Pelias, Peliades

father brother

PELIAS, PELIADES. Pelias, a celebrated character in Greek fable, was the son of Poseidon and Tyro, daughter of Sahuoneus. Because Tyro afterwards married her father's brother Cretheus, king of Iolcus in Thessaly, to whom she bore 2Eson, Pheres, and Amythaon, Pelias was by sonic thought to be the son of Cretheus. He and his twin-brother Neleus were exposed by their mother, but were found and nurtured by a herdsman, who called one of them Pelias, because his face was discoloured by a blow from the hoof of a mare, and the other Neleus, because a bitch had out of pity suckled him. When grown to manhood they discovered their mother, and Pelias slew Sidero, Tyro's stepmother, on the altar of Hera, whither she had fled, because she had ill-used their mother. On the death of Cretheus Pelias made himself master of the kingdom of Iolcus. (According to others, after the death of his half-brother iEsou, he ruled as regent for illson's son Jason.) He had previously quarrelled with his brother Neleus, who went to Messenia, where he founded Pylus. Pelias married Anaxibcea, daughter of Bias, or, according to others, Philomache, (laughter of Amphion, and became the father of a son, Acastus, and of daughters, Pisidice, Pelopea, Hippothoe, and Alcestis ; to these daughters (called Peliades after their father) others add Amphinome, Evadne, Asteropa, and Antinoe. In order to rid himself of Jason Pelias sent him to Colchis in quest of the golden fleece, and he availed himself of the absence of the son in order to put to death his father .zEson together with his mother and brother. When Jason returned with the golden fleece he cast about how he should avenge the death of his parents. In this he was helped by Medea, who persuaded the Peliades to cut in pieces and boil their father Pelias, assuring them that he would thus be restored to youth. Acastus drove out Medea and celebrated far-famed funeral games in honour of his father. The Peliades fled to Mantinea in Arcadia, where their graves were shown in the time of Pausanias.

The tragic death of Pelias was the subject of Sophocles's drama Rhizotoinoi (Root-cutters), and in the Tyro he treated another portion of the legend. Peliades was the name of Euripides's first play.

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