Philoetius (Odyssey)

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Philoetius (/fɪˈlʃiəs/; Greek: Φιλοίτιος Philoitios) is a character in Greek mythology.


From Homer's The Odyssey, Philoetius is the primary cowherd of Odysseus.

On the protagonist's return to Ithaca, he stands with Odysseus against the suitors of his wife Penelope. He is considered one of the subjects that remained loyal to Odysseus as seen when he joins Odysseus and Telemachus into killing the suitors where he kills Peisander.[1]

He works together with Eumaeus to accomplish some tasks, such as locking the suitors in Odysseus' home and stealing their weapons so they could not fight back. Odysseus later promises both Philoetius and Eumaeus freedom and power for being one of his few servants that remained faithful at his return to Ithaca.

During Homer's time, Philoetius along with some other of Odysseus's servants became known as one of the first to be considered a main character in a story.


  1. ^ The Odyssey, 22.267