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Erichthonius of Dardania

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The mythical King Erichthonius of Dardania was the son of Dardanus or Darda, King of Dardania, and Batea, (although some legends say his mother was Olizone, descendant of Phineus). He is said to have enjoyed a peaceful and prosperous reign.

Fundamentally, all that is known of this Erichthonius comes from Homer, who says [1]:

"In the beginning Dardanos was the son of Zeus, and founded Dardania, for Ilion was not yet established on the plain for men to dwell in, and her people still abode on the spurs of many-fountained Ida. Dardanos had a son, king Erichthonios, who was wealthiest of all men living; he had three thousand mares that fed by the water-meadows, they and their foals with them. Boreas was enamored of them as they were feeding, and covered them in the semblance of a dark-maned stallion. Twelve filly foals did they conceive and bear him, and these, as they sped over the fertile plain, would go bounding on over the ripe ears of wheat and not break them; or again when they would disport themselves on the broad back of Ocean they could gallop on the crest of a breaker. Erichthonios begat Tros, king of the Trojans,and Tros had three noble sons, Ilos, Assarakos, and Ganymede who was comeliest of mortal men; wherefore the gods carried him off to be Zeus' cupbearer, for his beauty's sake, that he might dwell among the immortals."

John Tzetzes and one of the scholia to Lycophron call his wife Astyoche, daughter of Simoeis. The Bibliotheca also adds Erichthonius' older brother Ilus, who died young and childless; presumably a doublet of the other Ilus, grandson of Erichthonius, eponym of Troy.

Strabo (13.1.48) records, but discounts, the claim by "some more recent writers" that Teucer came from the deme of Xypeteones in Attica, supposedly called Troes (meaning Trojans) in mythical times. These writers mentioned that Erichthonius appears as founder both in Attica and the Troad, and may be identifying the two.

Erichthonius reigned for forty six or, according to others, sixty five years and was succeeded by his son Tros.


  1. Samuel Butler's translation of Iliad 20.215-234


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Erichthonius of Dardania. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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