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 Pelops and Hippodameia, brother of Atreus and Thyestes, first married Pyrgo and afterwards Euaechme, and was the father of Echepolis, Callipolis, Iphinoe, Periboea, and Autonmedusa. (Paus. 1.42.1, 4, 43.4; Apollod. 2.4.11, 3.12.7.) Pausanias (1.41.4) relates that, after Euippus, the son of king Megareus, was destroyed by the Cythacronian lion, Megareus, whose elder son Timalcus had likewise fallen by the hands of Theseus, offered his daughter Euaechme and his kingdom to him who should slay that lion. Alcathous undertook the task, conquered the lion, and thus obtained Euaechme for his wife, and afterwards became the successor of Megarcus. In gratitude for this success, he built at Megara a temple of Artemis Agrotera and Apollo Agraeus. He also restored the walls of Megara, which had

been destroyed by the Cretans. (Paus. 1.41.5.) In this work he was said to have been assisted by Apollo, and the stone, upon which the god used to place his lyre while he was at work, was even in late times believed, when struck, to give forth a sound similar to that of a lyres. 1.4.1 ; Ov. Met. 8.15, &c.; Virg. Cir. 105; Theogn. 751.) Echepolis, one of the sons of Alcathous, was killed during the Calydonian hunt in Aetolia, and when his brother Callipolis hastened to carry the sad tidings to his father, he found him engaged in offering a sacrifice to Apollo, and thinking it unfit to offer sacrifices at such a moment, he snatched away the wood from the altar. Alcathous imagining this to be an act of sacrilegious wantonness, killed his son oi the spot with a piece of wood. (Paus. 1.42.7.) The acropolis of Megara was called by a name derived for that of Alcathous. (1.42.7.)