Web Theoi
BOOTES
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Βοωτης Boôtês Bootes Ploughman (boôtês)
Φιλομηλος Philomêlos Philomelus Friend of Ease

BOOTES was the agricultural demi-god who invented the wagon and the plough. He was placed amongst the stars by his mother Demeter as the constellation Bootes, and his wagon became the Wain (Ursa Major). Bootes, literally "the ploughman," was also named Philomelos "Friend of Ease" from the Greek words philos and mêlos. He may have been identified with Demeter's Kretan son Eubouleus.

PARENTS
IASION & DEMETER (Hyginus Astronomica 2.4)
OFFSPRING
PARIAS (Hyginus Astronomica 2.4)

ENCYCLOPEDIA

PHILOME′LUS (Philomêlos), a son of Iasion and Demeter, and brother of Plutos, is said to have invented the chariot when Boötes was placed among the stars by his mother. (Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 4.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 4 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[Constellation Waggoner:] Hermippus, who wrote about the stars, says that Ceres [Demeter] lay with Iasion, son of Thuscus. Many agree with Homer that for his he was struck with a thunderbolt. From them, as Petellides, Cretan writer of histories, shows, two sons were born, Philomelus and Plutus, who were never on good terms, for Plutus, who was richer, gave nothing of his wealth to his brother. Philomelus, however, compelled by necessity, bought two oxen with what he had, and became the inventor of the wagon. So, by plowing and cultivating the fields, he supported himself. His mother, admiring his invention, represented him plowing among the stars, and called him Bootes. From him they say Parias was born who called the people Parians and the town Parion from his own name [a town in Mysia on the Hellespont]."

Pliny the Elder, Natural History 7. 199 (trans. Rackham) (Roman encyclopedia C1st A.D.) :
"[On inventions:] The ox and the plough [were invented] by Buzyges (Ox-Yoker) of Athens, or, as others say, by Triptolemus." [N.B. Bouzyges is Bootes.]


Sources:

  • Hyginus, Astronomica - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
  • Pliny the Elder, Natural History - Latin Encyclopedia C1st A.D.

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