In Greek mythology, Oeneus (/ˈɛn.js/; Ancient Greek: Οἰνεύς Oineús means "intoxicate" or "wine-man"[1]) was a Calydonian king. He introduced wine-making to Aetolia, which he learned from Dionysus and the first who received a vine-plant from the same god.[2]

Oeneus
King of Calydon
Member of the Royal House of Calydon
Oineus Staatliche Antikensammlungen 1905.jpg
Oeneus with coat and sceptre, Attic white-ground lekythos, c. 500 BC, Staatliche Antikensammlungen (Inv. 1905)
PredecessorPorthaon, his father
SuccessorAgrius, his brother
AbodeCalydon in Aetolia
Personal information
ConsortAlthaea, Periboea, Gorge
OffspringMeleager, Toxeus, Clymenus, Periphas, Agelaus, Thyreus, Gorge, Eurymede, Mothone, Perimede, Melanippe, Deianira, Tydeus
ParentsPorthaon and Euryte
SiblingsAgrius, Alcathous, Melas, Leucopeus and Sterope, Laocoön

Contents

FamilyEdit

Oeneus was the son of King Porthaon and Euryte, and thus, brother of Agrius, Alcathous, Melas, Leucopeus, and Sterope. He married Althaea and became the father of Deianeira, Meleager, Toxeus, Clymenus, Periphas, Agelaus (or Ageleus), Thyreus (or Phereus or Pheres), Gorge, Eurymede, Melanippe and Perimede[3] (although Meleager's and Deianeira's fathers could also have been Ares and Dionysus[4] respectively).[2][5][6] see Meleagrids.

Oeneus was also the father of Tydeus and possibly Melanippus or Olenias by Periboea, daughter of Hipponous, though Tydeus was exiled from Aetolia and appears in myths concerning Argos.[7] According to Pausanias, Mothone was a daughter of Oeneus by a concubine.[8] In some accounts, Polyxo was called the sister of Meleager and thus, can be counted among the daughters of Oeneus.[9]

Comparative table of Oeneus' family
RelationNamesSources
Sch. on Hom.HesiodApollodorus HyginusPausaniasAntoninus
ParentsPorthaon and Euryte
Parthaon or
Porthaon or
Portheus
SiblingsAgrius
Alcathous
Melas
Leucopeus
Sterope
ConsortAlthaea
Periboea
Gorge
a concubine
unnamed woman
ChildrenPolyxo
Toxeus
Pheres or
Thyreus or
Phereus
Agelaus or
Ageleos
Clymenus
Periphas
Gorge
Deianira
Meleager
Tydeus
Melanippus or
Olenias
Mothone
Perimede
Eurymede
Melanippe

MythologyEdit

Oeneus slew his son Toxeus by his own hand because he leaped over the ditch.

Divine visitEdit

When Dionysus had come as a guest to Oineus he fell in love with Althaea and the king realizing this, he voluntarily left the city and pretended to be performing sacred rites. But Dionysus laid with Althaea, who became mother of Dejanira. To Oineus, because of his generous hospitality, he gave the vine as a gift, and showed him how to plant it, and decreed that its fruit should be called oinos from the name of his host.[4]

Calydonian huntEdit

Since Oineus had made sacrifices yearly to all the gods during the harvest ceremonies, but had omitted to honor Artemis, who in anger, sent a boar of immense size to lay waste the district of Calydon. He sent out his son Meleager who promised that he would go with chosen leaders to attack the Calydonian Boar.[10][11] So began the Calydonian Hunt during which the boar was killed by Atalanta and Meleager. However, an argument began as to who should take the boar's skin as a prize: Meleager gave it to Atalanta, but two of his maternal uncles, sons of Thestius, wanted the trophy for themselves, claiming that it belonged to them by the right of birth if Meleager did not want it. Meleager, in rage, killed them, which resulted in a war between the Calydonians and the Curetes, in which all of Oeneus' sons, including Meleager, fell.[6]

AftermathEdit

When Hipponoüs of Olenus, angered at his daughter Periboea because she claimed that she was with child by Ares, sent her away into Aetolia to Oeneus with orders for him to do away with him at the first opportunity. Oeneus, however, who had recently lost son and wife, was unwilling to slay Periboea, but married her instead and begat a son Tydeus.

The sons of Oeneus' brother Agrius deposed him but Diomedes, his grandson through Tydeus, put Oeneus back on the Calydonian throne (or the throne passed to Andraemon, husband of Gorge, due to Oeneus' old age). Oeneus either died of natural causes or was killed by the surviving sons of Agrius who laid an ambush against him while Diomedes was transporting him to Peloponessus. He was buried in Argos by Diomedes, and a town was named Oenoe after him.[12][13][14]

Family treeEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Robin Hard. The Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology (2004)
  2. ^ a b Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.8.1
  3. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 7.4.1
  4. ^ a b Hyginus, Fabulae 129
  5. ^ The Hesiodic Catalogue of Women gives Meleagrus' father as Ares and names Oeneus' children by Althaea as: Pheres, Agelaus, Toxeus, Clymenus, Gorge and Deianeira (Cat, fr, 25).
  6. ^ a b Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 2
  7. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 69
  8. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 4.35.1
  9. ^ Scholia on Homer, Iliad, 9. 584
  10. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 172
  11. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Antiquitates Romanae 4.34.2-3
  12. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 2.25.2
  13. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 175
  14. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Antiquitates Romanae 4.35.1-2

ReferencesEdit