THE HUS KROMMYON (Crommyonian Sow) was a giant boar which terrorized the countryside around the town of Krommyon on the Isthmos. The beast was the man-eating pet of an old crone named Phaia (Phaea). Both she and the sow were slain by Theseus as he journeyed from Troizenos (Troezen) to Athens clearing the highway of assorted bandits and miscreants.
FAMILY OF THE SOW
HUS KALYDONIOS (Strabo 8.6.22)
PHAEA (Phaia), the name of the sow of Crommyon, which ravaged the neighbourhood, and was slain by Theseus. (Plut. Thes. 9; Plat. Lach. p. 196, e.; Eurip. Suppl. 316.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
Dusky, Grey (phaios)
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Bacchylides, Fragment 18 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"He [Theseus] has killed the man-killing sow in the glens of Kremmyon (Crommyon)."
Plato, Laches 196e (trans. Lamb) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
"Sokrates (Socrates) : You do not believe that even the Krommyonian (Crommyonian) sow could have been courageous . . . for him who states this theory to refuse courage to any wild beast."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca E1. 1 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Theseus slew the sow at Krommyon (Crommyon) called Phaia (Phaea) after the old woman who kept it. Some say its parents were Ekhidna (Echidna) and Typhon."
Strabo, Geography 8. 6. 22 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Krommyon (Crommyon) is a village in Korinthia (Corinthia), though in earlier times it was in Megaris; and in it is laid the scene of the myth of the Krommyonian Sow, which, it is said, was the mother of the Kaledonian (Calydonian) Boar; and, according to tradition, the destruction of this sow was one of the labors of Theseus."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 1. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Here [at Kromyon (Crommyon) on the Isthmos] they say that Phaia (Phaea) was bred; overcoming this sow was one of the traditional achievements of Theseus."
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 59. 4 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"For his [Theseus’] third deed he slew the wild sow which had its haunts about Krommyon (Crommyon), a beast excelled in both ferocity and size and was killing many human beings."
Plutarch, Life of Theseus 9. 1 (trans. Perrin) (Greek historian C1st to C2nd A.D.) :
"Now the Krommyonian (Crommyonian) Sow, which they called Phaia (Phaea), was no insignificant creature, but fierce and hard to master. This sow he went out of his way to encounter and slay, that he might not be thought to perform all his exploits under compulsion, and at the same time because he thought that while the brave man ought to attack villainous men only in self defence, he should seek occasion to risk his life in battle with the nobler beasts. However, some say that Phaia was a female robber, a woman of murderous and unbridled spirit, who dwelt in Krommyon, was called Sow because of her life and manners, and was afterwards slain by Theseus."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 38 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"He [Theseus] slew the wild boar at Cremyon (Crommyon)."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 7. 433 (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Great Theseus, mighty prince . . . Your work, your gift it is that safe from that fierce sow (sus Cromyona) the farmers till the fields of Cromyon."
ANCIENT GREEK ART
- Greek Lyric IV Bacchylides, Fragments - Greek Lyric C5th B.C.
- Plato, Laches - Greek Philosophy C4th B.C.
- Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
- Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History - Greek History C1st B.C.
- Strabo, Geography - Greek Geography C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
- Plutarch, Lives - Greek Historian C1st - 2nd A.D.
- Hyginus, Fabulae - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses - Latin Epic C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.