PELASGUS

ΠΕΛΑΣΓΟΣ

The mythical ancestor of the Pelasgians, the earliest inhabitants of Greece who established the worship of the Dodonaean Zeus, Hephaestus, the Cabeiri, and other divinities that belong to the earliest inhabitants of the country. In the different parts of the country once occupied by Pelasgians, there existed different traditions as to the origin and connection of Pelasgus.

1. According to the Arcadian tradition, he was either an Autochthon (Paus. ii. 14. § 3, viii. 1. § 2; Hes. ap. Apollod. ii. 1. § 1), or a son of Zeus by Niobe; and the Oceanide Meliboea, the nymph Cyllene, or Deianeira, became by him the mother of Lycaon. (Apollod. l. c.,iii. 8. § 1; Hygin. Fab. 225; Dionys. Hal. i. 11, 13.) According to others, again, Pelasgus was a son of Arestor, and grandson of Iasus, and immigrated into Arcadia, where he founded the town of Parrhasia. (Schol. ad Eurip. Orest. 1642; Steph. Byz. s. v. Perrasia.)

2. In Argos, Pelasgus was believed to have been a son of Triopas and Sois, and a brother of Iasus, Agenor, and Xanthus, or a son of Phoroneus, and to have founded the city of Argos in Peloponnesus, to have taught the people agriculture, and to have received Demeter, on her wanderings, at Argos, where his tomb was shown in later times. (Paus. i. 14. § 2, ii. 22. § 2; Schol. ad Eurip. Orest. 920; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 385.)

3. In Thessaly, Pelasgus was described as the father of Chlorus, and as the grandfather of Haemon, or as the father of Haemon, and as the grandfather of Thessalus (Steph. Byz. s. v. Haimonia; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. iii. 1089; Dionys. Hal. i. 17), or again as a son of Poseidon and Larissa, and as the founder of the Thessalian Argos. (Dionys. l. c.; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 321; comp. Clinton, Fast. Hell. vol. i. p. 9, &c.)