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Aeacus

From Academic Kids

In Greek mythology, Aeacus, or Aiakos ("bewailing" or "earth borne") was king in the island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf and was so far-famed for the righteous sense of piety and justice with which he ruled over his people that his judgment was sought all over Hellas, so much so that, that after his death, he was appointed one of the judges of the shades in Erebus, with Cretan Minos and Rhadamanthus. Rhadamanthus judged the souls of easterners, Aeacus judged Hellenes and Minos had the deciding vote, a later elaboration of the myth tells.

Aeacus was the son of Zeus and Aegina, daughter of the river-god Asopus. Thus in his birthright he linked the Olympians with the immemorial chthonic water spirits of the land. His mother was carried off by Zeus to the island of Oenone, which was afterwards called by her name.

When Aeacus' kingdom had a horrific plague, he prayed to Zeus for help. The king of the gods changed the local ants into people (Ovid, Metamorphoses vii. 520), who were called Myrmidones. Aeacus was the ancestor of the Aeacidae.

By his wife Endeis he was the father of Telamon and Peleus (the father of Achilles). By Psamathe, he fathered Phocus.

His successful prayer to Zeus for rain at a time of drought (Isocrates, Evagoras, 14) was commemorated by a temple at Aegina (Pausanias ii. 29). He himself erected a temple to Zeus and helped Poseidon and Apollo to build the walls of Troy.

No other of the archaic priest-kings who ruled Aegina are remembered by the mythographers, for the grandsons of Aeacus, Phocus' sons Panopeus and Crisus left Aegina to settle in Phocis, a region bordering the Gulf of Corinth west of Boeotia.

Alexander the Great traced his ancestry (through his mother) to Aeacus.

In Masami Kurumada's anime Saint Seiya, Aeacus is one of the three Generals of the Underworld, and wears the surplice of Garuda, Celestial Superior Star.

External link


de:Aiakos es:Éaco fr:Éaque it:Eaco no:Aeakus

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