AEPYTUS

ΑΙΠΥΤΟΣ

1. One of the mythical kings of Arcadia. He was the son of Elatus (Pind. Ol. vi. 54), and originally ruled over Phaesana on the Alpheius in Arcadia. When Cleitor, the son of Azan, died without leaving any issue, Aepytus succeeded him and became king of the Arcadians, a part of whose country was called after him Aepytis. (Paus. viii. 4. § 4, 34. § 3.) He is said to have been killed during the chase on mount Sepia by the bite of a venomous snake. (Paus. viii. 4. § 4, 16. § 2.) His tomb there was still shown in the time of Pausanias, and he was anxious to see it, because it was mentioned in Homer. (Il. ii. 604.)

2. The youngest son of Cresphontes the Heraclid, king of Messenia, and of Merope, the daughter of the Arcadian king Cypselus. Cresphontes and his other sons were murdered during an insurrection, and Aepytus alone, who was educated in the house of his grandfather Cypselus, escaped the danger. The throne of Cresphontes was in the meantime occupied by the Heraclid Polyphontes, who also forced Merope to become his wife. (Apollod. ii. 8. § 5.) When Aepytus had grown to manhood, he was enabled by the aid of Holcas, his father-in-law, to return to his kingdom, punish the murderers of his father, and put Polyphontes to death. He left a son, Glaucus, and it was from him that subsequently the kings of Messenia were called Aepytids instead of the more general name Heraclids. (Paus. iv. 3. § 3, &c., viii. 5. § 5; Hygin. Fab. 137, 184.)

3. A son of Hippothous, and king of Arcadia. He was a great-grandson of the Aepytus mentioned first. He was reigning at the time when Orestes, in consequence of an oracle, left Mycenae and settled in Arcadia. There was at Mantineia a sanctuary, which down to the latest time no mortal was ever allowed to enter. Aepytus disregarding the sacred custom crossed the threshold, but was immediately struck with blindness, and died soon after. He was succeeded by his son Cypselus. (Paus. viii. 5. § 3.)