Leucippus of Messenia

In Greek mythology, Leucippus (Ancient Greek: Λεύκιππος Leukippos) was a Messenian prince. The Boeotian town of Leuctra is said to have derived its name from him.

Roman sarcophagus with Castor and Pollux seizing the daughters of Leucippus, c. 160 CE.


Leucippus was the son of Gorgophone and Perieres and brother of Aphareus. He was the father of two Leucippides: Phoebe and Hilaera, and also of Arsinoe, mother of Asclepius[1] and Eriopis begotten by the god Apollo.[2][3] These three daughters were borne by his wife Philodice, daughter of Inachus.[4]


It is said that Leucippus together with his brother Aphareus inherited their father's kingdom upon his death, but the latter kept the greater authority than the former.[5]

Castor and Polydeuces abducted and married Leucippus' daughters, Phoebe and Hilaera. In return, Idas and Lynceus, nephews of Leucippus and rival suitors, killed Castor. Polydeuces was granted immortality by Zeus, and further persuaded Zeus to share his gift with Castor.[6]


  1. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.10.3
  2. ^ Hesiod, Ehoiai fr. 63
  3. ^ Scholiast on Pindar, Pythian Ode 3.14
  4. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, Alexandria 511
  5. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 4.2.4-6
  6. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 8.306