Peleus | Father of Achilles

Peleus Greek Mythology

Peleus (gr. Πηλεύς), in Greek mythology, was a king of Phthia (region of Thessaly). He was the son of Aeacus and Endeis, brother of Telamus, friend of the centaur Chiron, married Thetis and was the father of Achilles, (the most powerful of the Greek warriors who fought at Troy).

Main legends associated with his name: The Hunt for the Boar of Chalidon, the Harassment of Astidameia, the Journey with the Argonauts, among others.


Aeacus and Endeis were the parents of Peleus and Télamo. A discordant version is mentioned by Pseudo-Apolodorus: according to Ferecides of Leros, Télamo would not be the son of Aeacus and Endeis, but a friend of Peleus.

Aeacus was the son of Zeus and the nymph Egina, and became king of the island Egina.

Endeis could be the daughter of Sciron, a thief who was active in Megara and was killed by Theseus; Plutarch, however, mentions a myth of Megara in which Sciron is the hero and Theseus the villain. Endeis' mother is called Chariclo. In the text attributed to Hyginus, Endeis' father is the centaur Kiram.

Endeis had a son with Psâmate, daughter of Nereus, called Foco.

Murder of Phocus and exile

Peleus and Telamon, to please their mother, planned to murder Phocus so that it would look like an accident: during the pentathlon, Peleus pretended to make a mistake, and hit Phocus with a stone. Peleus and Telamon were exiled after that.

Birth of Achilles

Achilles was the son of the nereid Tethis and Peleus, king of the Myrmidons. Tethis was one of several daughters of Nereus and Doris, and Peleus was the son of Aeacus and Endeis.

Zeus and Posidon had been rivals for the hand of Tethis until Prometheus, the one responsible for bringing fire to humans, warned Zeus about a prophecy that said that Tethis would give birth to a son even greater than his father. For this reason, the two gods gave up courting her, and made her marry Peleus.

Other sons

In Homer's Iliad, Menestius, one of the commanders of Achilles' army, is the son of Sperkyus with Polydora, Achilles' half-sister.

Pseudo-Apolodorus gives two versions about Polydora: in one version, she is the daughter of Peleus and Antigone, the daughter of Eurithion, king of Phthia, and was married to Borus, son of Perieres. In another version, Polydora is the daughter of Perieres, married to Peleus, but had with Esperchæus their son Menestius.