In Greek mythology, Erginus[pronunciation?] (Ancient Greek: Ἐργῖνος) was king of Minyan Orchomenus in Boeotia. He was the son of Clymenus, his predecessor, and Buzyge (or Budeia); his brothers were Arrhon, Azeus, Pyleus, and Stratius. Erginus avenged his father's death at the hands of the Thebans; he made war against Thebes, inflicting a heavy defeat. The Thebans were compelled to pay King Erginus a tribute of 100 oxen per year for twenty years. However, the tribute ended earlier than Erginus expected, when Heracles attacked the Minyan emissaries sent to exact the tribute. This prompted a second war between Orchomenus and Thebes, only this time Thebes (under the leadership of Heracles) was victorious, and a double tribute was imposed on the Orchomenians. Erginus was slain in battle according to the version of the story given by most ancient writers (e.g., the Bibliotheca, Strabo, Eustathius). But according to Pausanias, Erginus was spared by Heracles and lived to a ripe old age, and even fathered two sons (Trophonius and Agamedes) on a younger woman.
Some authors identify him with Erginus, an Argonaut who piloted the Argo after Tiphys's death. Elsewhere, however, the Argonaut Erginus is said to be the son of Poseidon, and to have resided in the Carian city of Miletus, thus a distinct figure. Yet others suggested he was a son of Periclymenus.
Erginus was also the name of:
- A defender of Thebes against the Seven, killed by Hippomedon.
- A descendant of Diomedes, who was instructed by Temenus to steal the Palladium from Argos and did so together with Leager, a friend of Temenus'.
- Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 1. 185
- Eustathius on Homer, 1076. 26
- Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9. 37. 1
- Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 4. 11
- Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 4. 10. 3–5
- Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9. 37. 2
- Strabo, Geography, 9. 2. 40
- Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9. 37. 4
- Pindar, Olympian Ode 4. 19
- Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 2. 895; Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica, 5. 65 & 8. 177
- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 1. 185; 2. 896
- Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica, 1. 415
- Argonautica Orphica, 150
- Scholia on Pindar, Pythian Ode 4. 61
- Hyginus, Fabulae, 14
- Statius, Thebaid, 9. 305
- Plutarch, Quaestiones Graecae, 48
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