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Queen of Iolcus
Member of the Elean branch
of the Aeolides
AbodeSalmone, Pisa later Iolcus
Personal information
ParentsSalmoneus and Alcidice
Consort(1) Poseidon
(2) Cretheus
Children(1) Pelias and Neleus
(2) Aeson, Pheres, Amythaon
and ?Phalanna

In Greek mythology, Tyro (Ancient Greek: Τυρώ) was an Elean princess who later became Queen of Iolcus.

Tyro was the daughter of King Salmoneus of Elis and Alcidice. She married her uncle, King Cretheus of Iolcus but loved the river-god Enipeus. Tyro gave birth to twin sons, Pelias and Neleus, fathered by Poseidon. With Cretheus, she had three sons: Aeson, Pheres, and Amythaon. In mythology, Poseidon disguised himself as Enipeus to be with Tyro, resulting in the birth of Pelias and Neleus. The twins eventually avenged their mother's mistreatment by killing her stepmother, Sidero. Aeson, Tyro's son with Cretheus, was the father of Jason, a central figure in the Argonauts' quest for the Golden Fleece. Tyro later married her paternal uncle, Sisyphus, and had two children. Fearing a prophecy that her children would kill her father, Tyro killed them.

In popular culture, Ezra Pound references Tyro in his work, The Cantos.


Tyro was the daughter of King Salmoneus of Elis and Alcidice, daughter of King Aleus of Arcadia. She married her uncle King Cretheus of Iolcus but loved the river-god Enipeus. Tyro gave birth to Pelias and Neleus, the twin sons of Poseidon. With Cretheus, she had three sons, Aeson, Pheres and Amythaon.[1][2] In some accounts, Tyro had a daughter named Phalanna who gave her name to city of Phalanna in Thessaly.[3]

Tyro's family tree


Tyro's father Salmoneus was the brother of Athamas and Sisyphus. She was married to her uncle Cretheus,[4] King of Iolcus but Tyro loved the river god Enipeus who refused her advances. One day, Poseidon filled with lust for Tyro, disguised himself as Enipeus and from their union were born Pelias and Neleus, twin boys. Tyro exposed her sons on a mountain to die, but they were found by a herdsman who raised them as his own. When the twins reached adulthood, they found Tyro and killed her stepmother, Sidero, for having mistreated their mother (Salmoneus married Sidero when Alcidice died). Sidero hid at the temple of Hera but Pelias killed her anyway, causing Hera's undying hatred of Pelias – and her glorious patronage of Jason and the Argonauts in their long quest for the Golden Fleece.[5] Pelias' half brother Aeson, the son of Tyro and Cretheus, was the father of Jason.[6] Soon after, Tyro married Sisyphus, her paternal uncle and had two children. It was said that their children would kill Salmoneus, so Tyro killed them in order to save her father.[7]

In popular culture[edit]

Ezra Pound refers to Tyro in The Cantos. In Canto 2 he takes up her rape by Poseidon:

"And by the beach-run, Tyro,
Twisted arms of the sea-god,
Lithe sinews of water, gripping her, cross-hold,
And the blue-gray glass of the wave tents them,
Glare azure of water, cold-welter, close cover."

In a later Canto (74) Pound connects her to Alcmene, imprisoned in the world of the dead, but in a later paradisal vision he sees her "ascending":

thick smoke, purple, rising
bright flame now on the altar
the crystal funnel of air
out of Erebus, the delivered,
Tyro, Alcmene, free now, ascending
[...] no shades more (Canto 90)[8]


  1. ^ Homer (2009-01-16) [c 800 BCE]. "Book XI: The visit to the dead. 235–260". The Odyssey. Translated by Samuel Butler (10th ed.). Project Gutenberg. EBook #1727. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  2. ^ Diodorus Siculus, 4.68.2–3; Tzetzes on Lycophron, 175
  3. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Φάλαννα
  4. ^ Homer, Odyssey 11. 236–7, but Hesiod, Ehoiai fr. 30 (Merkelbach-West) says she fought with Salmoneus and was rescued by Zeus and led to the house of Cretheus, where she was raised. Apollodorus, 1.9.8 confirms this.
  5. ^ Hamilton, Edith (1969) [1940]. "Brief Myths Arranged Alphabetically". Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes (Renewal ed.). New York: Mentor Books. p. 313. ISBN 0-451-62803-9.
  6. ^ Apollodorus, 1.9.8 adds that Pelias refused thereafter to honor Hera
  7. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 60 & 239
  8. ^ Pound, Ezra. The Cantos. New York: New Directions, 1998.