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The name Pterelaus[pronunciation?] (Πτερέλαος) is attributed to two individuals in Greek mythology.

Son of Lelex[edit]

Pterelaus was a son of Lelex, a pre-Hellenic king whose descendants (the Leleges) spread across Greece and beyond.[1] Pterelaus ruled the land by the River Achelous, in the region later called Acarnania. Pterelaus had numerous sons who settled the territory in the vicinity of the Achelous, including the nearby islands of the Ionian Sea.[2] His sons Ithacus, Neritus, and Polyctor colonized the island of Ithaca (which took the name of one of his sons) and, in addition to Ithaca itself, founded the places on Ithaca named Neritum and Polyctorium. Taphius and Teleboas were also numbered among Pterelaus's sons, and founded the Taphian and Teleboan tribes.

Son of Taphius[edit]

Pterelaus was the grandson of the first Pterelaus, and son of Taphius. (Another account makes Taphius the son of Poseidon and Hippothoë, making him grandson of them and a descendant of the Argive hero Perseus). This Pterelaus, king of the Taphians, was the father of several sons (Chromius, Tyrannus, Antiochus, Chersidamas, Mestor, Everes) and a daughter named Comaetho.[3] Poseidon had bestowed upon him a magic golden hair on his head which made him immortal and unconquerable so long as the hair grew on his head. Pterelaus and his kin raided the cattle of the King of Mycenae; but was killed in a retaliatory expedition led by Amphitryon (later the stepfather of Heracles) after being betrayed by Comaetho, who had fallen in love with Amphitryon and pulled out the golden hair of her fathers' head, which rendered him defenceless. The vanquished Taphian realm was handed over to Amphitryon's allies, including Cephalus.[4] Cephalus ruled over many islands, and his followers became known as Cephallenians.[5] Odysseus was a descendant of Cephalus by the following lineage: Cephalus - Arcesius - Laërtes - Odysseus.


  1. ^ Eustathius on Homer, p. 1473; Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1. 747.
  2. ^ Strabo, Geography, vii. p. 322, x. p. 459.
  3. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 932
  4. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 4. 6 - 7
  5. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1. 37. 6