Phoenix (son of Amyntor)
|King of the Dolopes|
|Member of the Calydonian Boar Hunters and the Myrmidons|
|Abode||Dolopia or home of the Myrmidons in Phthia|
|Parents||Amyntor and Cleobule|
In Greek mythology, Phoenix (Greek: Φοῖνιξ Phoinix, gen.: Φοίνικος Phoinikos), son of Amyntor and Cleobule, is one of the Myrmidons led by Achilles in the Trojan War. Phoenix's warfaring identity is a charioteer.
Of Phoenix's life before the Trojan War, it is related that he seduced his father's concubine at the instigation of his mother. Having heard about this, Amyntor punished his son by cursing him with infertility. Phoenix then fled to Peleus, who in turn took him to Chiron; the latter restored Phoenix's sight, whereupon Peleus made Phoenix king of the Dolopes. He participated in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar.
In Homer's Iliad, Phoenix, along with Odysseus and Ajax, urges Achilles to re-enter battle. He gives the most passionate and emotional speech of the three, as evidenced by his crying. Phoenix deeply cares about Achilles, whom he had helped raise as a child:
"So you, Achilles- great godlike Achilles I made you my son, I tried, so someday you might fight disaster off my back. But now, Achilles, beat down your mounting fury! It's wrong to have such an iron, ruthless heart."
It is possible that his speech was a later addition to the epic, as Achilles continually uses a special dual verb form in speaking with his guests, rather than a more appropriate plural form. However, it has been suggested that Achilles speaks only to Phoenix and Ajax, ignoring Odysseus, to whose guile he bears a considerable dislike.
- Homer Iliad
- Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 13. 8
- Tzetzes on Lycophron, 421
- Hyginus, Fabulae, 173
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, 8. 307
- Iliad, 9. 220 ff
- Il. 9. 434 ff
- Il. 9. 492 - 497
- But several scholars believe the speech to be integral; e.g., see S. C. R. Swain, "A Note on Iliad 9.524-99," Classical Quarterly 38 (1988), 271-76.
- Il. 9. 314
- Aeneid, 2. 763-764
- Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca Epitome of Book 4, 6. 12
- Tzetzes on Lycophron, 417
- Strabo, Geography, 9. 4. 14
- Media related to Phoenix (Iliad) at Wikimedia Commons