Also called Icarus and Icarion.
1. An Athenian, who lived in the reign of Pandion, and hospitably received Dionysus on his arrival in Attica. The god showed him his gratitude by teaching him the cultivation of the vine, and giving him bags filled with wine. Icarius now rode about in a chariot, and distributed the precious gifts of the god; but some shepherds whom their friends intoxicated with wine, and who thought that they were poisoned by Icarius, slew him, and threw his body into the well Anygrus, or buried it under a tree. His daughter Erigone (for he was married to Phanothea, the inventor of the hexameter, Clem. Alex. Strom. i. p. 366), or as some call her Aletis, after a long search, found his grave, to which she was conducted by his faithful dog Maera. From grief she hung herself on the tree under which he was buried. Zeus or Dionysus placed her, together with Icarius and his cup, among the stars, making Erigone the Virgin, Icarius Boötes or Arcturus, and Maera the dog-star. The god then punished the ungrateful Athenians with a plague or a mania, in which all the Athenian maidens hung themselves as Erigone had done. (Comp.Gellius, xv. 10.) The oracle, when consulted, answered, that Athens should be delivered from the calamity as soon as Erigone should be propitiated, and her and her father's body should be found. The bodies were not discovered, but a festival called aiôra or alêtides, was instituted in honour of Erigone, and fruits were offered up as a sacrifice to her and her father. The askoliasmos, or dancing on a leather bag filled with air and smeared with oil, at the festivals of Dionysus, was likewise traced to Icarius, who was said to have killed a ram for having injured the vines, to have made a bag of his skin, and then performed a dance. (Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 4.) Another tradition states that the murderers of Icarius fled to the island of Cos, which was therefore visited by a drought, during which the fields were burned, and epidemics prevailed. Aristaeus prayed to his father, Apollo, for help, and Apollo advised him to propitiate Icarius with many sacrifices, and to beg Zeus to send the winds called Etesiae, which Zeus, in consequence, made blow at the rising of the dog-star for forty days. One of the Attic demi derived its name from Icarius. (Apollod. iii. 14. § 7; Paus. i. 2. § 4; Hygin. Fab. 130, Poet. Astr. ii. 4, 25; Serv. ad Virg. Georg. i. 67, 218, ii. 389; Eustath. ad Hom. pp. 389, 1535; Tibull. iv. 1, 9; Propert. ii. 33, 29 ; Ov. Met. vi. 126, x. 451; Pollux, iv. 55; Steph. Byz. s. v. Ikaria; Hesych. s. v. Aiôra, Alêtis ; Welcker, Nachtrag z. Aeschyl. Tril. p. 222, &c.)
2. A Lacedaemonian, a son of Perieres and Gorgophone, a grandson of Aeolus or Cynortas, and a brother of Aphareus, Leucippus, and Tyndareus. (Apollod. i. 9. § 5, iii. 10. § 3; Tzetz ad Lycoph. 511.) Others called him a grandson of Perieres, and a son of Oebalus by Bateia (Apollod. iii. 10. § 4; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 293), or a son of Oebalus and Gorgophone, and a grandson of Cynortas. (Paus. iii. 1. § 4.) Hippocoon, a natural son of Oebalus, expelled his two brothers, Tyndareus and Icarius, from Lacedaemon: they fled to Thestius at Pleuron, and dwelt beyond the river Achelous. Subsequently, when Heracles had slain Hippocoon and his sons, Tyndareus returned to Sparta, while Icarius remained in Acarnania. According to Apollodorus (iii. 10. § 5), however, Icarius also returned. Another tradition relates that Icarius, who sided with Hippocoon, assisted him ia expelling Tyndareus from Sparta. (Paus. iii. 1. § 4; Eustath. l. c.; Schol. ad Eurip. Orest. 447.) While in Acarnania, Icarius became the father of Penelope, Alyzeus, and Leucadius, by Polycaste, the daughter of Lygaeus : according to others he was married to Dorodoche, or Asterodeia. (Strab. x. pp. 452, 461; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1417 ; Schol. ad Hom. Od. xv. 16) Others again relate that by the Naiad Periboea he became the father of Thoas, Damasippus, Imeusimus, Aletes (or Semus and Auletes), Perilaus, and Penelope. (Apollod. iii. 10. § 6; Paus. viii. 31. § 2; Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 511; Schol. ad Hom. Od. xv. 16 ; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1773.) In the Odyssey (iv. 797, i. 329) Iphthime also is mentioned as one of his daughters. When his daughter Penelope had grown up, he promised her hand to the victor in a foot-race, in which he desired the suitors to contend, and Odysseus won the prize (Paus. iii. 12. § 2); but according to others, Tyndareus sued for the hand of Penelope for Odysseus, from gratitude for a piece of advice which Odysseus had given him. (Apollod. iii. 10. § 9.) When Penelope was betrothed to Odysseus, Icarius tried to persuade the latter to remain at Sparta, but Odysseus declined doing this, and departed with Penelope. Icarius followed his daughter, entreating her to remain ; and as Odysseus demanded of her to give a decided answer as to what she meant to do, she was silent, but at length she modestly covered her face, and declared that she would follow her husband. Icarius then desisted from further entreaties, and erected a statue of Modesty on the spot. (Paus. iii. 20. § 10.)