Web Theoi
MENOITES
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Μενοιτης
Μενοιτιος
Menoitês
Menoitios
Menoetes
Menoetius
Doomed Might?
(oitos, menos)

MENOITES (or Menoetes) was an underworld Daimon (Spirit) who herded the cattle of Haides. Herakles wrestled with him on the island of Erytheia and crushed his ribs, but let him go at the request of Persephone.

PARENTS
KEUTHONYMOS (Apollodorus 2.125)

ENCYCLOPEDIA

MENOE′TIUS (Menoitios). A son of Ceuthonymus, a guard of the oxen of Pluto. (Apollod. ii. 5. § 10.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Stesichorus, Geryoneis Fragments S11 - 12 (from the Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 2617) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric III) (Greek lyric C7th to 6th B.C.) :
"[Menoites addresses the giant Geryon, telling him to think of his parents and avoid a battle with Herakles :] `Your mother Kallirhoe and Khrysaor, dear to Ares . . [text missing] ' Answering him [Geryon] the mighty son of immortal Khrysaor and Kallirhoe said, 'Do not with talk of chilling death try to frighten my manly heart."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 108 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"When he [Herakles] reached Erytheia he camped on Mount Abas. The dog smelled him there and went after him, but he struck it with his club, and when the cowherd Eurytion came to help the dog, he slew him as well. Menoites, who was there tending the cattle of Haides, reported these events to Geryon."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 125 :
"And he [Herakles] rolled away the stone of Askalaphos [during his journey to the Underworld in quest of the hound Kerberos]. Then, desiring to supply the souls with blood, he slaughtered one of Haides' cattle. Their keeper Menoites, son of Keuthonymos, challenged Herakles to a wrestling match. Herakles hugged his torso and broke his ribs, but set him down at the request of Persephone."


NOTES :

Menoites appears to have been identified with two giants: Geryon whose fabulous cattle Herakles was sent to fetch as one of his twelve labours; and Antaios the giant-wrestler.

He was probably identical to Menoitios, a brother of the Titanes Atlas and Prometheus, who was banished to Erebos by Zeus. Like the other two, one would expect to find Menoites playing a prominent role in the saga of Herakles.

Curiously the names of Menoites and his father Keuthonymos reoccur (in slightly altered form) in the story of the childhood of the hero Patrokos. In this tale Menoitios was the father of Patroklos, and Klitonymos, a man the boy slew in a fit of rage. Following the murder, Menoitios and his son fled to King Peleus of Phthia (Apollodorus 3.13.8). It is hard to say how the underworld Daimon and the father of Patroklos were connected, but the stories would appear to be derivitive. Perhaps the cattle of Haides were originally placed around the shrineof Haides in Thesprotia, which lay in the vicinity of the homeland of Patroklos' father.


Sources:

  • Greek Lyric III Stesichorus, Fragments - Greek Lyric C7th-6th B.C.
  • Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.

Other references not currently quoted here: Tzetzes Chiliades 2.396