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

or Althae'menes (Ἀλθημένης or Ἀλθαιμένης), a son of Catreus, king of Crete. In consequence of an oracle, that Catreus would lose his life by one of his children, Althemenes quitted Crete together with his sister Anemosyne, in order to avoid becoming the insurunient of his father's death. He landed in Rhodes at a place which he called Cretenia, and in remembrance of the god of his own native island, he erected on mount Atabyrus an altar to Zeus Atabyrius. His sister was seduced in Rhodes by Hermes, but Althemenes, disbelieving her account, killed her by kicking her with his foot. When Catreus had become advanced in years, he had an invincible desire to see his only son once more, and to place his crown in his hands. He accordingly sailed to Rhodes. On his landing there, he and his companions were attacked by shepherds, who mistook them for pirates. During the ensuing struggle, Althemenes came to the protection of his subjects, and shot his own father dead. When he became aware of what he had done, he prayed to the gods, and was swallowed up by the earth. This is the account of Apollodorus (3.2.1, &c.), with which Diodorus (5.59) agrees in the main points, except that he represents Althemenes as wandering about after the murder, and at last dying with grief. He adds, that the Rhodians subsequently worshipped him as a hero.