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In Greek mythology, King Erysichthon ( Ἐρυσίχθον )(also spelled Erisichthon, both of which translate as "Earth-tearer") of Thessaly was the son of Triopas. He cut down trees in a grove, sacred to Demeter. She punished him by placing Aethon, the god of famine, in his stomach, making him permanently hungry. He sold all his possessions, including his daughter, Mestra, to buy food but was still hungry. Mestra was freed from slavery by Poseidon, who gave her the gift of shape-shifting to escape her bonds. Erysichthon sold her numerous times to make money to feed himself. Eventually, Erysichthon ate himself in hunger.

Erysichthon Sells His Daughter Mestra. Engraving by Bauer for Ovid's Metamorphoses Book VIII, 823-878

Ovid. Metamorphoses VIII, 738-878.

There was another Erysichthon, the son of King Cecrops I of Athens, of whom it is only known that he died childless during his father's reign.

Greek Mythology

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