Heroes Index

Theban Cycle

 
Actaeon (Aktaion)
A hunter who caught the goddess Artemis bathing in a pool and was transformed by her into a stag and torn apart by his own hounds
Antiope
A Theban princess seduced by the god Zeus in the guise of a satyr. She bore him twin sons, Amphion and Zethos.
Oedipus (Oidipous)
A Boeotian hero who destroyed the sphinx and was crowned King of Thebes. Tragedy ensued when he learned that he had unintentionally killed his father and married his mother.
 

Seven Against Thebes

Adrastus
One of seven who tried and failed to conquer Thebes.
Amphiaraus
One of seven who tried and failed to conquer Thebes.
Capaneus
One of seven who tried and failed to conquer Thebes.
Hippomedon
One of seven who tried and failed to conquer Thebes.
Parthenopeus
One of seven who tried and failed to conquer Thebes.
Polynices
A son of Oedipus and twin to Eteocles. One of seven who tried and failed to conquer Thebes.
Tydeus
An Aetolian hero, one of seven who tried and failed to conquer Thebes.
Actor
One of seven who successfully defended Thebes.
Eteocles
A son of Oedipus and twin to Polynices. One of seven who successfully defended Thebes.
Hyperbius
One of seven who successfully defended Thebes.
Lasthenes
One of seven who successfully defended Thebes.
Megareus
One of seven who successfully defended Thebes.
Melanippus
One of seven who successfully defended Thebes.
Polyphontes
One of seven who successfully defended Thebes.
 

Epigoni

Aegialeus
Son of Adrastus, and one of those who sacked Thebes as a member of the Epigoni.
Alcmaeon
Son of Amphiaraus, and one of those who sacked Thebes as a member of the Epigoni.
Amphilochus
Son of Amphiaraus, and one of those who sacked Thebes as a member of the Epigoni.
Diomedes
A King of Argos who sacked Thebes as a member of the Epigoni. One of the top warriors on the Achaean side of the Trojan War.
Euryalus
Son of Mecisteus, and one of those who sacked Thebes as a member of the Epigoni.
Promachus
Son of Parthenopaeus, and one of those who sacked Thebes as a member of the Epigoni.
Sthenelus
Son of Capaneus, and one of those who sacked Thebes as a member of the Epigoni.
Thersander
Son of Polynices, and one of those who sacked Thebes as a member of the Epigoni.
Polydorus
Son of Hippomedon, and one of those who sacked Thebes as a member of the Epigoni.
 

Epic Cycle

 

Achaeans and Allies

 
Achilles (Akhilleus)
Son of Peleus and the Nereid Thetis
Calchas
An Argive seer who served the Achaeans, returned home, and died of shame after losing a contest of prophecy against Mopsus
Diomedes
A King of Argos who sacked Thebes as a member of the Epigoni, then served as one of the top warriors on the Achaean side of the Trojan War.
 

Trojans and Allies

 
Cycnus of Colonae (Kyknos Kolonaios)
A champion of the Trojans in the first battles of the Trojan War. He was a son of Poseidon, invulnerable to weapons, slain by Achilles.
Penthesilea (Penthesileia)
An Amazon queen who led her troops to the Trojan War. She was slain by Achilles.
Tennes
A king of the island of Tenedos who was killed by Akhilleus in a skirmish on the way to troy.
 

Tropes

 

Damsels Who Needed Rescuing

 
Andromeda
An Ethiopian princess who was chained to the rocks as a sacrifice for the sea-monster ravaging the coast. She was rescued and married by the hero Perseus.
Io
An Argive princess loved by the god Zeus, who turned her into a heifer to hide her from the jealous gaze of Hera. The goddess set a gadfly to torment her and she wandered all the way to Egypt where she birthed her son.
 

Damsels Who Could Rescue Themselves, Thank You

 
Atalanta
An Arcadian huntress, nursed in the wilderness by a bear. She hunted the Calydonian boar, slew Centaurs, defeated Peleus in wrestling, and was married by Melanion who defeated her in a race.
Callisto (Kallisto)
An Arcadian princess and hunting companion of the goddess Artemis. She was loved by Zeus, disguised as Artemis, and when her pregnancy was revealed, Artemis turned her into a bear and set her into the sky to guard the night.
Otrera
A bride of the war-god Ares and the mother of the Amazon nation.
Penthesilea (Penthesileia)
An Amazon queen who led her troops to the Trojan War. She was slain by Achilles.
 

Humans Raised by Animals or Insects

 
Atalanta
An Arcadian huntress, nursed in the wilderness by a bear. She hunted the Calydonian boar, slew Centaurs, defeated Peleus in wrestling, and was married by Melanion who defeated her in a race.
Iamus (Iamos)
A seer of the shrine of Olympia who was nursed by bees on a bed of violets.
 

