P. 243 (with art)

♠ Souda = Phanodemos 325F4 Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 3B, pp. 79-80, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1950.

Greek Text

Hyginus, Fabulae 46

ERECHTHEUS: Erechtheus, son of Pandion, had four daughters who promised each other that if one met death, the others would kill themselves. Eumolpus, son of Neptune, came to attack Athens because he said the Attic land was his father’s. When he and his army were defeated and he was slain by the Athenians, Neptune demanded that Erechtheus’ daughter be sacrificed to him so that Erechtheus would not rejoice at his son’s death. And so when Chthonia, his daughter, had been sacrifided, the others in accordance with their oaths killed themselves. Erechtheus himself at Neptune’s request was smitten with a thunderbolt by Jove. (Latin Text).

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1.38.3

When the Eleusinians fought with the Athenians, Erechtheus, king of the Athenians, was killed.  Greek Text

Chest of Kypselos from temple of Hera at Olympia (known through Pausanias’ description and modern reconstructions)

Pausanias, Description of Greece 5.19.1

In the fourth space on the chest as you go round from the left is Boreas, who has carried off Oreithyia; instead of feet he has serpents’ tails.  Greek Text


Detail with Boreas and Oreithuia, from reconstruction of chest of Kypselos by W. von Massow, “Die Kypseloslade,” Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung vol. 41 (1916), pl. 1.

Simonides 534 PMG – Poetae Melici Graeci, p. 277 ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

Simonides [says] that Oreithuia was from Brilessos and that she was snatched and carried away from Thrace to the Sarpedonian Rock (Transl. Aaron J. Ivey).

Akousilaos 2F30 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 55, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Berlin F2186 (lost): Attic red-figure stamnos by the Berlin Painter with Boreas and Oreithuia


Annali dell’Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica 32 (1860), pl. M

Beazley Archive Pottery Database (no image)

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg F2165 (not lost, as Gantz): Attic red-figure pointed amphora by the Oreithuia Painter with Boreas and Oreithuia


Front: E. Gerhard, Etruskische und Kampanische Vasenbilder des Königlichen Museums zu Berlin (1843), pls. 26-7


Back: E. Gerhard, Etruskische und Kampanische Vasenbilder des Königlichen Museums zu Berlin (1843), pls.28-9

Beazley Archive Pottery Database (no image)

Munich, Staaliche Antikensammlungen 2345: Attic red-figure pointed amphora by the Oreithuia Painter with Boreas and Oreithuia


Wikimedia Commons


Front: A. Furtwaengler and K. Reichhold, Griechische Vasenmalerei: Auswahl hervorragender Vasenbilder (Serie II, 1909), pl. 94


Back: A. Furtwaengler and K. Reichhold, Griechische Vasenmalerei: Auswahl hervorragender Vasenbilder (Serie II, 1909), pl. 95

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Perseus Art & Archaeology Artifact Browser

Choirilos, fr. 7 PEG – Poetae Epici Graeci 1, p. 194, ed. A. Bernabé. Leipzig 1987.

Choirilos says that [Oreithuia] was snatched while plucking flowers on the banks of the Kephisos (transl. Aaron J. Ivey).

Aischylos, Oreituia fr. 281 R – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 3, pp. 378-79, ed. S. L. Radt. Göttingen 1985.

Boreas: …For if I see some **ἑστιοῦκον** alone, after threading a furious flame-wreath [into it], I shall kindle the roof and burn it to cinders! As it is I have not yet sung the noble song (Transl. Aaron J. Ivey).

Hesiod, Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) fr 156 MW – Fragmenta Hesiodea, pp. 76-77, ed. R. Merkelbach and M. L. West. Oxford 1967

a) He says they are called the Wandering Isles because they turn backwards and from there turn towards the Boreads–taken from Antimachos. They say they are called the Wandering Isles because they turn about…there they prayed to Zeus so that they may take the Harpuiai. They are not killed according to Hesiod, Antimachos, and Apollonius.

b) The Plotae Isles were called by a new name: the Wandering Isles…Antimachus remembers them in his Lyde…Hesiod also says that Zetes and his men turned and prayed to Zeus: “There they prayed to Aineius, who rules on high.”

Apollodorus Library 3.15.2-4

[2] While Orithyia was playing by the Ilissus river, Boreas carried her off and had intercourse with her; and she bore daughters, Cleopatra and Chione, and winged sons, Zetes and Calais. These sons sailed with Jason and met their end in chasing the Harpies; but according to Acusilaus, they were killed by Hercules in Tenos. [3] Cleopatra was married to Phineus, who had by her two sons, Plexippus and Pandion. When he had these sons by Cleopatra, he married Idaea, daughter of Dardanus. She falsely accused her stepsons to Phineus of corrupting her virtue, and Phineus, believing her, blinded them both. But when the Argonauts sailed past with Boreas, they punished him. [4] Chione had connexion with Poseidon, and having given birth to Eumolpusunknown to her father, in order not to be detected, she flung the child into the deep. But Poseidon picked him up and conveyed him to Ethiopia, and gave him to Benthesicyme( a daughter of his own by Amphitrite) to bring up. When he was full grown, Benthesicyme’s husband gave him one of his two daughters. But he tried to force his wife’s sister, and being banished on that account, he went with his son Ismarus to Tegyrius, king of Thrace, who gave his daughter in marriage to Eumolpus’s son. But being afterwards detected in a plot against Tegyrius, he fled to the Eleusinians and made friends with them. Later, on the death of Ismarus, he was sent for by Tegyrius and went, composed his old feud with him, and succeeded to the kingdom. And war having broken out between the Athenians and the Eleusinians, he was called in by the Eleusinians and fought on their side with a large force of Thracians. When Erechtheus inquired of the oracle how the Athenians might be victorious, the god answered that they would win the war if he would slaughter one of his daughters; and when he slaughtered his youngest, the others also slaughtered themselves; for, as some said, they had taken an oath among themselves to perish together. In the battle which took place after the slaughter, Erechtheus killed Eumolpus. Greek Text

Literary sources edited by Aaron J. Ivey, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Classics, University of Georgia, July 2016; updated by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, April 2021

Artistic sources edited by R. Ross Holloway, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor Emeritus, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown Univ., Sept. 2016, and by Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, Nov. 2016.

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