Androgeus (son of Minos)

In Greek mythology, Androgeos or Androgeus (Ancient Greek: Ἀνδρόγεως, Latin: Androgeum or Androgeōs derived from andros "of a man" and geos, genitive "earth, land") was a Cretan prince.[1]


Androgeos was a son of Minos and Pasiphaë or Crete.[2] He was the brother of Acacallis, Ariadne, Deucalion, Phaedra, Glaucus, Catreus and Xenodice. Androgeus's sons were Sthenelus and Alcaeus, who later became companions of Heracles.[3]


Androgeus was murdered in Athens. Sources vary as to the exact circumstances of his death.

Some stated that Androgeos participated in the Panathenaic Games and took all the prizes, whereupon he directed to Thebes to take part in another contest in honor of Laius, but was ambushed and killed by his envious would-be competitors.[2]

Servius suggests that Androgeos was murdered upon his triumph by the Athenians themselves and the Megarians.[4] Plutarch writes that Androgeos "was thought to have been treacherously killed", without clarifying whether this was supposed to be the truth or not.[5]

In another version, Aegeus, King of Athens, sent him against the Marathonian Bull which resulted in Androgeos' death.[2]

In Pausanias' interpretation, Androgeos being killed by the bull is presented as more of an accident, which, however, Minos is remarked to not have believed.[6]

According to Diodorus Siculus, Aegeus killed Androgeos out of fear that the latter would support the sons of Pallas against him.[7] In yet another version, Androgeos was killed in a battle between the Athenians and the Cretans.[8]

The Athenians eventually established a hero cult of Androgeos: there was an altar dedicated to him at Phaleron.[9]

The consequences of Androgeos' death are described in the Bibliotheca as follows. Minos received the news of his son's death when he was performing a sacrificial rite in honor of the Charites at Paros. Overcome by grief, he threw off his garland and ordered for the music to stop, but did complete the sacrifice, from which circumstance the festivals in honor of the Charites at Paros involved no music or flowers from then on. Minos led a war against Athens to avenge the death of his son, but failed to sack the city and prayed to Zeus that the Athenians may be punished. The city was struck with famine and pestilence. The Athenians consulted an oracle as to how to avert the calamity, and were instructed to sacrifice the daughters of Hyacinthus the Lacedaemonian, but this did not help. The citizens consulted the oracle once again and were told to give Minos whatever he might ask in retribution. The king obliged the Athenians to send several youths every seven or nine years to be devoured by the Minotaur. This continued until the Minotaur was killed by Theseus.[10]

Propertius in one of his elegies refers to a version in which Androgeos was brought back to life by Asclepius.[11]


  1. ^ Hesychius s.v. ε 4499 says that this Androgeos was also called Eurygyes.
  2. ^ a b c Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.15.7
  3. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2.5.9
  4. ^ Servius, Commentary on Virgil's Aeneid 6.14
  5. ^ Plutarch, Theseus 15.1
  6. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 1.27.10
  7. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 4.60.4
  8. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 41
  9. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 1.1.4
  10. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 3.15.7-8
  11. ^ Propertius, Elegies 2.1.64