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Phorbas, Son of Lapithes and Orsinome, and a brother of Periphas, honoured as a hero by the Rhodians, for having come at the bidding of the oracle to free their island for a plague of Serpents (Diod. v. 58.) . He was placed among the stars as the constellation Ophiuchus (snake holder) (Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 14, who calls him a son of Triopas and Hiscilla; comp. Paus. vii. 26. § 5.) .

Another legend made him come from Thessaly to Elis, where he assisted king Alector against Pelops, and as a reward in marriage the king's sister Hyrmine, the mother of Augeas and Actor. Being a mighty boxer, he challenged in his pride the gods themselves, but Apollo overcame and slew him.

Other less well-supported traditions have Phorbas as the father of Augeas (perhaps he of the Augean Stables), or as a well-known boxer who was eventually defeated by Apollo.

Greek Mythology
Greek Mythology
Phorbas with the infant Oedipus, Denis-Antoine Chaudet, Paris

Phorbas is also the name of a character in a play by Seneca the Younger entitled Oedipus. Phorbas, a shepherd, finds the infant Oedipus on the hillside and ensures his survival to fulfill his destiny. A number of sculptures, ranging from the 14th to the 19th century, memorialize Phorbas' rescue of Oedipus.


Phorbas is also a son of Methion of Syene, one of the companions of Phinens. (Ov. Met. v. 74.)


Phorbas is also the father of Ilioneus. (Homer Iliad xiv. 490 ; Virg. Aen. v. 842.)


Phorbas is also an Acarnanian, who, together with Eumolpus, went to Eleusis. (Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1156 ; Schol. ad Erip. Phocn. 854.)


Phorbas is also a Lesbian, and father of Diomede, whom Achilles carried off. (Homer Iliad ix. 665; Dict. Cret. ii. 16.)


Phorbas is also a son of Criasus and Melantho, a brother of Ereuthalion and Cleoboea, is described as the father of Arestor. (Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 1116, Or. 920.)


Phorbas is also a son of Argos or Criasus, was a brother of Peirasus, and married to Euboea, by whom he be came the father of Triopas, whence he seems to have been a grandson of No. 1. (Paus. ii. 16. § 1, iv. 1. § 2; Schol. ad Eurip. Or. 920.)

Greek Mythology

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