POLYXEINOS (Polyxeinus) was a king of Elis who fought in the Trojan War. At the time of his rule the kingdom was divided into three parts--he shared the throne with Diores, son of Amarynkeus, and Amphimakhos and Thalpios, sons of the Molionidai. Polyxeinos was himself a grandson of the famous Eleian king Augeias. He did not distinguish himself in the Trojan War but was one of the few to return home safely.
An earlier Eleian king named Polyxeinos is mentioned by Apollodorus. He was reigning at the time of Amphitryon, Kephalos and Heleios' set out on their campaign against the Taphian pirates. This Polyxeinos was succeeded on the Eleian throne by Perseus' younger son Heleios, father of Augeias.
[1.1] AGASTHENES (Homer Iliad 2.615, Apollodorus 3.10.8, Pausanias 5.3.4)
[1.2] AGASTHENES & PELORIS (Hyginus Fabulae 97)
[1.1] AMPHIMAKHOS (Pausanias 5.3.4)
POLYXENOS (Poluxeinos), a son of Agasthenes grandson of Augeas, and father of Amphimachus, was the commander of the Epeians in the war against Troy. (Hom. Il. ii. 623; Paus. v. 3. 4.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Homer, Iliad 2. 615 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"[The leaders of Elis in the Trojan War:] They who lived in Bouprasion (Buprasium) and brilliant Elis, all as much as Hyrmine and Myrsinos the uttermost and the Olenian rock and Alesion close between them, of these there were four chieftains, and with each man ten swift vessels followed, with many Epeian men on board them. Of two tens Thalpios (Thalpius) and Amphimakhos (Amphimachus) were leaders, of Aktor's (Actor's) seed, sons one of Kteatos (Cteatus), one of Eurytos (Eurytus). Ten more were led by Amaryngkeus' (Amarynceus') son, strong Diores, and of the fourth ten godlike Polyxeinos (Polyxeinus) was leader, son of lord Agasthenes, of the race of Augeias (Augeas)." [N.B. King Polyxeinos of Elis was a grandson of Augeias.]
Cinaethon or Eugammon, Telegony Fragment 1 (from Proclus, Chrstomathia 2) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 6th B.C.) :
"Odysseus, after sacrificing to the Nymphai (Nymphs) [after slaying of the suitors], sails to Elis to inspect his herds. He is entertained there by Polyxeinos (Polyxeinus) and receives a mixing bowl as a gift; the story of Trophonios and Agamedes and Augeas then follows."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 10. 8 (trans. Frazer) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"The kings of Greece repaired to Sparta to win the hand of Helene. The wooers were these . . . Amphimakhos (Amphimachus), son of Kteatos (Cteatus); Thalpios (Thalpius), son of Eurytos (Eurytus); Meges, son of Phyleus . . . Polyxenos (Polyxenus), son of Agasthenes."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 3. 3 - 5 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[After Herakles' conquest of Elis:] When Phyleus [eldest son of Augeas] had returned to Doulikhion (Dulichium) after organizing the affairs of Elis, Augeas died at an advanced age, and the kingdom of Elis devolved on Agasthenes, the son of Augeas, and on Amphimakhos (Amphimachus) and Thalpios (Thalpius) . . . Neither Amarynkeus (Amarynceus) [an ally of Augeas in the war] himself nor his son Diores remained common people. Incidentally this is shown by Homer in his list of the Eleans; he makes their whole fleet to consist of forty ships, half of them under the command of Amphimakhos and Thalpios, and of the remaining twenty he puts ten under Diores, the son of Amarynkeus, and ten under Polyxenos (Polyxenus), the son of Agasthenes. Polyxenos came back safe from Troy and begat a son, Amphimakhos. This name I think Polyxenos gave his son because of his friendship with Amphimakhos, the son of Kteatos, who died at Troy.
Amphimakhos begat Eleios (Eleius), and it was while Eleios was king in Elis that the assembly of the Dorian army [i.e. the Herakleidai (Heracleidae)] under the sons of Aristomakhos took place, with a view to returning to the Peloponnesos."
