In Greek mythology, Bias (Ancient Greek: Βίας), was one of the three kings of Argos when the kingdom was divided into three domains. The other kings were his brother Melampus and Anaxagoras. From Bias, they say, a river in Messenia was called.
According to Pausanias, Amythaon was the father of Bias and the seer Melampus by Idomene, daughter of Pheres or Abas of Argos; otherwise their mother was called Aglaia.
Bias was the father of Talaus by his first wife Pero while together with Iphianassa, daughter of Proetus, had a daughter Anaxibia who married Pelias, to whom she bore Acastus and several daughters.
It is mentioned by Apollonius of Rhodes that Bias had three sons: Talaus, Arëius, and Leodocus who were crews of the Argo.
Amythaon and his sons would reside in Pylos, a kingdom now ruled by Neleus, a stepbrother of Cretheus. Neleus had many sons, but he also had a beautiful daughter named Pero.
Pero would have many suitors, and Neleus thus decreed that he would only give his daughter in marriage to the man who brought him the cattle of Phylacus, King of Phylace. The cattle though would have to be stolen, for Phylacus would not sell his cattle, nor was he likely to give them away.
Bias had set his mind to marrying Pero, but it was Melampus who would be left to gain the cattle. Melampus was a noted seer, and well knew the pitfalls that lay ahead of him.
Caught in the act of stealing the cattle of Phylacus, Melampus used his prophetic abilities to obtain release from his prison cell, and then he used his knowledge of herbs to cure Phylacus’ son, Iphiclus, of his inability to father children. In gratitude Phylacus would give Melampus his cattle.
Melampus would then give the cattle of Phylacus to his brother Bias. Bias then presented them to Neleus, and so Bias was wed to Pero.
Pero would give birth to three sons, Talaus, Areius and Laodocus; all three of whom were later named by Apollonius of Rhodes as Argonauts.
At this time the women of Argos were sent mad at the instigation of either Hera or Dionysus. Some say this madness occurred during the time of Proetus, although it is more likely to have occurred in the time of Anaxagoras.
Melampus was called upon the cure the women of Argos, but to do so Melampus demanded a third of Anaxagoras’ kingdom. Anaxagoras initially refused, but when it became clear that no-one else could cure the women, the King of Argos now agreed. Melampus now demanded two-thirds of the kingdom, and this time Anaxagoras agreed.
Melampus would cure the women of Argos, and having taken one-third of the kingdom of Argos for himself, gave the other third to Bias. Thus, Bias became a King of Argos.
Bias’s portion of Argos would follow down his family line for several generations, for Bias was succeeded by his son Talaus, and then his grandson, Adrastus; until the kingdom of Argos was reunified in the time of Cylarabes, son of Sthenelus.
Following the death of his first wife, Pero, Bias would marry again, this time to Iphianassa, a daughter of Proetus, and one of the Argos women that Melampus had cured.
Melampus would become father to a daughter by Iphianassa, a daughter named Anaxibia, who is commonly named as the wife of Pelias, King of Iolcus.
Also, In Greek mythology, Bias may also refer to the following characters:
Bias, son of Lelex, king of Megara and thus, brother to Cleson and Pterelaus. He was killed by his nephew Pylas, also a Megarian king. After the murder, Pylas gave the kingdom to the deposed king of Athens, Pandion and later founded the city of Pylos in Peloponnesus.
Bias, son of Amythaon and brother of Melampus.
Bias, son of Melampus and Iphianira thus a nephew of the earlier Bias. But his name has been proposed to read "Abas", another son of Melampus.
Bias, one of the sons of King Priam of Troy by other women. He was the father of Laogonus and Dardanus.
Bias, one of the Suitors of Penelope from Dulichium.
Bias, an Athenian soldier who supported Menestheus against the attacks of Hector.
Bias, a Pylian soldier who fought under their leader Nestor during the Trojan War.
Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 1.39.6
Eustathius on Homer, p. 1473
Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1. 747
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.15.5
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.9.10-11, 2.2.2
Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 4.68.5
Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 1.4e
Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica 1.142
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.9
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.12.5
Homer, Iliad 20.460
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Epitome 7.26 ff & 7.33
Homer, Iliad 13.691
Homer, Iliad 4.295
Pseudo-Apollodorus. Bibliotheca, Book 1.9.10-11, 2.2.2
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 4. 68. 3
Apollonius of Rhodes. Argonautica, Book 1.118
Herodotus. Histories, 9.34; Pausanias. Description of Greece, 2.6.18 & 4.34.4
Pindar. Nemean Ode, 9.30; Scholia.
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