Cretheus Iolcus, Founder of Iolcus

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About Cretheus Iolcus, Founder of Iolcus

In Greek mythology, Cretheus, or Krētheus (Κρηθεύς) was the king and founder of Iolcus, the son of Aeolus (son of Hellen) and Enarete. His wives were Sidero, Tyro and either Demodice or Biadice. His parents were Aeolus and Enarete. With Tyro, he fathered Aeson, Pheres, and Amythaon.


AEOLIA was the daughter of Amythaon, son of Cretheus and Tyro, and sister of Bias and Melampus. Their mother was Eidomene; she was also their first cousin, since Amythaon married his brother's daughter. Aeolia married Calydon, by whom she became the mother of Epicaste and Protogeneia. Since Calydon was the founder of the town of Calydon, Aeolia can by considered the mother of the Calydonian dynasty. [Apollodorus 1.7.7.]

CALYCE was a daughter of Aeolus and Enarete. Her family tree produced some of the greatest heroes and heroines in mythology, since her brothers were Cretheus, Sisyphus, Athamas, Salmoneus, Deion, Magnes, Perieres, and Macareus. She did well in her own right. She married Aethlius, son of Zeus and Protogeneia and grandson of Deucalion. By him she became the mother of the famous Endymion, who was not only the lover of the moon goddess Selene but also king of Elis and ancestor of the Aetolians, Epeians, and Paeonians. By report, she had 50 half-immortal granddaughters by the union of Selene with her sleeping son, but this phenomenon is discussed elsewhere. [Apollodorus 1.7.2,3.5; Pausanias 5.1.2,8.1, 10.31.2.]

EIDOMENE, or Idomene, was a daughter of Pheres, son of Cretheus and Tyro, and Periclymene. Her brothers were Admetus and Lycurgus, and her sister was Periapis. Pheres founded the town of Pherae in Thessaly. In one place Eidomene was referred to as the daughter of Abas. She married Amythaon, her uncle, thus becoming not only a cousin but also aunt of Jason, since Amythaon was brother to Aeson, Jason's father. By Amythaon she became the mother of sons Bias and Melampus, and a daughter Aeolia. She was sometimes called Aglaia or Dorippe. Amythaon migrated to Messenia and settled at the court of Neleus, his half-brother. He started the Olympic games after the sons of Pelops left Elis. He went back to Thessaly to greet Jason when his nephew appeared at the court of Pelias. Bias and Melampus went on to become joint rulers in Argos because they were able to cure the insanity of the daughters of Proetus. Melampus was able to accomplish the cure through his combined gift of prophecy and medical knowledge. Eidomene probably lived with her sons in Argos after Amythaon died and they had acquired their part of the kingdom. [Apollodorus 1.9.11, 2.2.2, 3.10.4, 13.8; Diodorus Siculus 4.68; Homer, Odyssey 11.259; Pausanias 5.8.2; Pindar, Pythian Odes 4.124.]

MEROPE was one of the Pleiades. In the constellation of the Pleiades she is the seventh and least visible star because she was ashamed of having had intercourse with a mortal man. This mortal was Sisyphus, and Merope should have been ashamed not so much that he was mortal but because of the type of mortal he was. He was the son of Aeolus and Enarete, and brother of Cretheus, Athamas, Salmoneus, Deion, Magnes, Perieres, and Macareus. He eventually reigned in Corinth, since Medea gave him the sovereignty when she left. He promoted commerce and helped make the city important. He was of bad character however, as Merope was soon to discover. She bore him Glaucus, Ornytion, Thersander, and Halmus. Sisyphus meanwhile had twin sons by his niece Tyro, but she killed them at their birth. Of Merope's sons we know Glaucus best, not only as the father of Bellerophon but also as the breeder of flesh-eating mares. When Sisyphus was on his deathbed, he begged Merope not to bury him. She complied, and when he got to the underworld he complained that he was neglected and needed to return to the upper world to punish his wife. Once there he refused to return, and Hermes, transporter of the dead, had to carry him back by force. [Apollodorus 1.9.3,3.10.1; Ovid, Fasti 4.175; Homer, Iliad 6.153; Eustathius on Homer's Iliad 1155; Pausanias 2.4.3, 6.20.9, 9.34.5; Hyginus, Fables 60.]

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Cretheus Iolcus, Founder of Iolcus's Timeline

-1200
-1200
Greece
-1185
-1185
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Iolcus or Iolcos, Tesalia, Greece
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Greece