In Greek mythology, Pelasgus (Ancient Greek: Πελασγός, Pelasgós means "ancient"[1]) was the eponymous ancestor of the Pelasgians, the mythical inhabitants of Greece who established the worship of the Dodonaean Zeus, Hephaestus, the Cabeiri, and other divinities. In the different parts of the country once occupied by Pelasgians, there existed different traditions as to the origin and connection of Pelasgus. The ancient Greeks even used to believe that he was the first man.

Pelasgus civilizes the Greeks Print by Edward Francis Burney

Pelasgus civilizes the Greeks, Edward Francis Burney

Inachid Pelasgoí of Argos
In Argos, several Inachid kings were also called Pelasgus:
Pelasgus, brother to Apis both sons of Phoroneus, is said to have founded the city of Argos in Peloponnesus, to have taught the people agriculture, and to have received Demeter, on her wanderings, at Argos, where his tomb was shown in later times.[2]
Pelasgus, son of Triopas and Sois, and a brother of Iasus, Agenor, and Xanthus.[3]
Pelasgus, also known as Gelanor, son of Sthenelas or Arestor.[4]
Arcadian Pelasgus
Pelasgus, either an autochthon,[5] or a son of Zeus by Niobe[6] (and in the latter case brother of Argus). The Oceanide Meliboea,[7] the nymph Cyllene,[8] or Deianeira,[9] became by him the mother of Lycaon of Arcadia[10] and Temenus.[11]
Pelasgus, son of Arcas.[12]
Thessalian Pelasgoí
Pelasgus, an Argive prince as son of Poseidon and Larissa, daughter of the Pelasgus, son of Triopas. Together with his brothers Phthius and Achaeus, they left Achaean Argos with a Pelasgian contingent for Thessaly. They then established a colony on the said country naming it after themselves: Pelasgiotis, Phthiotis and Achaea.[13] Pelasgus was also the founder of the Thessalian Argos.[14][15] He was also said to be the father of Phrastor by the nymph Menippe.[16] Pelasgus is also said to have been the ancestor of the Tyrrhenians through the following lineage: Pelasgus - Phrastor - Amyntor - Teutamides - Nanas. In the latter's reign, the Pelasgians were believed to have left Greece and to have settled in a new land that later came to be named Tyrrhenia.[17]
Pelasgus, father of Chlorus and grandfather of Haemon[18] or the father of Haemon and grandfather of Thessalus instead.[19] He may be the same man with the above Pelasgus.
Homeric Pelasgus
In the Iliad, Homer characterizes the Pelasgians as brave fighters.[citation needed] To fight the war, they migrated from the Balkan peninsula into Asia Minor.[citation needed] The Pelasgians fought against the tribes of Greeks in the war of Troy.[citation needed]
Pelasgus, father of Hippothous, one of the Trojan leaders who fought alongside the Dardanians and other allies defending the walls of the city of Troy.[20] In some accounts Hippothous' father was called Lethus, son of the above Teutamides.[21]

See also



Robert Graves. The Greek Myths, section 12 s.v. Hera and her Children
Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 1.14.2 & 2.22.1; Scholia on Euripides, Orestes 920; Eustathius on Homer, p. 385
Hyginus, Fabulae 145
Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 2.16.1
Hesiod in Apollodorus, 2.1.1; Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 2.14.3 & 8.1.2
Pseudo-Clement, Recognitions 10.21
Apollodorus, 3.8.1; Tzetzes on Lycophron, Alexandra 481
Apollodorus, 3.8.1; Scholia ad Euripides, Orestes 1642
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Antiquitates Romanae 1.11.2 & 1.13.1
Hyginus, Fabulae 225
Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 8.22.2
Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 2.14.4
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Antiquitates Romanae 1.17.3
Eustathius on Homer, p. 321
Clinton, Fast. Hell. vol. 1. p. 9
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Antiquitates Romanae 1.28.3
Hellanicus' Phoronis as cited in Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Antiquitates Romanae 1.28.3 (Hellanicus fr. 4 Fowler, pp. 156–176)
Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica s.v. Haimonia
Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3.1089
Apollodorus, Epitome 3.35

Homer, Iliad 2.843


Apollodorus, The Library with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921. ISBN 0-674-99135-4. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities. English translation by Earnest Cary in the Loeb Classical Library, 7 volumes. Harvard University Press, 1937–1950. Online version at Bill Thayer's Web Site
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Antiquitatum Romanarum quae supersunt, Vol I-IV. . Karl Jacoby. In Aedibus B.G. Teubneri. Leipzig. 1885. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
Fowler, Robert L., Early Greek Mythography. Volume 2: Commentary. Oxford University Press. 2013.
Gaius Julius Hyginus, Fabulae from The Myths of Hyginus translated and edited by Mary Grant. University of Kansas Publications in Humanistic Studies. Online version at the Topos Text Project.
Homer, The Iliad with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, Ph.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1924. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
Homer, Homeri Opera in five volumes. Oxford, Oxford University Press. 1920. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
Pausanias, Description of Greece with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A., in 4 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1918. Online version
Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio. 3 vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
Pseudo-Clement, Recognitions from Ante-Nicene Library Volume 8, translated by Smith, Rev. Thomas. T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh. 1867. Online version at
Stephanus of Byzantium, Stephani Byzantii Ethnicorum quae supersunt, edited by August Meineike (1790-1870), published 1849. A few entries from this important ancient handbook of place names have been translated by Brady Kiesling. Online version at the Topos Text Project.

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.

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