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By Haijo Jan Westra, Edouard Jeauneau


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Eur. Androm. 687; Apollod. Bib. 3. 12. 6 reports that Phokos was famous for his strength) or even to an accidental misthrow (Diod. Sic. 4. 72. 6). And though Peleus remains the principal assassin, reflecting the earlier form of the tale in which he alone destroyed Psamathe’s son,⁶¹ both brothers ⁵⁷ Poros figure from older temple, Walter (1993) fig. 34; pedimental Amazon battle, Fuchs and Floren (1987) 310. ⁵⁸ For Telamon at the Kalydonian boar hunt see Furtwängler, Vasensammlung i. 246, no. 1706, Berlin vase from Orvieto; Eur.

2. 29. 7)⁴⁸—and he was surely represented among the cult figures kept in the Founder’s shrine. He was, after all, the eldest son of Aiakos, engendered upon the Nereid Psamathe who left him on the shore when she returned to her element. In the primitive story his killing had served to establish the islanders’ identity as landsmen who were triumphant over the sea,⁴⁹ but he took on a sharper significance when it was Peleus who removed him. Ever a figure for ‘what-might-have-been,’ he now entered panhellenic myth as a preliminary version of Achilles, erased by the herofather of that more perfect son of a Nereid.

6; Ov. Met. 7. 476. Euripides knew a story in which Psamathe left Aiakos to become the wife of Proteus (Hel. 6). ⁵¹ That the slaughter of Phokos was viewed as a heroic deed is clear from a bit of elaborate Euripidean irony at Androm. 687, where the weak and uxorious Menelaus suggests that Peleus should have been like him – should have refused to kill Phokos as he had refused to kill Helen. ⁵⁴ So why should that belligerent man not have been a third son of Aiakos, brother and ally of Peleus and like him exiled after the killing of the Seal Prince, at which time he took refuge on Salamis?

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