Copreus of Elis
His name is usually translated as "dung man", or something equally unflattering. However, the name "Copreus" may originally have had more positive connotations, meaning "grazier" or "man of the land", and been associated with the ownership of cattle rather than just their dung (κόπρος).
Copreus was said to be a son of Pelops and Hippodameia. He was a fugitive from Elis where he had killed a man called Iphitus, but Eurystheus purified him of the murder. Copreus had a son named Periphetes, who features briefly in the Iliad as a well-loved warrior speared by Hector. By contrast, Copreus is disparaged by Homer:
- Robin Hard. The Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology (2004)
- "He sent his commands for the labours through a herald, Copreus, son of Pelops the Eleian. This Copreus had killed Iphitus and fled to Mycenae, where he was purified by Eurystheus and took up his abode." (Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke 2.5.1).
- Homer, Iliad 15.638
- Iliad 15.641f
- 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.
- Pseudo-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. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website.
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