Ancaeus (son of Poseidon)

In Greek mythology, Ancaeus (/ænˈsəs/; Ancient Greek: Ἀγκαῖος Ankaîos) was king of the island of Samos, and an Argonaut: helmsmanship was his special skill.[1]


Ancaeus was a son of Poseidon and Astypalaea, and brother of Eurypylus.[2] In some sources, his mother was Althaea, daughter of Thestius.[3] By other accounts his father was the Lelegian king Altes, which accords well with Ancaeus's rule over the Leleges of Samos.

According to a lost epic of his house, sung by the Samian poet Asios, he married Samia, daughter of the river god Maeander, who bore him Perilaus, Enudus, Samus, Alitherses, and Parthenope, the mother of Lycomedes.[4]


The most famous story surrounding this Ancaeus is the following: When planting a vineyard, for Samos was famed for its wine, he was told by a seer that he would never taste its wine. Ancaeus then joined the voyage of the Argonauts, and returned home safely, by which time the grapes were ripe and had been made into wine. He summoned the seer before him, and raised a cup of his own wine to his lips, and was ready to taste it for the first time. He then mocked the seer, who retorted, "There is many a slip between the cup and the lip" (Πολλὰ μεταξὺ πέλει κύλικος καὶ χείλεος ἄκρου). Before Ancaeus had tasted the wine, an alarm was raised that a wild boar (the Calydonian Boar) was ravaging the vineyard, and on hearing this, Ancaeus dropped the cup and went out to investigate – and was promptly killed by the boar.[5][6]

Calydonian family treeEdit



  1. ^ Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica 2.866 ff.
  2. ^ Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica 1.186
  3. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 14.3
  4. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 7.4.1
  5. ^ Jennifer R. March, Dictionary of Classical Mythology (Oxbow Books 2014)
  6. ^ "Ancaeus (son of Poseidon)". Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-01-26.