Apis (Ancient Greek: Ἄπις) is the name of a figure, or several figures, appearing in the earliest antiquity according to Greek mythology and historiography. It is uncertain exactly how many figures of the name Apis are to be distinguished, particularly due to variation of their genealogies. A common element is that Apis was an early king in Peloponesus and had a territory named after himself. Apis was often, but not always, ascribed an Egyptian origin. For the sake of convenience, the variant myths are presented here as if they deal with seperate characters.
King of Argos
Apis was a king of Argos. He was a son of Phoroneus by the nymph Teledice, and brother of Niobe. During his reign he established a tyrannical government and called the Peloponnesus after his own name Apia: but he was killed in a conspiracy headed by Thelxion, king of Sparta, and Telchis. Argus Panoptes, the descendant of his sister Niobe, avenged his murder by putting Thelxion and Telchis to death. In another tradition, Apis is said to have given up his kingdom to his brother Argus and to have gone to Egypt where he reigned for a number of years. This statement shows that Egyptian myths were mixed up with the story of Apis, see Apis (god).
King of Sicyon
Apis the Healer
According to Aeschylus, Apis was a healer, a son of Apollo. He came from Naupactus and freed the Apian land from the plagues (throngs of snakes), which Earth, defiled by the pollution of bloody deeds of old, had caused to spring up. This Apian land stretches out from Paeonia as far as the region of Dodona. When relating this, Pelasgus, the son of Palaechthon, refers to the country over which he is holding sway, as Argos, and states that Apis "worked the cure by sorcery and spells to the content of the Argive land", this way suggesting the equalness of Apia and Argos.
Apis, son of Jason
This Apis participated in the funeral games of Azan and was accidentally killed by Aetolus, who ran him over with the chariot. For the murder, Aetolus was sent into exile by the chidren of Apis. Apollodorus relates the same of Apis, son of Phoroneus, apparently confounding the two mythological namesakes.
- ↑ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 1. 1
- ↑ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 1. 2
- ↑ Eusebius, Chronicle, n. 271
- ↑ Augustine, De Civitate Dei, 18. 5
- ↑ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2. 5. 6 - 7
- ↑ Aeschylus, The Suppliants 249-70
- ↑ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5. 1. 7
- ↑ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 7. 6
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by William Smith (1870).
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