Humans Turned Into Animals or Insects

 
Actaeon (Aktaion)
A hunter who caught the goddess Artemis bathing in a pool and was transformed by her into a stag and torn apart by his own hounds
Arachne (Arakhne)
An arrogant weaver who challenged Athena to a contest and was turned into a spider.
Ascalabus (Askalabos)
An Attican boy, transformed into a spotted lizard as punishment for mocking the goddess Demeter as she drank to quench her thirst.
Callisto (Kallisto)
An Arcadian princess and hunting companion of the goddess Artemis. She was loved by Zeus, disguised as Artemis, and when her pregnancy was revealed, Artemis turned her into a bear and set her into the sky to guard the night.
Cycnus of Itonus (Kyknos Itonios)
A bandit prince of Thessalian Phthiotis who fought with Heracles, but was slain and transformed into a swan by his father Ares.
Cycnus of Liguria (Kyknos Ligyrios)
A Ligurian prince skilled in song. After the death of his close friend Phaethon, he mourned the boy with dirges on the banks of the river Eridanos, where he was transformed into a swan.
Cycnus of Thyria (Kyknos Thyrios)
An Aetolian youth who demanded many difficult labors of his love, Phyllius. When the boy died carrying out one of these, Cycnus was stricken with remorse, faded away and was transformed into a swan.
Io
An Argive princess loved by the god Zeus, who turned her into a heifer to hide her from the jealous gaze of Hera. The goddess set a gadfly to torment her and she wandered all the way to Egypt where she birthed her son.
Lycaon (Lykaon)
A king of Arcadia who slaughtered a child as a meal for Zeus and was transformed by the disgusted god into a wolf.
Minyades
Three princesses of Orchomenus who scorned the worship of the god Dionysus. They were driven mad and dismembered one of their sons before being transformed into owls and bats.
 

Humans Turned Into Plants

 
Cyparissus (Kyparissos)
A handsome youth of the island of Ceos, loved by the god Apollo. He died of grief after accidentally killing his pet stag and was turned into a cypress tree.
Hyacinthus (Hyakinthos)
A handsome Spartan prince loved by the god Apollo. The boy was accidentally killed by a discus during a game of quoits and transformed by the god into the larkspur flower.
Narcissus (Narkissos)
An arrogant Boeotian youth who spurned the attention of others and was cursed to fall in love with his own reflection. Fading away, he was transformed into a daffodil.
 

Hunters

 
Actaeon (Aktaion)
A hunter who caught the goddess Artemis bathing in a pool and was transformed by her into a stag and torn apart by his own hounds
Adonis
A handsome youth loved by the goddess Aphrodite who was killed by a boar while hunting.
Atalanta
An Arcadian huntress, nursed in the wilderness by a bear. She hunted the Calydonian boar, slew Centaurs, defeated Peleus in wrestling, and was married by Melanion who defeated her in a race.
Callisto (Kallisto)
An Arcadian princess and hunting companion of the goddess Artemis. She was loved by Zeus, disguised as Artemis, and when her pregnancy was revealed, Artemis turned her into a bear and set her into the sky to guard the night.
Cyrene (Kyrene)
A Thessalian princess and huntress. She was loved by the god Apollo who first spied her as she was wrestling a lion.
Meleager (Meleagros)
A prince of Calydon who led the heroes in the hunt for the giant Calydonian boar.
Orion
A handsome giant and hunter, companion of the goddess Artemis. Gaea sent a scorpion to destroy him when he boasted he would hunt down all the animals of the earth.
 

Healers

 
Achilles
The greatest warrior on the Achaean side of the Trojan War. According to one myth, after he speared King Telephus of Mysia in the thigh, the wound festered and could only be healed by rust from the weapon which caused it, applied by Achilles himself in order to rescue Orestes, the kidnapped son of Agamemnon.
Asclepius (Asklepios)
A physician from Thessalian Tricca who was so skilled in the art of medicine that he could restore life to the dead. Zeus destroyed him with a thunderbolt as punishment, then elevated him to godhood as a reward.
Chiron
The wise old Centaur who taught nearly all the celebrated healers of Greek mythology.
Machaon
A son of Asclepius and brother of Podalirius, specializing in surgery.
Podalirius
A son of Asclepius and brother of Machaon, specializing in pathology.
 

Pharmakos

Helen of Sparta
Known to use a soothing herb that alleviated pain and anger and brought forgetfulness of every sorrow when mixed with wine.
 

Seers

Calchas
An Argive seer who served the Achaeans, returned home, and died of shame after losing a contest of prophecy against Mopsus
Iamus (Iamos)
A seer of the shrine of Olympia who was nursed by bees on a bed of violets.
Mopsus
A seer who defeated Calchas in a soothsaying battle to the death
 

Farmers

Triptolemus (Triptolemos)
An agricultural hero of Eleusis who was given a winged chariot by the goddess Demeter to spread knowledge of agriculture throughout the world.
   

Divine Consorts and Victims

 
Adonis
A handsome youth loved by the goddess Aphrodite who was killed by a boar while hunting.
Amymone
An Argive princess who was seduced by the god Poseidon when she came to Lerna in search of water during a drought.
Antiope
A Boiotian princess seduced by the god Zeus in the guise of a satyr. She bore him twin sons, Amphion and Zethos.
Callisto (Kallisto)
An Arcadian princess and hunting companion of the goddess Artemis. She was loved by Zeus, disguised as Artemis, and when her pregnancy was revealed, Artemis turned her into a bear and set her into the sky to guard the night.
Coronis (Koronis)
A Triccan princess loved by the god Apollo. When she cheated on him with another man, his sister Artemis slew her with an arrow.
Cyparissus (Kyparissos)
A handsome youth of the island of Ceos, loved by the god Apollo. He died of grief after accidentally killing his pet stag and was turned into a cypress tree.
Cyrene (Kyrene)
A Thessalian princess and huntress. She was loved by the god Apollo who first spied her as she was wrestling a lion.
Danae
An Argive princess who was locked in a bronze cell by her father Acrisius. She was impregnated by Zeus in the form of a golden shower and bore him the hero Perseus.
Endymion
A handsome shepherd prince loved by the moon titaness Selene. He was granted immortality and eternal youth in a state of slumber.
Europa
A Phoenician princess abducted to the island of Crete by the god Zeus who carried her across the sea in the guise of a bull.
Evadne (Euadne)
An Arcadian princess loved by the god Apollo, who abandoned their son Iamus in a bed of violets where he was nursed by bees.
Ganymede
A handsome Trojan prince who was carried off to heaven by the god Zeus in the guise of an eagle where he became the cupbearer of the gods.
Hippolyte
A queen of the Amazons, whose belt Heracles was sent to fetch as one of his twelve labors. She was killed by the hero in his quest.
Hyacinthus (Hyakinthos)
A handsome Spartan prince loved by the god Apollo. The boy was accidentally killed by a discus during a game of quoits and transformed by the god into the larkspur flower.
Iasion
A Samothracian prince loved by the goddess Demeter who was struck dead by Zeus with a thunderbolt.
Icarius (ikarios)
An Attican man instructed in the making of wine by the god Dionysus. He was killed by local peasants who thought they had been poisoned by the new beverage.
Io
An Argive princess loved by the god Zeus, who turned her into a heifer to hide her from the jealous gaze of Hera. The goddess set a gadfly to torment her and she wandered all the way to Egypt where she birthed her son.
Leda
A queen of Sparta who was seduced by Zeus in the guise of swan. She laid eggs from which was hatched Helen, Clytemnestra, and the Dioscuri twins, Castor and Polydeuces.
Minyades
Three princesses of Orchomenus who scorned the worship of the god Dionysus. They were driven mad and dismembered one of their sons before being transformed into owls and bats.
Odysseus
A hero of the Trojan War, whose fleet was blown off course in a storm on his return. On his way back, he had affairs with Circe and Callypso.
Orion
A handsome giant and hunter, companion of the goddess Artemis. Gaea sent a scorpion to destroy him when he boasted he would hunt down all the animals of the earth.
Otrera
A bride of the war-god Ares and the mother of the Amazon nation.
Phaethon
A child of Helios the sun, who persuaded his father to let him ride the solar chariot, but lost control and was blasted from the sky by Zeus.
Psyche (psykhe)
A princess loved by Eros, the God of Love. He abandoned her when she tried to discover his true identity, but they were reconciled after she performed many hard labors in the service of the goddess Aphrodite.
Salmoneus
A king of Salmonia (Pylos) who pretended to be Zeus and was struck dead by the god with a thunderbolt.
Tithonus (Tithonos)
A handsome Trojan prince abducted by the goddess Eos for a husband. She requested immortality for her spouse but neglected to ask for eternal youth, and he shrivelled up with time.
Tyro
A Thessalian princess who was seduced by the god Poseidon in the guise of the river Enipeus. She bore him the sons Neleus and Pelias.
 

Monster Slayers

 
Bellerophon (Bellerophontes)
A Corinthian prince who captured the winged horse Pegasus and destroyed the monstrous Chimera which was ravaging the land of Lycia.
Jason (Iason)
A Thessalian hero who led the Argonauts in the quest for the golden fleece. In Colchis he won the witch Medea for his bride.
Oedipus (Oidipous)
A Boeotian hero who destroyed the sphinx and was crowned King of Thebes. Tragedy ensued when he learned that he had unintentionally killed his father and married his mother.
Perseus
A hero commanded by King Polydectes of Seriphus to fetch the Gorgon's head. He returned with the prize and turned the king to stone.
Theseus
The great Athenian hero, slayer of the Minotaur and the bandits of the isthmus.
 

