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The child Œdipus brought back to life by the shepherd Phorbas, who took him off the tree. Sculpture by Charles Dupaty.

In Greek mythology, Phorbas[pronunciation?] (Greek: Φόρβας, gen. Φόρβαντος) or Phorbaceus[pronunciation?] may refer to:

  • Phorbas, a prince of the Thessalian Phlegyes who emigrated to Elis in the Peloponnesos. Phorbas was the son of Lapithes and Orsinome, and a brother of Periphas. He assisted Alector, king of Elis, in the war against Pelops, and shared the kingdom with him.[1] He married Hyrmine, sister of Alector, and gave his daughter Diogeneia in marriage to Alector. His sons with Hyrmine were Augeas (perhaps he of the Augean Stables[citation needed]) and Actor, the Argonauts.[2][3][4] Other less well-supported traditions have Phorbas as a bold boxer who attacked travelers on the road and was eventually defeated by Apollo.[5][6]
  • Phorbas, son of Triopas and Hiscilla (daughter of Myrmidon), a hero of the island of Rhodes, was sometimes confounded with the Phlegyan Phorbas.[7] When the people of the island of Rhodes fell victim to a plague of masses of serpents (may have been dragons or simply snakes), an oracle directed them to call on a man named Phorbas. Phorbas cleansed the island of the snakes and in gratitude the Rhodians venerated him as a hero. For his achievement he won a place among the stars as the constellation Serpentarius or Ophiuchus.[8] Phorbas, son of Triopas, was also said to have been the father of Pellen, eponym of the city of Pellene, Achaea.[9]
  • Phorbas, father of a different Triopas, the king of Argos, with Euboea. His own parents were either Argus and Evadne[10] or Criasus and Melantho; in the latter case, he was brother of Ereuthalion and Cleoboea and father of another son, Arestor.[11] According to Tatiānus, he may have been a king of Argos himself. According to Eusebius, he reigned for thirty five years as the king of Argos, and was succeeded by his son Megacles.[12]
  • Phorbas, a shepherd of King Laius, finds the infant Oedipus on the hillside and ensures his survival to fulfill his destiny.[13] A number of sculptures, ranging from the 14th to the 19th century, memorialize Phorbas' rescue of Oedipus. He might be the same as Phorbas, attendant of Antigone.[14]
  • Phorbas, listed as a king or archon of Athens.[15]
  • Phorbas of Lesbos, father of Diomede.[16][17]
  • Phorbas of Troy, who was favored and made rich by Hermes. He had a son Ilioneus, who was killed by Peneleos.[18][19]
  • Phorbas, son of Metion of Syene, who fought on Phineus' side against Perseus.[20]
  • Phorbas of Acarnania, son of Poseidon, who went to Eleusis together with Eumolpus to fight against Erechtheus, and was killed by the opponent.[21][22][23][24]
  • Phorbas, one of the twelve younger Panes.[25]
  • Phorbas, son of Helios and father of Ambracia (eponym of the city of Ambracia). She could also have been daughter of Augeas, granddaughter of Phorbas of Thessaly.[26]
  • Phorbas, who is called father of Tiresias by the Cretans.[27]
  • Phorbas, charioteer of Theseus.[28]
  • Phorbas, father of Dexithea who, according to one version, was the mother of Romulus and Remus by Aeneas.[29]

The name Phorbas is not to be confused with Phorbus (Φόρβος), which refers to the father of Pronoe (wife of Aetolus)[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 4. 69. 2
  2. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5. 1. 11
  3. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 5. 5
  4. ^ Eustathius on Homer, p. 303
  5. ^ Scholia on Homer, Iliad, 23. 660
  6. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses, 9. 414 & 12. 322
  7. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 5. 58. 5
  8. ^ Hyginus, Poetical Astronomy, 2. 14
  9. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7. 26. 12
  10. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2. 16. 1
  11. ^ Scholia on Euripides, Phoenician Women, 1116: on Orestes, 932
  12. ^ Eusebius, Chronicle, 1. p. 187
  13. ^ Seneca the Younger, Oedipus, 840 ff
  14. ^ Statius, Thebaid, 7. 253
  15. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 6. 19. 13
  16. ^ Homer, Iliad, 9. 665
  17. ^ Dictys Cretensis, 2. 16
  18. ^ Homer, Iliad, 14. 489 ff
  19. ^ Virgil, Aeneid, 5. 842
  20. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses, 5. 74
  21. ^ Suda s. v. Phorbanteion
  22. ^ Eustathius on Homer, p. 1156
  23. ^ Scholia on Homer, Iliad, 18. 483 ff
  24. ^ Scholia on Euripides, Phoenician Women, 854
  25. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca, 14. 94 ff
  26. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s. vv. Ambrakia, Dexamenai
  27. ^ Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History, 1
  28. ^ Hesychius of Alexandria s. v. Phorbas
  29. ^ Plutarch, Romulus, 2. 2
  30. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 7. 7

External links[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Argos Succeeded by