For the Amphictyony, an ancient Greek religious organization, see Amphictyonic League.

Amphictyon or Amphiktyon (/æmˈfɪkti.ɒn/; Ancient Greek: Ἀμφικτυών), in Greek mythology, was a king of Thermopylae and later Athens.


The name of Amphictyon has a back-formation from Amphictyons, plural, from Latin Amphictyones, from Greek Amphiktyones, Amphiktiones, literally, "neighbors" or "those dwelling around" from amphi- + -ktyones, -ktiones (from ktizein to found); akin to Sanskrit kṣeti he dwells, kṣiti abode, Avestan shitish dwelling, Armenian šen inhabited, cultivated.[1]


Amphictyon was the second son of Deucalion and Pyrrha,[2] although there was also a tradition that he was autochthonous (born from the earth);[3] he is also said to be a son of Hellen son of Deucalion and Pyrrha.[4] Amphictyon was king of Thermopylae and married a daughter of Cranaus of Athens.[5] According to some accounts this daughter was named Atthis, although this conflicts with other accounts which relate that she died young as an unmarried virgin.[6] Amphictyon eventually deposed Cranaus, proclaiming himself king of Athens.[3][5]

Amphictyon had a son, Itonus, who in his turn became the father of Boeotus, Iodame and Chromia by Melanippe.[7][8][9] He also had a daughter, never mentioned by name, who became the mother of Cercyon by Poseidon, and of Triptolemus by Rarus.[10] Some add that Amphictyon had another son, Physcus, by Chthonopatra;[11] others, however, state that Physcus was the grandson of Amphictyon through Aetolus.[12][13]


Amphictyon ruled Athens for ten, or in some accounts, twelve years and founded the Amphictyonic League, which traditionally met at Thermopylae in historical times.[14][15] During his reign, Dionysus was supposed to have visited Amphictyon in Athens and taught him how to mix water with wine in the proper proportions.[16] Amphictyon was deposed by Erichthonius, another autochthonous king of Athens.[3]


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster sv. Amphictyon.
  2. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 7. 2
  3. ^ a b c Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 14. 6
  4. ^ Smith, citing Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Antiquitates Romanae 4.25.3
  5. ^ a b Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1. 2. 6
  6. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 14. 5
  7. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9. 1.1.&9. 34. 1
  8. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 1206
  9. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5. 1. 4
  10. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1. 14. 3
  11. ^ Eustathius on Homer, p. 277
  12. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s. v. Physkos
  13. ^ Pseudo-Scymnus, Circuit of the Earth 587 ff.
  14. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10. 8. 1
  15. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Antiquities, 4. 25. 3
  16. ^ Eustathius on Homer, p. 1815