In Greek mythology, Aphareus (Ancient Greek: Ἀφαρεύς), son of Gorgophone and Perieres, was the husband of Arene, daughter of Oebalus, and father of Lynceus, Idas and Peisus, though some report that Idas' actual father was Poseidon. Some call his wife Polydora or Laocoosa. The patronymic Apharetidae, derived from the name of Aphareus, is sometimes used to refer to Idas and Lynceus collectively.
Aphareus was credited with founding the city Arene in Messenia, which was named after his wife. He received Neleus, who had been driven out of Iolcus by Pelias, and assigned to him a tract of land in the maritime part of Messenia, where the main city was Pylos; in the same fashion he welcomed the exiled Lycus, son of Pandion, who revealed the rites of Demeter to Aphareus and his family.
The name Aphareus may also refer to two minor mythological figures:
- A Centaur that attended the wedding of Pirithous and Hippodamia. In the battle initiated by the Centaurs, he tried to throw a rock at his opponents but was killed by Theseus.
- A Greek warrior in the Trojan War, son of Caletor. Was killed by Aeneas.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 9. 5 & 3. 10. 3
- Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 1. 152, with a reference to Peisander for Polydora and to Theocritus for Laocoosa, see Theocritus, Idyll 22. 206
- Pausanias, Description of Greece, 4. 2. 4 - 6
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, 341 - 344
- Homer, Iliad, 9. 83 & 13. 541
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