Greek Mythology >> Kings >> Epeius (Epeios)


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Of the Epeioi (Epeans)

EPEIOS (Epeius) was the eponymous king of the Epeians of Elis. He was a son of the hero Endymion who won the kingdom when he defeated his two brothers in a foot race for the throne.

Epeius' kingdom was afterwards divided between his son-in-law Aktor (Actor), founder of the towns Bouprasion (Buprasium) and Hyrmine, and his (presumed) son Alektor (Alector), ruler of Olenos and Dyme.


[1.1] ENDYMION & ASTERODEIA (Pausanias 5.1.4)
[1.2] ENDYMION & KHROMIA (Pausanias 5.1.4)
[1.3] ENDYMION & HYPERIPPE (Pausanias 5.1.4)


[1.1] HYRMINA (by Anaxirhoe) (Pausanias 5.1.6 & 5.1.11)
[1.2] ALEKTOR, HYRMINA (Scholia names Alektor brother of Hyrmina)


Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 1. 4 - 7 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Endymion took a wife Asterodeia--others say she was Khromia (Chromia), the daughter of Itonos, the son of Amphiktyon (Amphictyon); others again, Hyperippe, the daughter of Arkas (Arcas)--but all agree that Endymion begat Paion (Paeon), Epeios (Epeius), Aitolos (Aetolus), and also a daughter Eurykyda (Eurycyda). Endymion set his sons to run a race at Olympia for the throne; Epeios won, and obtained the kingdom, and his subjects were then named Epeians for the first time.
Of his brothers they say that Aitolos remained at home, while Paion, vexed at his defeat, went into the farthest exile possible, and that the region beyond the river Axios (Axius) was named after him Paionia (Paeonia) . . .
Epeios married Anaxiroe, the daughter of Koronos (Coronus), and begat a daughter Hyrmina, but no male issue. In the reign of Epeios the following events also occurred. Oinomaos (Oenomaus) was the son of Alxion (though poets proclaimed his father to be Ares, and the common report agrees with them), but while lord of the land of Pisa he was put down by Pelops the Lydian, who crossed over from Asia.
On the death of Oinomaos, Pelops took possession of the land of Pisa and its bordering country Olympia, separating it from the land of Epeios. The Eleians said that Pelops was the first to found a temple of' Hermes in Peloponnesos and to sacrifice to the god, his purpose being to avert the wrath of the god for the death of Myrtilos (Myrtilus).
Aitolos, who came to the throne after Epeios, was made to flee from Peloponnesos, because the children of Apis tried and convicted him of unintentional homicide."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 1. 10 - 11 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"To Amarynkeus (Amarynceus) Augeas also gave a share in the government of Elis; Aktor (Actor) and his sons had a share in the kingdom and were natives of the country. For the father of Aktor was Phorbas, son of Lapithos, and his mother was Hyrmina, daughter of Epeios (Epeius). Aktor named after her the city of Hyrmina, which he founded in Elis."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 69. 1 - 2 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"Phorbas went to Olenos (Olenus), from which city Alektor (Alector), the king of Eleia, summoned him to come to his aid, since he stood in fear of the overlordship of Pelops, and he gave him a share of the kingship of Elis."
[N.B. A scholia notes that Phorbas married Hyrmina, sister of Alektor. According to Pausanias, above, Hyrmina was a daughter of Epeios and so, presumably, Alektor was regarded as his son.]


1. Aethlios 1. Alxion     1. Olenos
2. Endymion 2. Oinomaos      
3. Epeios
4. Aitolos
3. Pelops      
5. (Polyxeinos)
6. Eleios *
4. Polyxeinos
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.




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