Lycurgus of Arcadia

In Greek mythology, Lycurgus (/laɪˈkɜːrɡəs/; Ancient Greek: Λυκοῦργος Lykoûrgos, Ancient Greek: /lykôrɡos/), also Lykurgos or Lykourgos, was a king of Arcadia.


Lycurgus was the son of Aleus, the previous ruler, and Neaera, daughter of Pereus, and thus, brother to the Argonauts Amphidamas, Cepheus, Auge and Alcidice.[1] He married either Cleophyle, Eurynome or Antinoe[2] and fathered these sons: Ancaeus, Epochus, Amphidamas, and Iasius.[3][4]


Lycurgus was notorious for killing, by ambushing him, a warrior called Areithous.[5] He attacked the man unexpectedly in a narrow passage where Areithous' famous club was useless. Lycurgus took Areithous' armor as spoils and wore it himself, but handed it over to Ereuthalion when he had grown old.[6] According to scholia on the Argonautica, Ereuthalion was also vanquished by Lycurgus, who laid an ambush against him and overcame him in the ensuing battle. The Arcadians celebrated a feast known as Moleia in commemoration of this mythical event (mōlos being a word for "battle" according to the scholiast), and paid general honors to Lycurgus.[2]

Lycurgus outlived his sons and reached an extreme old age for Epochus fell ill and died while Ancaeus was wounded by the Calydonian boar. On his death, he was succeeded by Echemus, son of Aeropus, son of his brother Cepheus.[7]


  1. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.9.1
  2. ^ a b Scholia on Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica 1.164
  3. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.9.2
  4. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 8.4.10 mentions only Ancaeus and Epochus.
  5. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 8.4.10
  6. ^ Homer, Iliad 7.136-150
  7. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 8.4.10 & 8.5.1


  • Apollodorus, 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.
  • Pausanias, Pausanias Description of Greece with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A., in 4 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1918. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.