Lelex

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Lelex
Spouse(s) Cleocharia
Children Myles
Polycaon
Pterelaus
Cleson
Parent(s) Poseidon (father)
Libya (mother)
Here is shown Eurotas, grandson of Lelex, with his daughter Sparta

In Greek mythology, Lelex[pronunciation?] (Greek: Λέλεξ, gen. Λέλεγος) was a King of Laconia and a demigod.

Life[edit]

Lelex was married to the Naiad nymph Cleocharia. He had several sons, including Myles, Polycaon, Pterelaus and Cleson.[1]

The parentage of Lelex is variously stated. He was likely a son of Poseidon by Libya; or his father is said to be the sun-god Helios; or he was said to be autochthonous.

His grandson (fathered by Myles) was Eurotas. Eurotas had a daughter named Sparta,[2] who would later marry Lacedaemon.[3] Lacedaemon named the city of Sparta after his wife; however, the city's name would also be his own, as it was called either Lacedaemon or Sparta interchangeably.

Sources indicate that Perseus is a descendant of Lelex. Lelex’s great-granddaughter Sparta gave birth to a daughter named Eurydice (no relation to Orpheus’ Eurydice), who had married Acrisius, the king of Argos. Eurydice became the mother of Danaë, thus making her Perseus’ grandmother.[4]

Lelex appears to have been conceived by ancient mythographers as the eponymous founder of the Leleges, a semi-mythical people who lived on both sides of the Aegean Sea.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Apollodorus, 3.10.3.
  2. ^ Guide to Greece, 3.1.1-3.
  3. ^ Pausanias. "Sparta, mythical history". Description of Greece, translated by WHS Jones. 
  4. ^ Grimal, Pierre, The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, Wiley-Blackwell, 1996, ISBN 978-0-631-20102-1. "Eurydice" (2), p. 157.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
None
King of Sparta
C. 1600 BC
Succeeded by
Myles