Actor (mythology)

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Actor (Greek: Ἄκτωρ; gen.: Ἄκτoρος) is a very common name in Greek mythology. Here is a selection of characters that share this name (which means 'leader', from the verb άγω: to lead or carry, to convey, bring):

  1. Actor, a king of Phthia, was said to be the son of King Myrmidon and Peisidice, daughter of Aeolus.[1] Some say that Actor died childless, but others say that he is the father of Eurytion, his successor.
  2. Actor, son of King Deioneus of Phocis and Diomede, daughter of Xuthus, thus a brother of Asterodeia, Aenetus, Phylacus, and Cephalus.[2] This Actor married Aegina, daughter of the river god Asopus, and had several children, among them Menoetius. Menoetius was counted among the Argonauts, and was the father of Patroclus (Achilles' was the best friend or cousin).[3][4][5][6]
  3. Actor, son of Zeus, descendant of Phrixus, was ruler of the Minyans of Orchomenus. He was father of Astyoche, who was seduced by the war-god Ares and bore him twin sons, named Ascalaphus and Ialmenus. These last two led the Minyan contingent to the Trojan War.[7][8]
  4. Actor, son of Phorbas and Hyrmine, thus a brother of Augeas. He was king of Elis, and founded the city of Hyrmina, which he named after his mother. This Actor married Molione and became by her father of the twins known as the Molionides, Eurytus and Cteatus.[6][9][10]
  5. Actor, son of Hippasus, one of the Argonauts.[11][12]
  6. Actor, son of Oenops, brother of Hyperbius. He was among the defenders of the Borraean Gate at Thebes when the Seven Against Thebes attacked the city, and confronted Parthenopaeus at the gate.[13]
  7. Actor, father of Sthenelus. Sthenelus followed Heracles in his campaign against the Amazons and was killed by them.[14]
  8. Actor, one of the companions of the exiled Aeneas.[15] He is probably the same who in another passage is called an Auruncan, and of whose conquered lance Turnus made a boast.[16] This story seems to have given rise to the proverbial saying "Actoris spolium" ("the spoil of Actor"), for any poor spoil in general.[6][17]
  9. Actor, father of Echecles. His son married Polymele, mother of Eudorus by Hermes.[18]
  10. Actor, a warrior in the army of the Seven Against Thebes. He saw a chasm open in the earth that swallowed Amphiaraus.[19]
  11. Actor, a Lapith. He was killed by the Centaur Clanis.[20]
  12. Actor, son of Acastus, was accidentally killed by Peleus while hunting. As a retribution, Peleus sent to Acastus some cows and sheep that had been killed by a wolf sent by Thetis.[21]
  13. Actor and Eurythemis were in one source called parents of Ancaeus (who other sources call the son of Lycurgus) and grandparents of Agapenor.[22]
  14. Actor, a shepherd in Lemnos who befriended Philoctetes in Euripides' play Philoctetes.[23]


  1. ^ Bibliotheca 1. 7. 3
  2. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 9. 4
  3. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 9. § 4, 16, 3. 10. § 8.
  4. ^ Pindar, Olympian Odes 9. 75
  5. ^ Homer, Iliad 11. 785, 16. 14
  6. ^ a b c Schmitz, Leonhard (1867), "Actor (1), (2), (3)", in Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, Boston, MA, p. 17 
  7. ^ Homer, Iliad, 2. 513
  8. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9. 37. 7
  9. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 7. § 2.
  10. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5. 1. § 10, 8. 14. § 6.
  11. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 9. 16
  12. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 14
  13. ^ Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, 538
  14. ^ Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 2. 911 ff with scholia
  15. ^ Virgil, Aeneid 9. 500.
  16. ^ Virgil, Aeneid 12. 94.
  17. ^ Juvenalis 2. 100.
  18. ^ Homer, Iliad, 16. 189
  19. ^ Statius, Thebaid, 8. 135
  20. ^ Gaius Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica, 1. 146
  21. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 901
  22. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 488
  23. ^ Collard, C.; Cropp, M. J., eds. (2008). Euripides Fragments: Oedipus–Chrysippus; Other Fragments. Harvard University Press. pp. 370–371. ISBN 9780674996311.