Iphitus of Oechalia

In Greek mythology, Iphitos or Īphitus (/ˈɪfɪtəs/; Ancient Greek: Ἴφιτος) was an Oechalian prince and one of the Argonauts.[1][2][3]


Iphitus was the son of King Eurytus of Oechalia[4] and Antiope[5] or Antioche,[6] and thus brother to Iole, Toxeus, Deioneus, Molion, Didaeon and Clytius, also an Argonaut. He was a descendant of Oxylus.


It is told that after Heracles finished his Twelve Labours, he came to Oechalia to compete in archery for the hand of Iole; he won and yet he was refused the bride by Eurytus and his sons (except Iphitus who said that Iole should be given to Heracles), on the ground that he could once more kill his offspring as he had done to his children by Megara.[7] Shortly after some cattle were stolen by the notorious thief Autolycus, and Heracles was held responsible; but Iphitus did not believe it and, having gone to meet him, he invited him to seek the cattle with him. Heracles promised to do so but suddenly he went mad again and he threw Iphitus from the walls of Tiryns, killing him.[8] According to one version of the myth, Iphitus is also said to have been a lover of Heracles.[9]

During his search for the cattle, Iphitos met Odysseus in Messenia, befriended him, and gave Odysseus his father Eurytus's bow.[10] It was this bow that Odysseus used to kill the suitors who had wanted to take his wife, Penelope.


  1. ^ Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica 1.86
  2. ^ Statius, Thebaid 5.400
  3. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 14
  4. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 4.37.5
  5. ^ Scholaist on Sophocles, Trachiniae 266 as cited in Hesiod, Ehoiai fr. 79
  6. ^ Scholaist on Sophocles, Trachiniae 266 as cited in Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica, The Taking of Oechalia fr. 4
  7. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2.6.2
  8. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 4.31.3
  9. ^ Ptolemaeus Chennus, in Photius' Bibliotheca
  10. ^ Homer, Odyssey 21.30