Acastus

Acastus

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Acastus is a character in Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

. He sailed with Jason
Jason
Jason was a late ancient Greek mythological hero from the late 10th Century BC, famous as the leader of the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece. He was the son of Aeson, the rightful king of Iolcus...

 and the Argonauts
Argonauts
The Argonauts ) were a band of heroes in Greek mythology who, in the years before the Trojan War, accompanied Jason to Colchis in his quest to find the Golden Fleece. Their name comes from their ship, the Argo, which was named after its builder, Argus. "Argonauts", therefore, literally means...

, and participated in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar
Calydonian Boar
The Calydonian Boar is one of the monsters of Greek mythology that had to be overcome by heroes of the Olympian age. Sent by Artemis to ravage the region of Calydon in Aetolia because its king failed to honor her in his rites to the gods, it was killed in the Calydonian Hunt, in which many male...

.

Biography


Acastus was the son of Pelias
Pelias
Pelias was king of Iolcus in Greek mythology, the son of Tyro and Poseidon. His wife is recorded as either Anaxibia, daughter of Bias, or Phylomache, daughter of Amphion. He was the father of Acastus, Pisidice, Alcestis, Pelopia, Hippothoe, Asteropia, and Antinoe.Tyro was married to Cretheus...

, then king of Iolcus
Iolcos
Iolcos is an ancient city, a modern village and a former municipality in Magnesia, Thessaly, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Volos, of which it is a municipal unit. It is located in central Magnesia, north of the Pagasitic Gulf. Its land area is only...

, and Anaxibia
Anaxibia
Anaxibia is the name of five characters in Greek mythology.*Anaxibia, the daughter of Bias and Iphianassa, and niece of Melampus. She married Pelias, to whom she bore Acastus, Pisidice, Pelopia, Hippothoe, Alcestis, and Medusa...

 (Philomache in some traditions).

After the return of the Argonauts, Acastus' sisters were seduced by Medea
Medea
Medea is a woman in Greek mythology. She was the daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis, niece of Circe, granddaughter of the sun god Helios, and later wife to the hero Jason, with whom she had two children, Mermeros and Pheres. In Euripides's play Medea, Jason leaves Medea when Creon, king of...

 to cut their father Pelias in pieces and boil them. Acastus, when he heard this, buried his father, and drove Jason and Medea from Iolcus (and, according to Pausanias
Pausanias (geographer)
Pausanias was a Greek traveler and geographer of the 2nd century AD, who lived in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. He is famous for his Description of Greece , a lengthy work that describes ancient Greece from firsthand observations, and is a crucial link between classical...

, his sisters also), and instituted funeral games in honor of his father. He thereafter became king of Iolcus.

Acastus purified Peleus
Peleus
In Greek mythology, Pēleus was a hero whose myth was already known to the hearers of Homer in the late 8th century BCE. Peleus was the son of Aeacus, king of the island of Aegina, and Endeïs, the oread of Mount Pelion in Thessaly; he was the father of Achilles...

 of the murder of King Eurytion
Eurytion
In Greek mythology Eurytion , "widely-honoured", was a name attributed to six individuals....

 of Phthia
Phthia
Phthia , Phthíē ) in ancient Greece was the southernmost region of ancient Thessaly, on both sides of Othrys Mountain. It was the homeland of the Myrmidones tribe, who took part in the Trojan War under Achilles....

. Acastus' wife (variously named in mythology; often Astydamia
Astydameia
In Greek mythology, Astydameia is a name attributed to five individuals.-Queen of Iolcus:Astydameia, daughter of Cretheus , was the Queen of Iolcus and wife of Acastus. Her husband purified Peleus of the murder of King Eurytion of Phthia. Astydameia fell in love with Peleus but he scorned her...

, but sometimes Hippolyte, daughter of Cretheus
Cretheus
In Greek mythology, Cretheus or Krētheus was the king and founder of Iolcus, the son of Aeolus and Enarete. His wives were Tyro and either Demodice or Biadice. With Tyro, he fathered Aeson, Pheres, and Amythaon...

) fell in love with Peleus but he scorned her. Bitter, she sent a messenger to Antigone
Antigone (daughter of Eurytion)
In Greek mythology, Antigone was the daughter of Eurytion and wife of Peleus.Peleus and Telamon, his brother, killed their half-brother Phocus and fled Aegina to escape punishment. In Phthia, Peleus was purified by Eurytion and married Antigone, Eurytion's daughter...

, Peleus' wife and daughter of Eurytion, to tell her that Peleus was to marry Acastus' daughter, Steropes.

Astydamia then told Acastus that Peleus had tried to rape her. Acastus took Peleus on a hunting trip and hid his sword while he slept, then abandoned him on Mt. Pelion
Pelion
Pelion or Pelium is a mountain at the southeastern part of Thessaly in central Greece, forming a hook-like peninsula between the Pagasetic Gulf and the Aegean Sea...

 to be killed by centaur
Centaur
In Greek mythology, a centaur or hippocentaur is a member of a composite race of creatures, part human and part horse...

s. The wise centaur Chiron
Chiron
In Greek mythology, Chiron was held to be the superlative centaur among his brethren.-History:Like the satyrs, centaurs were notorious for being wild and lusty, overly indulgent drinkers and carousers, given to violence when intoxicated, and generally uncultured delinquents...

 (or the god Hermes
Hermes
Hermes is the great messenger of the gods in Greek mythology and a guide to the Underworld. Hermes was born on Mount Kyllini in Arcadia. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of the cunning of thieves, of orators and...

) returned Peleus' sword and Peleus managed to escape. With Jason
Jason
Jason was a late ancient Greek mythological hero from the late 10th Century BC, famous as the leader of the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece. He was the son of Aeson, the rightful king of Iolcus...

 and the Dioscuri, Peleus sacked Iolcus, dismembered Astydamia
Astydameia
In Greek mythology, Astydameia is a name attributed to five individuals.-Queen of Iolcus:Astydameia, daughter of Cretheus , was the Queen of Iolcus and wife of Acastus. Her husband purified Peleus of the murder of King Eurytion of Phthia. Astydameia fell in love with Peleus but he scorned her...

 (and, in some accounts, Acastus himself), and marched his army between the pieces. Their kingdom later fell to Jason's son Thessalus
Thessalus
In Greek mythology, the name Thessalus is attributed to three individuals, all of whom were considered possible eponyms of Thessaly.*Thessalus, son of Jason and Medea and the twin of Alcimenes. He escaped being murdered by his mother and, after the death of Acastus, became king of...

.

Descendants


Acastus and Astydameia had two daughters: Sterope (Στερόπη) and Laodamia
Laodamia
In Greek mythology, the name Laodamia referred to:* Laodamia or Deidamia, daughter of Bellerophon and Philonoe, sister of Hippolochus and Isander and the mother of Sarpedon by Zeus. She was shot by Artemis one day when she was weaving...

, and a number of sons. Another daughter, Sthenele (Σθενέλη), was given by Apollodorus of Athens as the wife of Menoetius
Menoetius
In Greek mythology, Menoetius referred to several different people:#A son of Iapetus and Clymene or Asia, and a brother of Atlas, Prometheus and Epimetheus, was killed by Zeus with a flash of lightning, in the fight of the Titans, and banished to Tartarus.#One of Hades' shepherds on Erythea...

 and mother of Patroclus
Patroclus
In Greek mythology, as recorded in the Iliad by Homer, Patroclus, or Patroklos , was the son of Menoetius, grandson of Actor, King of Opus, and was Achilles' beloved comrade and brother-in-arms....

. Tzetzes (in his Prolegomena in Hesiodum) calls Arxippus a son of his.