Linus (mythology)

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"Linos" redirects here. For other uses, see Linos (disambiguation).

In Greek mythology Linus (Greek: Λῖνος Linos) refers to the musical son of Oeagrus,[1][2][3] nominally Apollo, and the Muse Calliope.[4] As the son of Apollo and a Muse, either Calliope or Terpsichore, he is considered the inventor of melody and rhythm.[5] Linus taught music to his brother Orpheus [6] and then to Heracles. Linus went to Thebes and became a Theban.[7] According to a legend, he wrote the story of Dionysus and of the other mythical legends in Pelasgic writing.[8] His life was ended by Heracles, who killed Linus with his own lyre after he reprimanded Heracles for making errors.

Linus may have been the personification of a dirge or lamentation (threnody), as there was a classical Greek song genre known as linos,[9] a form of dirge, which was sometimes seen as a lament for Linus. This would account for his being described as a son of Apollo by a Muse.

Linus was also the name of a son of Apollo and Psamathe,[10] whose father was the King Crotopus of Argos. Fearing her father, she exposed the child which was found and killed by sheepdogs. For this reason, they say, Apollo sent Poine (Vengeance) to punish the Argives, by snatching children from their mothers. Coroebus then slew Vengeance, causing a second punishment to fall upon the city that was devastated by plague.

Linus's parentage


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke i. 3, § 2 ; Pausanias i. 43. § 7,787-ii 19. § 7 ; Eustathius on Homer, §1164
  5. ^ Planetary names
  6. ^ "Linus" –
  7. ^ Apollod. 2.4.9
  8. ^ Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History 68
  9. ^ Iliad xviii. 570-72.
  10. ^ Hamilton, Edith (1998). Mythology. Back Bay. p. 497. ISBN 0-316-34151-7.