Triopas of Argos

In Greek mythology, Triopas (Ancient Greek: Τρίωψ) was the seventh king of Argos. Triopas may be an aspect of the Argive Zeus (sometimes represented with a third eye on his forehead), or may be his human representative.

The name's popular etymology is "he who has three eyes".


Triopas belonged to the house of Phoroneus of Argos. According to Hyginus' Fabulae, he was the son of Piranthus and Callirhoe, brother of Argus and Arestorides and the father by Oreasis (Oreaside) of Xanthus and Inachus (probably Iasus). Eurisabe, Anthus, Pelasgus and Agenor were probably Triopas' sons when we took into account that Iasus was always called the brother of Pelasgus and Agenor even though their parentage was differently given.

Alternatively, Triopas was also called the son of Phorbas and Euboea, brother of Arestor and father again of Pelasgus, Iasus, Agenor and a daughter Messene. In the latter case, among these children, the eldest were the twins Pelasgus and Iasus who were mothered by Sois.


According to Eusebius, Triopas reigned for 46 years, in which Prometheus, Epimetheus, Atlas and Io lived during this time.

He succeeded either his father Piranthus or Phorbas to the throne of Argos and was in turn replaced either by his son Iasus or Agenor, or by his grandson Crotopus (son himself of Agenor).

Triopas was a contemporary of the autochthon Cecrops, first king of Athens and Marathonius, the thirteenth king of Sicyon.

Triopas of Thessaly

Triopas was a Thessalian king in Greek mythology. Triopas was not famous for his rule but for his punishment by Demeter, after the king destroyed one of her temples.

Triopas was commonly said to be one of the seven sons of the sun god Helios, and Rhodos, the nymph daughter of Poseidon.

Thus, Triopas was brother to Actis, Candalus, Cercaphus, Macar, Ochimus and Tenages; some sources also add two further brothers, Auges and Thrinax.

Alternatively, Triopas was the son of Poseidon and Canace, which would make Triopas brother to Aloeus, Epopeus, Hopleus and Nireus. ​

Some tell of Triopas marrying Hiscilla, the daughter of Myrmidon, and Triopas thus became father of Erysichthon, Phorbas, and Iphimedeia.

​The story of Triopas as a son of Helios allows for a more detailed tale. The seven sons of Helios were closely associated with the island of Rhodes, and it was said by some that they drove the Telchines from the island.

Known as master seamen and astrologers, Tenages’ skills outstripped those of his brothers, which resulted in the jealousy of the other Heliadae. Four, Actis, Candalus, Macareus and Triopas, acted on this jealousy and killed their brother.

The four murderers were forced to flee from Rhodes, going their separate ways; Actis would end up in Egypt, Candalus on Cos and Macareus on Lesbos. ​

Triopas first sailed the short distance to Chersonesus, the peninsula of Caria, before crossing the sea to Thessaly.

​In Thessaly, helped the sons of Deucalion to force out the Pelasgians from the region, and subsequently, Triopas would become a king of Thessaly.

When building his palace though, Triopas would obtain building material by pulling down an ancient temple of Demeter. Such sacrilege would not go unpunished, and Demeter sent forth Limos, hunger, and from that day forth, Triopas would suffer from insatiable hunger.

Such punishment was also said to have been inflicted upon Triopas’ son, Erysichthon, when he defiled a grove sacred to Demeter.

For the act of sacrilege Triopas was also driven out of his own kingdom by his own subjects, and Triopas would return to Caria, and there he built a new city, Triopion (Triopium).

Demeter though had not forgotten, nor forgiven Triopas’ sacrilege, and the goddess also sent a snake to harass the former Thessalian king further. ​

Eventually, Triopas would die, and some then say that Demeter placed his likeness amongst the stars as the constellation Ophiuchus, the snake-bearer, as a warning to others.

The name Triopas in Greek Mythology

Triopas, king of Argos and son of Phorbas.

Triopas of Thessaly, a son of Poseidon and Canace, and thus the brother of Aloeus, Epopeus, Hopleus and Nireus. He was the husband of Myrmidon's daughter Hiscilla by whom he became the father of Iphimedeia, Phorbas and Erysichthon. He destroyed a temple of Demeter in order to obtain materials for roofing his own house, and was punished by insatiable hunger as well as being plagued by a snake which inflicted illness on him. Eventually Demeter placed him and the snake among the stars as the constellation Ophiuchus to remind others of his crime and punishment. A city in Caria was named Triopion after him.

Triopas, one of the Heliadae, sons of Helios and Rhodos and grandson of Poseidon. Triopas, along with his brothers, Macar, Actis and Candalus, were jealous of a fifth brother, Tenages's, skill at science, and killed him. When their crime was discovered, Triopas escaped to Caria and seized a promontory which received his name (the Triopian Promontory). Later he founded the city of Knidos. There was a statue of him and his horse at Delphi, an offering by the people of Knidos.


Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 5.81.1

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.7.4

Homeric Hymns to Apollo, 3.211

Ovid, Metamorphoses 8.756

Hyginus, Astronomica 2.14

Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica s.v. Triopion

Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 4.57.6

Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 10.11.1

Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 5.81.1

Eusebius, Praeparatio evangelica 10.9.8; 10.11.2, 10.12.1-3

Eusebius, Chronography 66

Augustine, City of God 18.8

Tatian, Address to the Greeks 39

Hyginus, Fabulae 124

Hyginus, Fabulae 145

Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 2.16.1; 2.22.1 & 4.1.1.

Scholia on Euripides, Orestes 932


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