Abderus | Greek Hero

Abderus Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology, Abdero ("son of battle"), eponymous with the city of Abdera, was a semi-divine hero, a native of Opunte in Loccida and the son of Hermes or, according to other authors, of Opiano Menecius, which would make him the brother of Patroclus.

Abdero was one of Hercules' eromenos, who took him, along with other young men, to Thrace to help him fulfill his eighth job, that of trapping Diomedes' mares, which fed on human flesh, and taking them to Eurystheus in Mycenae.

After overpowering the king's servants, Hercules took the mares to the coast. When attacked by Diomedes' soldiers, Hercules was forced to leave the mares in the care of Abderus, who could not master them and was dragged and devoured by them.

Hercules, who loved Abdero, took revenge by killing Diomedes, and giving him to devour his own mares. He then founded the city of Abdera, around Abdero's tomb, where he held a set of funeral games in honor of the young man, consisting of the contests of pugilat, wrestling, and pankration.

In the context of Latin literature, Hyginus describes Abdero as a slave who assists Hercules in killing Diomedes, the king of Thrace, and his four horses that fed on human flesh. Hyginus also gives the horses names: they are: Podargo, Lampo, Xanthus and Dino.