previous next

[13] Helenus founded a city in Molossia and inhabited it, and Neoptolemus gave him his mother Deidamia to wife.1 And when Peleus was expelled from Phthia by the sons of Acastus2 and died, Neoptolemus succeeded to his father's kingdom.


1 As to Deidamia, mother of Neoptolemus, see above, Apollod. 3.13.8. The marriage of Helenus to Deidamia appears not to be mentioned by any other ancient writer.

2 According to Eur. Tro. 1126-1130, while Neoptolemus was still at Troy, he heard that his grandfather Peleus had been expelled by Acastus; hence he departed for home in haste, taking Andromache with him. The Scholiast on this passage of Euripides (1128) says that Peleus was expelled by Acastus's two sons, Archander and Architeles, and that the exiled king, going to meet his grandson Neoptolemus, was driven by a storm to the island of Cos, where he was entertained by a certain Molon and died. As to an early connexion between Thessaly and Cos, see W. R. Paton and E. L. Hicks, The Inscriptions of Cos, pp. 344ff. A different and much more detailed account of the exile of Peleus is furnished by Dictys Cretensis vi.7-9. According to it, when Neoptolemus was refitting his shattered ships in Molossia, he heard that Peleus had been deposed and expelled by Acastus. Hastening to the aid of his aged grandfather, he found him hiding in a dark cave on the shore of one of the Sepiades Islands, where he eagerly scanned every passing sail in hopes that one of them would bring his grandson to his rescue. By disguising himself Neoptolemus contrived to attack and kill Acastus's two sons, Menalippus and Plisthenes, when they were out hunting. Afterwards, disguising himself as a Trojan captive, he lured Acastus himself to the cave and would have slain him there, if it had not been for the intercession of Thetis, who had opportunely arrived from the sea to visit her old husband Peleus. Happy at his escape, Acastus resigned the kingdom on the spot to Neoptolemus, and that hero at once took possession of the realm in company with his grandfather, his divine grandmother Thetis, and the companions of his voyage. This romantic narrative may be based on a lost Greek tragedy, perhaps on the Peleus of Sophocles, a play in which the dramatist appears to have dealt with the fortunes of Peleus in his old age. See The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. ii. pp. 140ff. The statement of Dictys Cretensis that Peleus took refuge in one of the Sepiades Islands suggests that in the Scholium on Eur. Tro. 1126-1130 the name Icos should be read instead of Cos, as has been argued by several scholars (A. C. Pearson, op. cit. ii.141); for Icos was a small island near EuboeaStephanus Byzantius, s.v. Ἰκός), and would be a much more natural place of refuge for Peleus than the far more distant island of Cos. Moreover, we have the positive affirmation of the poet Antipater of Sidon that Peleus was buried in Icos (Anth. Pal. vii.2.9ff.). The connexion of Peleus with the Sepiades Islands is further supported by Euripides; for in his play AndromacheEur. And. 1253-1269) he tells how Thetis bids her old husband Peleus tarry in a cave of these islands, till she should come with a band of Nereids to fetch him away, that he might dwell with her as a god for ever in the depths of the sea. In the same play (Eur. And. 22ff.) Euripides says that Neoptolemus refused to accept the sceptre of Pharsalia in the lifetime of his grandfather Peleus.

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)
Thessaly (Greece) (1)
Sidon (Lebanon) (1)
Phthia (1)
Euboea (Greece) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1128 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: