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PELEUS
Son of Aeacus and of Endeis, and brother of Telamon. He was banished with his brother, on account of the murder of his step-brother Phocus, whom he had slain with the discus out of envy at his strength and skill. His father banished him from Aegina, but he was purified from his murder, and hospitably received by his uncle Eurytion, king of Thessalian Phthia. Eurytion gave to Peleus his daughter Antigone, mother of the beautiful Polydora, and one-third of his land as a dowry. Peleus accompanied Eurytion in the Calydonian Hunt, and killed him unawares with a javelin. Thereupon he fled from Phthia to Iolcus, where, once again, king Acastus cleansed him from the guilt of bloodshed. Because he rejected the proposals of Astydameia, the wife of Acastus, she slandered him to his wife and to her husband, telling the former that Peleus was wooing her daughter Sterope, and the latter that he wished to persuade her to infidelity. Antigone killed herself for sorrow, but Acastus planned revenge. When Peleus, wearied by the chase, had fallen asleep on Pelion, Acastus left him alone, after hiding in a dunghill his irresistible sword, the work of Hephaestus and the gift of the gods. When Peleus awoke and sought his sword, he was attacked by the Centaurs, and only delivered by the presence among them of Chiron, his maternal grandfather. With Chiron's help he recovered his sword, slew Acastus and his wife, and took possession of the throne of Iolcus. The gods decreed him the seagoddess Thetis (q.v.) as his wife. With Chiron's help he overcame her resistance in a grotto by the sea, although she endeavoured to escape by changing into fire, water, beast, or fish. The marriage was celebrated in Chiron's cave on the summit of Pelion, and the immortals appeared and gave Peleus presents: Poseidon, the undying steeds Balius and Xanthus, and all the gods the weapons with which Achilles afterwards fought before Troy; Chiron presented him with a lance made of an ash tree on Mount Pelion. Apollo and the Muses sang of the deeds of Peleus and of his unborn son. But Eris, or Strife, also appeared, uninvited, and threw among the goddesses a golden apple with the inscription, For the Fairest, thus giving the first cause for the Trojan War (q.v.). In this war the only offspring of this marriage, the hero Achilles, is said to have found an untimely end during his father's lifetime. According to a later tradition, unknown to Homer, Thetis forsook her husband, because his presence hindered her from making her son immortal.
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