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date: 30 January 2023



  • A. Schachter


Trophonius, son of Erginus, was with his brother Agamedes a renowned master-builder whose work included the lower courses of *Apollo's first temple at Delphi (Homeric Hymn to Apollo295–7), the treasury of Augeas (Telegonia Argumentum 1 fr. 2 Bernabé, p. 72 Davies), and the treasury of Hyrieus (Paus. 9. 37. 5–7). The last, a variation of the story of *Rhampsinitus told by *Herodotus(1) (2. 121), provides the connection with Trophonius as cult figure and son of Apollo (Hes., see M. L. West, ZPE 61 (1985), 6, cf. Schachter 72 n. 3; Paus. 9. 37. 5). While building the treasury, the brothers left a stone loose, so that they could make off with the treasure bit by bit. Hyrieus set a trap, which caught Agamedes. Trophonius cut off his brother's head, and ran off with it, pursued by Hyrieus. At Lebadea, the ground opened up and swallowed Trophonius. He lived on underground as an oracular god (a fate similar to that of *Amphiaraus: in both cases an underground oracular god—the ritual of consultation is basically identical—is identified with a figure of heroic tradition; see oracles).


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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