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

(Κάρανος or Καρανός). 1. A Heracleid of the family of the Temenidae, and according to some accounts, the founder of the Argive dynasty in Macedonia, about the middle probably of the eighth century B. C., since he was brother to Pheidon, the Argive tyrant. The legend tells, that he led into Macedonia a large force of Greeks, and, following a flock of goats, entered the town of Edessa in the midst of a heavy storm of rain and a thick mist, unobserved by the inhabitants. Remembing the oracle which had desired him "to seek an empire by the guidance of goats," he fixed here the seat of government, and named the place Aegae in commemoration of the miracle. Herodotus gives a different tradition of the origin of the dynasty, and his account seems to have been adopted by Thucydides, who speaks of Archelaus I. as the ninth king, and therefore does not reckon Caranus and the other two who come before Perdiccas I. in the lists of Dexippus and Eusebius. Müller thinks that the two traditions are substantially the same, the one in Herodotus being the rude native legend, while the other, of which Caranus is the hero, was the Argive story; and he further suggests that Κάρανος is perhaps only another form of Κοίρανος. (Diod. Fragm. ix. p. 637, ed. Wess.; Plut. Alex. 2; Just. 7.1, 33.2; Clinton, Fast. ii. p. 221; Müller, Dor. 1.7.15, App. 1.15, and the authorities there referred to; Hdt. 8.137_139; Thue. 2.100.) Pausanias, in mentioning that the Macedonians never erected trophies when victorious, records the national tradition by which they accounted for it, and which related, that a trophy set up by Caranus, in accordance with Argive custom, for a victory over his neighbour Cisseus, was thrown down and destroyed by a lion from Olympus; whereby, it was said, the king learnt that its erection had been of evil counsel, as deepening the enmity of the conquered. (Paus. 9.40.)