Polyphemus, as a Lapith, was remembered for having fought against the Centaurs in the days of his youth. In Iliad, Nestor numbers "the godlike Polyphemus" among an earlier generation of heroes of his youth, "the strongest men that Earth has bred, the strongest men against the strongest enemies, a savage mountain-dwelling tribe (i.e. centaur) whom they utterly destroyed." No trace of such an oral tradition, which Homer's listeners would have recognized in Nestor's allusion, survived in literary epic.
Years later, he joined the expedition of the Argonauts. During their stay in Bithynia, Polyphemus was the one to hear Hylas cry as the youth was being dragged away by the nymphs, and when he helped Heracles search for Hylas, both were left behind by the Argo. Having settled in Mysia, Polyphemus founded the city Cius of which he became king. Later, however, he set out to search for his fellow Argonauts and died in the land of the Chalybes. He was buried at the seashore under a poplar tree.
- Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.1241
- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.40 ff
- Homer, Iliad 1.260 ff
- Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.9.16
- Hyginus, Fabulae 14
- Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 1.457
- Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.9.19
- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.1240 ff
- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4.1470–1477
- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica translated by Robert Cooper Seaton (1853-1915), R. C. Loeb Classical Library Volume 001. London, William Heinemann Ltd, 1912. Online version at the Topos Text Project.
- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica. George W. Mooney. London. Longmans, Green. 1912. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Gaius Julius Hyginus, Fabulae from The Myths of Hyginus translated and edited by Mary Grant. University of Kansas Publications in Humanistic Studies. Online version at the Topos Text Project.
- Gaius Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica translated by Mozley, J H. Loeb Classical Library Volume 286. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1928. Online version at theio.com.
- Gaius Valerius Flaccus, Argonauticon. Otto Kramer. Leipzig. Teubner. 1913. Latin text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Homer, The Iliad with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, Ph.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1924. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Homer, Homeri Opera in five volumes. Oxford, Oxford University Press. 1920. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Pseudo-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. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website.