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The Bebryces (Greek: Βέβρυκες) were a tribe of people who lived in Bithynia. According to Strabo they were one of the many Thracian tribes that had crossed from Europe into Asia,[1] although modern scholars have rather argued for a Celtic origin.[2][3]


The name Bebryces could be related to the Celtic tribes Bebruces, living in the Pyrenees, and Briboci, dwelling in Britain,[4] all ultimately stemming from Proto-Celtic *brebu ('beaver'; see Gaulish bebros, bebrus, Old Irish Bibar, 'beaver').[2][5] Ivan Duridanov also suggested that the ethnonym was related to Indo-European words meaning "beaver".[6]


According to legend they were defeated by Heracles or the Dioscuri,[7] who killed their king, Mygdon or Amycus.[7] Their land was then given to King Lycus of the Mariandynians, who built the city Heraclea there. Some say Amycus was a brother of Mygdon and another Bebrycian king; both were sons of Poseidon and Melia. Greek mythology offers two different accounts for the origin of the name 'Bebryces': either from a woman named Bebryce (Eustath. ad Dionysius Periegetes 805.), or from a hero named Bebryx (or Bebrycus) (Steph. Byz. s.v. Bebrycus). Bebryce is possibly the same as Bryce, a daughter of Danaus, a mythical King of Libya and Arabia (Apollodorus). Bebryx was also the father of Pyrene.


  1. ^ Strabo, 7.3.2.
  2. ^ a b Sergent 1988, pp. 345–350.
  3. ^ Delamarre 2003, p. 69: "B. Sergent a démontré de façon convaincante (REA 40 [1988], 329-358) que les Bebrukes d'Anatolie étaient un peuple celtique et non pas thrace"
  4. ^ Sergent 1988, p. 346.
  5. ^ Matasović 2009, p. 59.
  6. ^ Duridanov, Ivan (1985). Die Sprache der Thraker. Bulgarische Sammlung (in German). Vol. 5. Hieronymus Verlag. p. 67. ISBN 3-88893-031-6.
  7. ^ a b Apollonius of Rhodes[full citation needed]