son of Poseidon and the Pleiad Celaeno, and ruled over the Fortunate Islands. He had a brother named Lycus.[30] Others state that Eurypylus was a king of Cyrene, and note that the brothers were also referred to as Eurytus and Lycaon.[31] Eurypylus married Sterope, a daughter of Helios and sister of Pasiphae, and had two sons, Lycaon and Leucippus.[32][33] Triton assumed his shape when he encountered the Argonauts in Libya.[34]

Other characters

The name Eurypylus also refers to several less prominent characters, namely:


  1. Hyginus, Fabulae, 97
  2. Tzetzes, Homeric Allegories, Prologue, 619 - 620
  3. Scholia on Pindar, Olympian Ode 7. 42
  4. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 10. 8
  5. Homer, Iliad, 2. 735
  6. E. g. Iliad 8. 265; 11. 663 = 16. 27
  7. Iliad 7. 167
  8. Il. 11. 575 - 592
  9. Il. 11, cf. especially 11. 660 - 664
  10. Il. 11. 655 - 803; 12. 1; 15. 390 ff
  11. Il. 5. 77
  12. Il. 6. 36
  13. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10. 27. 2
  14. Hyginus, Fabulae, 114
  15. Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy, 12. 340; Tryphiodorus, The Taking of Ilios, 176
  16. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7. 19. 6 - 10
  17. Dictys Cretensis 2. 5
  18. Eustathius on Homer, p. 1697
  19. Dictys Cretensis 4. 14
  20. Homer, Odyssey, 11. 519 ff
  21. Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy, 6. 408; Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3. 26. 9; Tzetzes, Posthomerica, 518, 584
  22. Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy, 6. 372; Hyginus, Fabulae, 113
  23. Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy, 8. 200; Hyginus, Fabulae, 112
  24. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3. 26. 10
  25. Servius on Virgil's Eclogue 6. 72
  26. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 7. 1; Theocritus, Idyll 8. 5 with scholia
  27. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 7. 1
  28. Scholia on Pindar, Nemean Ode 4. 40
  29. 1 2 Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 7. 8
  30. Bibliotheca 3. 10. 1
  31. Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 4. 1561, referring to Philarchus for the alternate names
  32. Tzetzes on Lycophron, 886
  33. Scholia on Pindar, Pythian Ode 4. 57
  34. Pindar, Pythian Ode 4. 33; Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 4. 1561
  35. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 7. 10
  36. Scholia on Odyssey 15. 16
  37. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7. 19. 9
  38. Athenaeus, Banquet of the Learned, 4. 158
  39. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca Epitome of Book 4, 7. 27
  40. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 8. 5
  41. Scholia on Euripides, Hippolytus, 408 with reference to Herodianus the scholiast specifically stresses that this Eurypylus is distinct from Eurypylus of Cos
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