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Lelex

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Lelex

Lelex
Spouse(s) Cleocharia
Children Myles
Polycaon
Pterelaus
Cleson
Parent(s) Poseidon or Helios (father)
Libya (mother)
Here is shown Eurotas, grandson of Lelex, with his daughter Sparta

In Greek mythology, Lelex (Greek: Λέλεξ) was a King of Laconia and a demigod.

Life

Lelex was married to the Naiad nymph Cleocharia. He had several sons, including Myles, Polycaon, Pterelaus and Cleson.[1]

The parentage of Lelex is variously stated. He was likely a son of Poseidon by Libya; or his father is said to be the sun-god Helios; or he was said to be autochthonous.

His grandson (fathered by Myles) was Eurotas. Eurotas had a daughter named Sparta,[2] who would later marry Lacedaemon.[3] Lacedaemon named the city of Sparta after his wife; however, the city's name would also be his own, as it was called either Lacedaemon or Sparta interchangeably.

Sources indicate that Perseus is a descendant of Lelex. Lelex’s great-granddaughter Sparta gave birth to a daughter named Eurydice (no relation to Orpheus’ Eurydice), who had married Acrisius, the king of Argos. Eurydice became the mother of Danaë, thus making her Perseus’ grandmother.[4]

Lelex appears to have been conceived by ancient mythographers as the eponymous founder of the Leleges, a semi-mythical people that lived on both sides of the Aegean Sea.

Notes

  1. ^ Apollodorus, 3.10.3.
  2. ^ Guide to Greece, 3.1.1-3.
  3. ^  
  4. ^ Grimal, Pierre, The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, Wiley-Blackwell, 1996, ISBN 978-0-631-20102-1. "Eurydice" (2), p. 157.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
None
King of Sparta
C. 1600 BC
Succeeded by
Myles
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