Thestor (Ancient Greek: Θέστωρ) was a seer in Greek mythology. Arguably, Thestor is today best known as the father of another seer, Calchas, but a tale is told in Greek mythology, of Thestor’s travails in keeping his family together.

Thestor is normally named as the son of Idmon and a woman named Laothoe. Idmon was also a seer, a son of Apollo, and the soothsayer who was said to have been numbered amongst the Argonauts, and died in the quest for the Golden Fleece.

Thestor himself, would become father to two sons Calchas and Theoclymenus, and two daughters Leucippe and Theonoe.

It is not commonly said who the wife of Thestor was, and therefore who the mother of Calchas, Theoclymenus, Leucippe and Theonoe was; although the name of Polymela occasionally appears.

According to Hyginus, Fabulae 190 we have the following story about Thestor and his daughters:

The prophet Thestor had a son Calchas, and daughters Leucippe and Theonoe. When Theonoe was playing, pirates from the sea stole her and took her to Caria, where King Icarus bought her for a concubine. Thestor, however, went in search of his lost daughter, and as a result of shipwreck, came to the land of Caria, and was cast into chains at the place where Theonoe was staying.

Leucippe, now that her father and sister were lost, asked Delphi whether she should search for them. Then Apollo replied: "Go throughout the earth as my priest, and you will find them."

Leucippe, on hearing this response, cut her hair, and as a youthful priest went from country to country to find them. When she had come to Caria, Theonoe saw her, and thinking she was a priest, fell in love with "him," and bade "him" be brought that she lie with "him." But she, because she was a woman, said it could not be done.

Then Theonoe in anger gave orders that the priest be shut in a room and that someone from the servants' quarters come to kill him. The old man Thestor was sent unknowingly to his daughter to do the slaying. Theonoe did not recognize him and gave him a sword, bidding him kill the priest. When he had entered, sword in hand, he said his name was Thestor; he had lost his two daughters, Leucippe and Theonoe, and had come to this pitch of misfortune, that he had been ordered to commit a crime.

When he had turned the weapon and was about to kill himself, Leucippe, hearing her father's name, wrested the sword from him. In order to go and kill the queen, she called on her father Thestor to aid her. Theonoe, when she heard her father's name, gave proof she was his daughter. Then Icarus the king, after this recognition, sent him back into his country with gifts.

Thestor in Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology, Thestor (Ancient Greek: Θέστωρ) is a name that may refer to:

Thestor, son of Idmon and Laothoe, grandson of Apollo; some say that Idmon ("the knowing") was his own surname. By Polymela, he was the father of Calchas, Leucippe and Theonoe.

Thestor, a Trojan, who was killed by Ajax.

Thestor, another Trojan, brother of Satnius. They were sons of Enops and a Naiad nymph of the river Satnioeis. Thestor was slain by Patroclus, and Satnius by Ajax the Lesser.

Thestor, father of Alcmaon (not to be confused with Alcmaeon). His son fought at Troy and was killed by Sarpedon with a spear.


Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.139

Tzetzes, Homeric Allegories Prologue 639

Homer, Iliad 1.69

Hyginus, Fabulae 190

Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica 3.229

Homer, Iliad 14.444 & 16.401

Homer, Iliad 12.394

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