LYCURGUS

ΛΥΚΟΥΡΓΟΣ

1. A son of Dryas, and king of the Edones in Thrace. He is famous for his persecution of Dionysus and his worship on the sacred mountain of Nyseion in Thrace. The god himself leaped into the sea, where he was kindly received by Thetis. Zeus thereupon blinded the impious king, who died soon after, for he was hated by the immortal gods. (Hom. Il. vi. 130, &c.) The punishment of Lycurgus was represented in a painting in a temple at Athens. (Paus. i. 20. § 20.) The above Homeric story about Lycurgus has been much varied by later poets and mythographers. Some say that Lycurgus expelled Dionysus from his kingdom, and denied his divine power; but being intoxicated with wine, he first attempted to do violence to his own mother, and to destroy all the vines of his country. Dionysus then visited him with madness, in which he killed his wife and son, and cut off one (some say both) of his legs; or, according to others, made away with himself. (Hygin. Fab. 132, 242; Serv. ad Aen. iii. 14.) According to Apollodorus (iii. 5. § 1), Dionysus, on his expeditions, came to the kingdom of Lycurgus, but was expelled; where-upon he punished the king with madness, so that he killed his son Dryas, in the belief that he was cutting down a vine. When this was done, Lycurgus recovered his mind; but his country produced no fruit, and the oracle declared that fertility should not be restored unless Lycurgus were killed. The Edonians therefore tied him, and led him to mount Pangaeum, where he was torn to pieces by horses. Diodorus (i. 20, iii. 65) gives a sort of rationalistic account of the whole transaction. According to Sophocles (Antig. 955, &c.), Lycurgus was entombed in a rock. (Comp. Ov. Trist. v. 3, 39.)

2. A son of Aleus and Neaera, and a brother of Cepheus and Auge, was king in Arcadia, and married to Cleophile, Eurynome, or Antinoe, by whom he became the father of Ancaeus, Epochus, Amphidamas, and Jasus. (Apollod. iii. 9. § 1, &c.; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 164.) Some also call Cepheus his son, and add another of the name of Jocrites. (Apollod. i. 8. § 2; Steph. Byz. s. v. Bôtachidai.) Lycurgus killed Areithous with his lance, meeting him in a narrow valley. He took the club with which his enemy had been armed, and used it himself; and on his death he bequeathed it to his slave Ereuthalion, his sons having died before him. (Horn. Il. vii. 142, &c.; Paus. viii. 4. § 7.) His tomb was afterwards shown at Lepreos. (Paus. v. 5. § 4.)

3. A son of Pronax and brother of Amphithea, the wife of Adrastus. He took part in the war of the Seven against Thebes, and engaged in a contest with Amphiaraus, which was represented on the throne of Apollo at Amyclae (Paus. iii. 18. § 7; Apollod. i. 9. § 3). He is also mentioned among those whom Asclepius called to life again after their death. (Apollod. iii. 10. § 3; Schol. ad Pind. Pyth. iii. 96, ad Eurip. Alcest. 1.)

4. A son of Pheres and Periclymene, a brother of Admetus, was king of the country about Nemea, and married to Eurydice or Amphithea, by whom he became the father of Opheltes (Apollod. i. 9. § 14, iii. 6. § 4). His tomb was believed to exist in the grove of the Nemean Zeus. (Paus. ii. 15. §3.)

5. One of the suitors of Hippodameia, was killed by Oenomaus. (Paus. vi. 21. § 7.)

6. A son of Eunomus, a mythical legislator of the Lacedaemonians. His son is called Eucosmus (Plut. Lyc. 1), and he is said to have lived shortly after the Trojan times. But his whole existence is a mere invention to account for the chronological inconsistencies in the life of the famous legislator Lycurgus, who himself scarcely belongs to history.