Founders

 
Cecrops (Kekrops)
An early, earth-born king who founded the city of Athens. He had a snake's tail in place of legs.
Deucalion (Deukalion)
A king of Thessaly who survived the Great Deluge sent by Zeus to destroy mankind. He and his wife, Pyrrha, recreated the human race after the devastation with the casting of stones.
Otrera
A bride of the war-god Ares and the mother of the Amazon nation.
Pelops
A king of Pisa and the Peloponesse.
Pyrrha
The wife of King Deucalion who, with her husband, survived the Great Deluge.
 

Villains

 
Busiris (Bousiris)
A King of Egypt who, in accordance with an oracle, sacrificed foreigners passing through his land to the gods. He was slain by Heracles when the hero was brought before the altar.
Cycnus of Itonus (Kyknos Itonios)
A bandit prince of Thessalian Phthiotis who fought with Heracles, but was slain and transformed into a swan by his father Ares.
Diomedes of Thrace (Diomedes Thrakios)
A king of the Thracian Bistones who fed his mares on human flesh. He was slain by Heracles who was sent to fetch the horses as one of his twelve labors.
Eryx
A Sicilian king who stole the finest bull from the herd of Geryon, which Heracles was herding through the island. He challenged the hero to a wrestling match but was defeated and killed.
Ixion
An impious Lapith king who sought to rape the goddess Hera but was fooled with a phantom cloud. He was chained to a fiery wheel for eternity as punishment.
Lycaon (Lykaon)
A king of Arcadia who slaughtered a child as a meal for Zeus and was transformed by the disgusted god into a wolf.
Lycurgus (Lykourgos)
A Thracian king who attacked the company of the god Dionysus, driving him to seek refuge in the sea. As punishment for the crime he was driven mad, murdering his wife and sons, before killing himself by chopping off his own legs.
Pandora
The first woman created by the gods. She delivered evil into the house of man when she opened a jar containing all of the harmful spirits.
Sisyphus (Sisyphos)
A king of Corinth who tried to cheat death, but was forcibly carried off to the underworld and condemned to eternal torment.
Tantalus (Tantalos)
A King of Lydia who served his slaughtered son at a feast of the gods. As punishment he was condemned to eternal torture in hades.
 

Weirdos

 
Cecrops (Kekrops)
An early, earth-born king who founded the city of Athens. He had a snake's tail in place of legs.
Erysichthon (Erysikhthon)
A Thessalian king who chopped down the sacred grove of the goddess Demeter and was inflicted with insatiable hunger.
Geryon (Geryones)
A three-bodied man who kept a fabulous herd of red-skinned cattle on the island of Erythea. Heracles was sent to fetch these as one of his twelve labors and slew the king in his quest.
Lycaon (Lykaon)
A king of Arcadia who slaughtered a child as a meal for Zeus and was transformed by the disgusted god into a wolf.
Midas
A king of Phrygia who kindly entertained Dionysus's companion Silenus when he became separated from the god's company. As reward was given a golden touch.
Pasiphae
A queen of Crete, the wife of King Minos. She fell in love with a bull and by means of a wooden cow, coupled with it and gave birth to the Minotaur.
Pygmalion
A Cypriot king who fell in love with an ivory statue. In answer to his prayers the goddess Aphrodite gave it life.
 

Mortals Who Became Gods

 
Asclepius (Asklepios)
A physician from Thessalian Tricca who was so skilled in the art of medicine that he could restore life to the dead. Zeus destroyed him with a thunderbolt as punishment, then elevated him to godhood as a reward.
Callisto (Kallisto)
An Arcadian princess and hunting companion of the goddess Artemis. She was loved by Zeus, disguised as Artemis, and when her pregnancy was revealed, Artemis turned her into a bear and set her into the sky to guard the night.
Endymion
A handsome shepherd prince loved by the moon titaness Selene. He was granted immortality and eternal youth in a state of slumber.
Ganymede
A handsome Trojan prince who was carried off to heaven by the god Zeus in the guise of an eagle where he became the cupbearer of the gods.
Heracles
The great hero of the Greeks who completed the twelve impossible labors assigned him by King Eurystheus.
Midas
A king of Phrygia who kindly entertained Dionysus's companion Silenus when he became separated from the god's company. As reward was given a golden touch.

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Cover image: "Jupiter Pluvius" (1819) by Joseph Gandy (1771-1843)

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