In Greek mythology, Arcesius (or Arkêsios; also spelled Arceisius or Arkeisios) was the son of either Zeus or Cephalus, and king in Ithaca.

According to scholia on the Odyssey, Arcesius' parents were Zeus and Euryodeia;[1] Ovid also writes of Arcesius as a son of Zeus.[2] Other sources make him a son of Cephalus. Aristotle in his lost work The State of the Ithacians cited a myth according to which Cephalus was instructed by an oracle to mate with the first female being he should encounter if he wanted to have offspring; Cephalus mated with a she-bear, who then transformed into a human woman and bore him a son, Arcesius.[3] Hyginus makes Arcesius a son of Cephalus and Procris,[4] while Eustathius mentions a version according to which Arcesius was a grandson of Cephalus through Cillus or Celeus.[5]

Zeus made Arcesius' line one of "only sons": his only son was Laertes, whose only son was Odysseus, whose only son was Telemachus.[6] Arcesius's wife (and thus mother of Laertes) was Chalcomedusa,[7] whose origins are not mentioned further, but whose very name, chalcos ("copper") and medousa ("guardian" or "protectress"), identifies her as the protector of Bronze Age metal-working technology.

Of another Arcesius, an architect, Vitruvius (vii, introduction) notes: "Arcesius, on the Corinthian order proportions, and on the Ionic order temple of Aesculapius at Tralles, which it is said that he built with his own hands."


  1. Scholia and Eustathius of Thessalonica on Odyssey 16. 118
  2. Ovid, Metamorphoses, 13. 144
  3. Aristotle in Etymologicum Magnum 130. 21, under Arkeisios.
  4. Hyginus, Fabulae, 189
  5. Eustathius on Iliad, 2. 631
  6. Homer, The Odyssey, 14. 182; 16. 118; cf. also Bibliotheca 1. 9. 16; Hyginus, Fabulae, 173
  7. Scholia on Odyssey 16. 118


  • Homer. The Odyssey, Book XVI, in The Iliad & The Odyssey. Trans. Samuel Butler. p. 625. ISBN 978-1-4351-1043-4.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Arcesius. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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