Web Theoi
DYSAULES
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Δυσαυλης Dysaulês Dysaules Hard-Lodging
(dys, aulê)
Ραρος Rharos Rharus, Rarus Strong, Mighty
(rharos, rhôros)

DYSAULES was a demi-god or hero of the Eleusinain mysteries who presided over the sacred Field of Rharos where the first grain was sown. This field contained a threshing floor and an altar sacred Dysaules' son, the demi-god Triptolemos.

PARENTS OF DYSAULES

[1] GAIA or ELEUSIS (Greek Lyric V Anon. Frag 985, Suidas s.v. Dysaules)

OFFSPRING OF DYSAULES

[1] EUBOULEUS, TRIPTOLEMOS (Orpheus Frag, Pausanias 1.14.3)
[2] PROTONOE, NESA (by Baubo) (Suidas s.v. Dysaules)

OFFSPRING OF RHAROS

[1] TRIPTOLEMOS (by the daughter of Amphiktyon) (Cheorilus Frag, Pausanias 1.14.3)

ENCYCLOPEDIA

DYSAULES (Dusaulês), the father of Triptolemus and Eubuleus, and a brother of Celeus. According to a tradition of Phlius, which Pausanias disbelieved, he had been expelled from Eleusis by Ion, and had come to Phlius, where he introduced the Eleusinian mysteries. His tomb was shown at Celeae, which he is said to have named s after his brother Celeus. (Paus. i. 14. § 2, ii. 14. ; § 2.)

RHARUS (Rharos), the father of Triptolemus at Eleusis (Paus. i. 14. § 2). It is worthy of remark, that according to the scholiast (on Il. i. 56), the P in this name had the spiritus lenis.

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Greek Lyric V Anonymous, Fragment 985 (from Hippolytus, Refutation of all the Heresies) (trans. Campbell) (Greek lyric B.C.) :
"Ge (the Earth), say the Greeks, was the first to produce man . . . But it is hard to discover . . . [who] was the first of men to appear . . . or Eleusis to Dysaules, dweller in Rharia."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 14. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Those [verses] ascribed to Orpheus [i.e. the Orphic rhapsodies] . . . say that Eubouleus (Eubulus) and Triptolemos were sons of Dysaules, and that because they gave Demeter information about her daughter the sowing of seed was her reward to them. But Kheorilos (Cheorilus), an Athenian, who wrote the play called Alope, says that Kerkyon (Cercyon) and Triptolemos were brothers, that their mother was the daughter of Amphiktyon (Amphictyon), while the father of Triptolemos was Rharos, of Kerkyon, Poseidon."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 14. 1 ff :
"Keleai (Celeae) is some five stades distant from the city [Phlios in Sikyonia], and here they celebrate the mysteries in honor of Demeter, not every year but every fourth year. The initiating priest is not appointed for life, but at each celebration they elect a fresh one, who takes, if he cares to do so, a wife. In this respect their custom differs from that at Eleusis, but the actual celebration is modelled on the Eleusinian rites. The Phliasians themselves admit that they copy the performance at Eleusis.
They say that it was Dysaules, the brother of Keleus (Celeus), who came to their land and established the mysteries, and that he had been expelled from Eleusis by Ion, when Ion, the son of Xouthos (Xuthus), was chosen by the Athenians to be commander-in-chief in the Eleusinian war. Now I cannot possibly agree with the Phliasians in supposing that an Eleusinian was conquered in battle and driven away into exile, for the war terminated in a treaty before it was fought out, and Eumolpos himself remained at Eleusis.
But it is possible that Dysaules came to Phlios for some other reason than that given by the Phliasians. I do not believe either that he was related to Keleus, or that he was in any way distinguished at Eleusis, otherwise Homer would never have passed him by in his poems. For Homer is one of those who have written in honor of Demeter, and when he is making a list of those to whom the goddess taught the mysteries he knows nothing of an Eleusinian named Dysaules. These are the verses:--‘She to Triptolemos taught, and to Diokles, driver of horses, also to mighty Eumolpos, to Keleus, leader of peoples, cult of the holy rites, to them all her mystery telling.’ [Quoting Homeric Hymn to Demeter 474ff.]
At all events, this Dysaules, according to the Phliasians, established the mysteries here, and he it was who gave to the place the name Keleai. I have already said that the tomb of Dysaules is here. So the grave of Aras was made earlier, for according to the account of the Phliasians Dysaules did not arrive in the reign of Aras, but later. For Aras, they say, was a contemporary of Prometheus, the son of Iapetos."

Orphic Hymn 41 to Demeter (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"[Demeter] widely wandering once, oppressed with grief, in Eleusis' valleys foundest relief, discovering Persephone thy daughter pure in dread Aides (Hades), dismal and obscure. A sacred youth while through the earth you stray, Dysaulos [Iakkhos, Iacchus], attending leader of the way; the holy marriage Khthonios Zeus [i.e. Chthonian Zeus is Haides] relating, while oppressed with grief you rove."

Suidas s.v. Dysaules (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Dysaules: This man was sprung from the soil, but he married Bau[b]o and had as children both Protonoe and Nesa."


Sources:

  • Greek Lyric V Anonymous, Fragments - Greek Lyric C5th B.C.
  • Pausanias, Description of Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
  • The Orphic Hymns - Greek Hymns C3rd B.C. - C2nd A.D.
  • Suidas - Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.