AIDONEUS

ΑΙΔΩΝΕΥΣ

1. A lengthened form of Aïdês. (Hom. Il. v. 190, xx. 61.) [See HADES.]

2. A mythical king of the Molossians, in Epeirus, who is represented as the husband of Persephone, and father of Core. After Theseus, with the assistance of Peirithous, had carried off Helen, and concealed her at Aphidnae [see ACADEMUS], he went with Peirithous to Epeirus to procure for him as a reward Core, the daughter of Aïdoneus. This king thinking the two strangers were well-meaning suitors, offered the hand of his daughter to Peirithous, on condition that he should fight and conquer his dog, which bore the name of Cerberus. But when Aidoneus discovered that they had come with the intention of carrying off his daughter, he had Peirithous killed by Cerberus, and kept Theseus in captivity, who was afterwards released at the request of Heracles. (Plut. Thes. 31, 35.) Eusebius (Chron. p. 27) calls the wife of Aidoneus, a daughter of queen Demeter, with whom he had eloped. It is clear that the story about Aïdoneus is nothing but the sacred legend of the rape of Persephone, dressed up in the form of a history, and is undoubtedly the work of a late interpreter, or rather destroyer of genuine ancient myths.