Anonymous, Dictys Cretensis' Journal of the Trojan War 1. 17 (trans. Frazer) (Latin faux-journal C4th A.D. after Greek original C1st A.D.) :
"At the end of two years all the kings [of Greece] had equipped ships varying in number with the wealth and power of their kingdoms, and had sent them on to Aulis in Boiotia; this was the place they had chosen . . . Thalpios and Diores, along with Amphimakhos (Amphimachus) and Polyxenos (Polyxenus), 40 from Elis and the other cities of this region."
Anonymous, Dictys Cretensis' Journal of the Trojan War 3. 5 :
"Soon new of this battle spread throughout the army, and the other leaders, having entrusted their positions to worthy subordinates, rushed toward the center. The battle lines, on both sides, were closed up, and the battle was renewed. Hector felt greatly encouraged, seeing that a large number of Trojans were present and thinking himself sufficiently safe. Then he urged on his men to fight with more daring, shouting in a loud voice and calling them each by name; and he himself entered the battle and wounded the two brave leaders of the Elians, Diores and Polyxenus. As soon as Achilles saw Hector attacking like this, he came to the aid of the embattled Greeks."
Anonymous, Dares Phrygius' History of the Fall of Troy 14 (trans. Frazer) (Latin faux-journal C5th A.D. after Greek original C1st B.C.?) :
"The following is a list of Greek leaders and the ships they brought to Athens . . . and also Amphimachus, Diores, Thalpius, and Polyxenus from Buprasion, with 40 ships."
Anonymous, Dares Phrygius' History of the Fall of Troy 21 :
"[The first battles of the Trojan War:] Achilles and Diomedes led forth their army. The forces of Hector and Aeneas came opposite. A great slaughter arose. Hector slew the leaders Orcomeneus, Ialmenus, Epistrophus, Schedius, Elephenor, Diores, and Polyxenus. Aeneas slew Amphimachus and Nireus."
[N.B. This account diverges considerably from the usual story of the Trojan War.]
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 81 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Suitors of Helen . . . Thalpius, Polyxenus . . . Meges."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 97 :
"Those who went to attack Troy, and the number of their ships . . .
Amphimachus, son of Cteatus, from Elis, with 10 ships; . . .
Amarynceus, son of Onesimachus, from Mycenae, with 19 ships;
Polyxenus, son of Agasthenes and Peloris, from Aetolia, with 40 ships;
Meges, son of Phyleus and Eustyoche, from Dulichium, with 60 ships."
CHRONOLOGY OF THE ELEAN KINGS
|1. Aethlios||1. Alxion||1. Olenos|
|2. Endymion||2. Oinomaos|
6. Eleios *
5. Heleios *
|1. Phorbas||2. Alektor|
|7. Augeias **||2. Aktor||3. Dexamenos
4. Hipponoos ****
|8. Agasthenes||1. Amarynkeus ***||3. Kteatos & Eurytos||1. Phyleus|
|9. Polyxeinos||2. Diores||4. Thalpios & Antimakhos||2. Meges|
1. Pisa (southern Elis); 2. Elis (central Elis); 3. Bouprasion (northern Elis); 4. Doulikhion (island west of Elis); 5. Olenos (northern Elis & western Akhaia).
* Eleios-Heleios is the same figure. One tradition represents him as a son of Perseus and the heir of King Pelops, another makes him a grandson of King Endymion. He was sometimes confounded with the sun-god Helios.
** Augeias ruled the whole of Elis including the regions of Elis, Pisa, Bouprasion and Doulikhion. After his death the kingdom was divided into four autonomous parts.
*** Amarynkeus received a quarter of the kingdom of Augeias. One assumes his portion was Pisatis.
**** In the reign of Hipponoos, Olenos was annexed by King Oineus of Aitolia. It is listed as an Aitolian dominion in Homer's Catalogue of Ships.
- Homer, The Iliad - Greek Epic C8th B.C.
- Epic Cycle, The Telegony Fragments - Greek Epic C8th - 6th B.C.
- Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
- Anonymous, Dictys Cretensis - Greek Faux-Journal C1st A.D.
- Anonymous, Dares Phrygius - Latin Faux-Journal C5th A.D.
- Hyginus, Fabulae - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.