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Agenor (Greek: Ἀγήνωρ, gen.: Ἀγήνορος; English translation: "heroic, manly")[1] was in Greek mythology and history a Phoenician king of Tyre.[2] Herodotus estimates that Agenor lived sometime before the year 2000 B.C.[3]

Contents

Genealogy

Some sources state that Agenor was the son of Poseidon and Libya; these accounts refer to a twin brother named Belus. According to other sources, he was the son of Belus and Achiroe.

Sources differ also as to Agenor's children; he is sometimes said to have been the father of Cadmus, Europa, Cilix, Phoenix, and Thasus.[4][5][6][7] Some sources state that Phoenix was Agenor's brother (and Belus's son); and it was Phoenix who was the father of these individuals. Agenor's wife is variously given as Telephassa, Argiope, Cassiopeia, Epimedusa, and Tyro, with the latter giving her name to the city of Tyre.

In the Iliad, however, Europa is clearly a daughter of Phoenix.[8] Either Cadmus or Europa are confirmed as children of Phoenix by the Ehoeae attributed to Hesiod and by Bacchylides and by various scholia. Cilix and Phineus are also sons of Phoenix according to Pherecydes,[9] who also adds an otherwise unknown son named Doryclus.

Most later sources list Cadmus and Cilix as sons of Agenor directly without mentioning Phoenix. On the rare occasions when he is mentioned, Phoenix is listed as the brother of Cadmus and Cilix.

Whether he is included as a brother of Agenor or as a son, his role in mythology is limited to inheriting his father's kingdom and to becoming the eponym of the Phoenicians. All accounts agree on a Phoenician king who has several children, including the two sons named Cadmus and Cilix and a daughter named Europa.

Myth

Zeus saw Agenor's daughter Europa gathering flowers and immediately fell in love with her. Zeus transformed himself into a white bull and carried Europa away to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity and Europa became the first queen of Crete. Agenor, meanwhile, sent Europa's brothers, Cadmus and Cilix in search of her, telling them not to return without her. In some versions of the tale, Agenor sends her other brothers as well: Phineus or Thasus (and of course Phoenix in the versions where the Cadmus's father is Agenor).

As Europa could not be found, none of the brothers returned.[5][10] Cadmus consulted the oracle of Delphi and was advised to travel until encountering a cow. He was to follow this cow and to found a city where the cow would lie down; this city became Thebes. Cilix searched for her and settled down in Asia Minor. The land was called Cilicia after him.

Agenor and city-founding

Virgil calls Carthage the city of Agenor,[11] by which he alludes to the descent of Dido from Agenor. German philologist Philipp Karl Buttmann points out that the genuine Phoenician name of Agenor was Chnas or Khna, which is the same as Canaan, and upon these facts he builds the hypothesis that Agenor or Chnas is the same as the Canaan in the books of Moses.[2] Quintus Curtius Rufus considered Agenor to have been the founder of Sidon, and he was also popularly supposed to have introduced the Phoenician alphabet, which was later taught by Cadmus to the Greeks and became the foundation of their own writing system.[12]

Argive genealogy in Greek mythology
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Uranus
 
Gaia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cronus
 
Rhea
 
Oceanus
 
Tethys
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Memphis
 
 
Libya
 
Poseidon
 
 
 
Nilus
 
Inachus
 
Melia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Belus
 
Agenor
 
 
 
Telephassa
 
 
Phoroneus
 
Io
 
Zeus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cadmus
 
Cilix
 
Europa
 
Phoenix
 
Achiroe
 
 
 
Epaphus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Harmonia
 
 
Danaus
 
Aegyptus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Polydorus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Agave
 
 
Hypermnestra
 
Lynceus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Autonoë
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ino
 
 
 
 
Abas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Semele
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proetus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References

  1. ^ Liddell, Henry; Robert Scott (1996). A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 9. ISBN 0-19-864226-1.  
  2. ^ a b Schmitz, Leonhard (1867), "Agenor (1)", in Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, pp. 68, http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/0077.html  
  3. ^ Herodotus, Histories, II, 2.145
  4. ^ Scholiast, ad Eurip. Phoen. 5
  5. ^ a b Hyginus, Fabulae 178
  6. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece v. 25. §7
  7. ^ Scholiast, ad Apollon. Rhod. ii. 178, iii. 1185.
  8. ^ Homer, Iliad 14.321–22
  9. ^ Pherecydes, 3F86
  10. ^ Apollodorus, iii. 1. § 1
  11. ^ Virgil, Aeneid i. 338
  12. ^ Raleigh, Walter; William Oldys (ed.). The Works of Sir Walter Raleigh. pp. 224, 274–278. http://books.google.com/books?id=3vGAz5Gs3JEC.  
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