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Oedipus Phorbas Chaudet Louvre N15538

The child Oedipus brought back to life by the shepherd Phorbas, who took him off the tree

In Greek mythology, Phorbas (Greek: Φόρβας, gen. Φόρβαντος) or Phorbaceus may refer to:

  • Phorbas, a prince of the Thessalian Phlegyes who emigrated to Elis in the Peloponnesos. Phorbas was the son of Lapithes and Orsinome, and a brother of Periphas. He assisted Alector, king of Elis, in the war against Pelops, and shared the kingdom with him.[1] He married Hyrmine, sister of Alector, and gave his daughter Diogeneia in marriage to Alector. His sons with Hyrmine were Augeas (perhaps he of the Augean Stables) and Actor, the Argonauts.[2][3][4] Other less well-supported traditions have Phorbas as a bold boxer who attacked travelers on the road and was eventually defeated by Apollo.[5][6]
  • Phorbas, son of Triopas and Hiscilla (daughter of Myrmidon), a hero of the island of Rhodes, was sometimes confounded with the Phlegyan Phorbas.[7] When the people of the island of Rhodes fell victim to a plague of masses of serpents (may have been dragons or simply snakes), an oracle directed them to call on a man named Phorbas. Phorbas cleansed the island of the snakes and in gratitude the Rhodians venerated him as a hero. For his achievement he won a place among the stars as the constellation Serpentarius or Ophiuchus.[8] Phorbas, son of Triopas, was also said to have been the father of Pellen, eponym of the city of Pellene, Achaea.[9]
  • Phorbas, father of a different Triopas, the king of Argos, with Euboea. His own parents were either Argus and Evadne[10] or Criasus and Melantho; in the latter case, he was brother of Ereuthalion and Cleoboea and father of another son, Arestor.[11] According to Tatiānus, he may have been a king of Argos himself. According to Eusebius, he reigned for thirty five years as the king of Argos, and was succeeded by his son Megacles.[12]
  • Phorbas, a shepherd of King Laius, finds the infant Oedipus on the hillside and ensures his survival to fulfill his destiny.[13] A number of sculptures, ranging from the 14th to the 19th century, memorialize Phorbas' rescue of Oedipus. He might be the same as Phorbas, attendant of Antigone.[14]
  • Phorbas, listed as a king or archon of Athens.[15]
  • Phorbas of Lesbos, father of Diomede.[16][17]
  • Phorbas of Troy, who was favored and made rich by Hermes. He had a son Ilioneus, who was killed by Peneleos.[18][19]
  • Phorbas, son of Metion of Syene, who fought on Phineus' side against Perseus.[20]
  • Phorbas, one of the twelve younger Panes.[25]
  • Phorbas, son of Helios and father of Ambracia (eponym of the city of Ambracia). She could also have been daughter of Augeas, granddaughter of Phorbas of Thessaly.[26]
  • Phorbas, who is called father of Tiresias by the Cretans.[27]

The name Phorbas is not to be confused with Phorbus (Φόρβος), which refers to the father of Pronoe (wife of Aetolus)[30]


  1. Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 4. 69. 2
  2. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5. 1. 11
  3. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 5. 5
  4. Eustathius of Thessalonica on Homer, p. 303
  5. Scholia on Homer, Iliad, 23. 660
  6. Ovid, Metamorphoses, 9. 414 & 12. 322
  7. Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 5. 58. 5
  8. Hyginus, Poetical Astronomy, 2. 14
  9. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7. 26. 12
  10. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2. 16. 1
  11. Scholia on Euripides, Phoenician Women, 1116: on Orestes, 932
  12. Eusebius, Chronicle, 1. p. 187
  13. Seneca the Younger, Oedipus, 840 ff
  14. Statius, Thebaid, 7. 253
  15. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 6. 19. 13
  16. Homer, Iliad, 9. 665
  17. Dictys Cretensis, 2. 16
  18. Homer, Iliad, 14. 489 ff
  19. Virgil, Aeneid, 5. 842
  20. Ovid, Metamorphoses, 5. 74
  21. Suda s. v. Phorbanteion
  22. Eustathius of Thessalonica on Homer, p. 1156
  23. Scholia on Homer, Iliad, 18. 483 ff
  24. Scholia on Euripides, Phoenician Women, 854
  25. Nonnus, Dionysiaca, 14. 94 ff
  26. Stephanus of Byzantium, s. vv. Ambrakia, Dexamenai
  27. Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History, 1
  28. Hesychius of Alexandria s. v. Phorbas
  29. Plutarch, Romulus, 2. 2
  30. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 7. 7

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

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