Lion of Cithaeron

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The Lion of Cithaeron was a lion in Greek mythology which was harassing the lands of king Amphitryon and king Thespius[1] or of king Megareus.[2] According to the Suda, it was also called Thespian lion and ravine lion (Ancient Greek: Χαραδραῖος λέων) because it lived in a place called "Ravine" (χαράδρα).[3] Some myths say that it was killed by Herakles,[1] while others by Alcathous[2] or by the god Apollo.[4]


One account of the myth is that king Thespius asked Herakles to kill the lion. Herakles hunted it for fifty days and finally killed it. During each night of the hunt Heracles slept with a different daughter of the king; they each gave birth to a son.[5] After he slew the animal, Herakles dressed himself in the skin of the animal and wore the scalp as a helmet.[5] According to the Suda it was killed near Thespiae.[3] Herakles killed the lion while he was eighteen years old,[1] and before killing the Nemean lion.[3]


While another myth say that the lion was killed by Alcathous.

The lion had killed many including Euippus, a son of the king of Megara Megareus. The king promised that he who would kill the Cithaeronian lion would marry his daughter Evaechme[6] and succeed him in the throne. Alcathous killed the lion and when he became the king, he built the sanctuary of Artemis Agrotera (Huntress) (Ancient Greek: Ἀγροτέραν Ἄρτεμιν) and Apollo Agraeus (Hunter) (Ancient Greek: Ἀπόλλωνα Ἀγραῖον).[2][7]


Another myth says that the lion was killed by the god Apollo.

Because the god killed the lion, he was called Agraeus (Hunter) and Alcathous erected a temple for him at Megara under the name of Apollo Agraeus.[4]