Acrisius (Ancient Greek: polytonic|Ακρίσιος) was a mythical king of Argos, and a son of Abas and Aglaea [Apollodorus. "The Library", [ Book 2] .] (or Ocalea, depending on the author), grandson of Lynceus, great-grandson of Danaus. His twin brother was Proetus, with whom he is said to have quarreled even in the womb of his mother. When Abas died and Acrisius had grown up, he expelled Proetus from his inheritance; but, supported by his father-in-law Iobates, the Lycian, Proetus re­turned, and Acrisius was compelled to share his kingdom with his brother by giving Tiryns to him, while he retained Argos for himself.

Acrisius and Perseus

Acrisius's daughter, Danaë, was prophesied to have a son that would kill him, so Acrisius locked her in a bronze tower (or a cave) when she became fertile. Zeus had intercourse with her in the form of a shower of gold (some accounts say it is her uncle, Proteus, who impregnates her).Citation
last = Schmitz
first = Leonhard
author-link =
contribution = Acrisius
editor-last = Smith
editor-first = William
title = Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
volume = 1
pages = 14
publisher =
place = Boston, MA
year = 1867
contribution-url =
] Danaë became pregnant with Perseus. Acrisius put the child and Danaë in a chest and threw it in the sea. Zeus asked Poseidon to calm the water; he did and Danaë and Perseus survived, washing up on the island of Seriphos. A fisherman named Dictys, brother of king Polydectes, found the pair and took care of them. [Apollodorus, ii. 2. § 1, 4. § 1.] [Pausanias, ii. 16. § 2, 25. § 6, iii. 13. § 6.] [Hyginus. "Fabulae", 63.]

Perseus grew up to be a hero, killing Medusa and rescuing Andromeda. Perseus and Danaë returned to Argos but King Acrisius had gone to Larissa. When Perseus arrived in Larissa, he participated in some funeral games and accidentally struck Acrisius in the head with a discus, killing him and accomplishing the prophecy.

Founder of Delphic amphictyony

According to the Scholiast on Euripides, [Euripides. "Orestes", 1087.] Acrisius was the founder of the Delphic amphictyony. Strabo believes that this amphictyony existed before the time of Acrisius, [Strabo, ix. p. 420.] and that he was only the first who regulated the affairs of the amphictyons, fixed the towns which were to take part in the council, gave to each its vote, and set­tled the jurisdiction of the amphictyons. [Comp. Libanius, "Orat." vol. iii. 472, ed. Reiske.]




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