Monday 23 March 2015


     In Greek mythology, Autolycus was described as the son of Hermes and Chione3.  According to one version, Autolycus' real father was Daedalion. Autolycus was the prince of thieves and in one version, Autolycus taught wrestling to Hercules. Autolycus obtained most of the same skills that his father Hermes possesses, such as the art of theft, trickery, and skill with the lyre and gracious song. 

                                             Autolycus was husband to Mestra (daughter of Erysichthon), or to Neaera, or to Amphithea.  Autolycus became the father of Anticleia, the mother of Odysseus and Aesimus. Polymede, the mother of Jason, was, according to one version, was the  daughter of  Autolycus.

                                      Autolycus had his residence on mount Parnassus, and was renowned among men for his cunning and oaths. Once when he came to Ithaca as a guest, the nurse placed his newly-born grandson Odysseus on his knees, and he gave the child the name Odysseus. Afterwards, when Odysseus was staying with him, he was wounded by a boar during the chase on Parnassus, and it was by the scar of this wound that Odysseus was subsequently recognized by his aged nurse, when he returned from Troy.
                     According to some versions, Autolycus would steal anything he could get his hands on. But Autolycus always escaped detection because he could change the form or color of anything he stole. Autolycus repeatedly stole cattle from Sisyphus’s herd. Sisyphus noticed that cattle were missing and that the herd of Autolycus seemed to be expanding in number, but could not prove any theft.
                                                 In an attempt to catch Autolycus in the act, Sisyphus secretly marked the inside of the hooves of his cattle.  The later discovery of his mark on cows in Autolycus’s herd proved that his neighbor was a thief. In some versions, Sisyphus was not satisfied merely with proving Autolycus a thief and recovering his cattle. Seeking revenge, he seduced Anticleia, the daughter of Autolycus and later the mother of Odysseus. So in some versions Sisyphus was described as the father of Odysseus, not of Laertes, whom Anticleia afterward married.

    In Greek mythology, Autolycus was described as a Thessalian, son of Deimachus, who together with his brothers Deïleon and Phlogius joined Hercules in his expedition against the Amazons.

 But after having gone astray the two brothers dwelt at Sinope, until they joined the expedition of the Argonauts.  He was subsequently regarded as the founder of Sinope, where he was worshipped as a god and had an oracle. 


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