previous next


Demophon with a few ships put in to the land of the Thracian Bisaltians,1 and there Phyllis, the king's daughter, falling in love with him, was given him in marriage by her father with the kingdom for her dower. But he wished to depart to his own country, and after many entreaties and swearing to return, he did depart. And Phyllis accompanied him as far as what are called the Nine Roads, and she gave him a casket, telling him that it contained a sacrament of Mother Rhea, and that he was not to open it until he should have abandoned all hope of returning to her.

1 Demophon and his brother Acamas, the sons of Theseus, had gone to Troy to rescue their grandmother Aethra from captivity. See above, Apollod. E.5.22. The following story of the loves and sad fate of Demophon and Phyllis is told in almost the same words by Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 495, except that for the name of Demophon he substitutes the name of his brother Acamas. Lucian also couples the names of Acamas and Phyllis (Lucian, De saltatione 40). A pretty story is told of the sad lovers by Servius. He says that Phyllis, despairing of the return of Demophon, hanged herself and was turned into a leafless almond tree; but that when Demophon came and embraced the trunk of the tree, it responded to his endearments by bursting into leaf; hence leaves, which had been called πέταλα before, were ever after called φύλλα in Greek. See Serv. Verg. Ecl. 5.10. Compare Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 51, 146ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 159; Second Vatican Mythographer 214). The story is told in a less romantic form by Hyginus, Fab. 59, compare 243. He says that when Phyllis died for love, trees grew on her grave and mourned her death at the season when their leaves withered and fell.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Sir James George Frazer)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Troy (Turkey) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (1 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: