In Greek mythology, Orsilochus (Ancient Greek: Ὀρσίλοχος), Ortilochus (Ὀρτίλοχος) or Orsilocus is a name that may refer to:

  • Orsilochus, son of the river god Alpheus and Telegone, daughter of Pharis.[1] He was a resident of Pherae,[2] and it was at his home that Odysseus met Iphitos the son of Eurytus.[3] He had at least one son Diocles[4] and at least two daughters: Dorodoche, said by some to be the wife of Icarius,[5] and Medusa, the wife of Polybus of Corinth.[6]
  • Orsilochus, grandson of the precedent through Diocles, and brother of Crethon. Orsilochus and Crethon fought at Troy under Agamemnon and were killed by Aeneas.[7]
  • Orsilochus, a Trojan killed by Teucer.[8]
  • Orsilochus, another Trojan who followed Aeneas to Italy and was killed by Camilla.[9]
  • Orsilochus of Argos, who was credited with inventing the four-horse chariot, and, in reward for his invention, was placed among the stars as the constellation Auriga.[10] See also Trochilus.
  • Orsilochus, a (perhaps imaginary) son of King Idomeneus of Crete and scion of Minos, renowned as a great runner and the fastest man on Crete, who only appears in a story made up by Odysseus,[11] see below.
  • Orsilochus of Crete was mentioned in Book 13 of Homer's Odyssey, when Odysseus makes use of his little-known status in Ithaca to construct an elaborate lie for the benefit of the disguised and fully cognisant Pallas Athena, claiming that he had killed him: "He tried to fleece me of all the booty I had won at Troy, my reward for the long-drawn agonies of war and all the miseries of voyages by sea, merely because I refused to obey his father and serve under him at Troy, and preferred to lead my own command. So, with a friend at my side, I laid an intense ambush for him at the side of the road, and struck him with my bronze spear as he was coming in from the country. There was a pitch-black sky that night covering the heavens, and not a soul saw us; so no-one knew that it was I who had killed him."[12]

Modern referencesEdit


  1. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 4. 30. 2
  2. ^ Strabo, Geography, 8. 5. 8
  3. ^ Homer, Odyssey, 21. 15
  4. ^ Homer, Iliad, 5. 547; Odyssey, 3. 489 = 15. 187
  5. ^ Scholia on Odyssey, 15. 16
  6. ^ Scholia on Sophocles, Oedipus the King, 775
  7. ^ Homer, Iliad, 5. 542 - 549; Tzetzes, Homerica, 80
  8. ^ Homer, Iliad, 8. 274
  9. ^ Virgil, Aeneid, 11. 636 & 690; Macrobius, Saturnalia, 6. 6. 10
  10. ^ Hyginus, Poetical Astronomy, 2. 13
  11. ^ Homer, Odyssey, 13. 260 ff
  12. ^ Odyssey 13. 262 - 270