Evenus of Aetolia

In Greek mythology, Evenus (/ɪˈvnəs/; Ancient Greek: Εύηνος Eúēnos) a river-god of Aetolia as the son either of Oceanus and Tethys.[1] In some accounts, he was represented as a mortal prince or king as the son of Ares either by Demonice,[2] daughter of Agenor or by the Pleiad Sterope.[3] Heracles was also called Evenus' father in later versions of the myth.[4] He was the brother of Molus, Pylus and Thestius. Evenus married Alcippe, daughter of King Oenomaus of Pisa by whom he became the father of Marpessa.[5][6]


When Idas, son of Aphareus, came from Messenia to asked for the hand of Marpessa, Evenus refused his request because he wanted her daughter to remain a virgin. Idas went to his father Poseidon and begged for the use of a winged chariot.[7] Poseidon consented him the use of the chariot, and Idas abducted Marpessa away from a band of dancers and fled from Pleuron in Aetolia.[8] Evenus, after chasing the couple for a long time and realizing he could not catch up to them, killed his horses and then drowned himself in a nearby river Lycormas and became immortal. The river was named later after him.[6][9][10][11]

According to some writers, Evenus, like Oenomaus, used to set his daughter's suitors to run a chariot race with him, promising to bestow her on the winner; but he cut off the heads of his vanquished competitors and nailed them to the walls of his house. [12][13][14]


  1. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 337
  2. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.7.8
  3. ^ Plutarch, Parallela minora 40
  4. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 242
  5. ^ Propertius, Elegies 1.2
  6. ^ a b Homer, Iliad 9.557
  7. ^ Jeanie Lang. A Book of Myths, p. 90-99.
  8. ^ Baccchylides, Dithyrambs 6.1
  9. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 4.2.7 & 5.18.2
  10. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.8.2
  11. ^ Pseudo-Plutarch, De fluviis 1.8
  12. ^ Scholiast on Homer, Iliad 9.557
  13. ^ Eustathius on Homer, Iliad 9.557 p. 776
  14. ^ as cited in Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.7.8 footnote 1: "This seems to be the version of the story which Apollodorus had before him, though he has abridged it."