A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890


1. A son of Poseidon and Libya, king of Phoenicia, and twin-brother of Belus. (Apollod. 2.1.4.) He married Telephassa, by whom he became the father of Cadmus, Phoenix, Cylix, Thasus, Phineus, and according to some of Europa also. (Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 5; Hyg. Fab. 178; Paus. 5.25.7; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. 2.178, 3.1185.) After his daughter Europa had been carried off by Zeus, Agenor sent out his sons in search of her, and enjoined them not to return without their sister. As Europa was not to be found, none of them returned, and all settled in foreign countries. (Apollod. 3.1.1; Hyg. Fab. 178.) Virgil (Aen. 1.338) calls Carthage the city of Agenor, by which lie alludes to the descent of Dido from Agenor. Buttmann (Mytholog. i. p. 232, &c.) points out that the genuine Phoenician name of Agenor was Chnas, which is the same as Canaan, and upon these facts he builds the hypothesis that Agenor or Chnas is the same as the Canaan in the books of Moses.