Phineus | King of Thrace

Phineus Greek Mythology

Phineus, in Greek mythology, was a king of Thrace.

Phineus married Cleopatra, daughter of Boreas and Orithia, daughter of Erectheus, with whom he had two sons; he then married Idea, daughter of Dardanus, king of the Scythians.

When the Argonauts arrived in Thrace, Cleopatra's two sons were being severely punished, based on a false accusation by Idea. They were released, and Phineus made war against the Argonauts, being killed by Heracles.

Diodorus Siculo mentions an alternative version in which Cleopatra's sons were blinded by their father, and that Phineus was then blinded by Boreas.

Other versions


Phineus, son of Agenor, had two sons with Cleopatra. Because of machinations by Fineu's second wife, Cleopatra's children were blinded by their father. Apollo had given Phineus the gift of prophecy, but because he had revealed the secrets of the gods, Zeus took away his sight and sent the harpies to chase him: they devoted themselves to stealing the blind man's food, ignoring his servants who tried unsuccessfully to chase them away.

Fineu was about to die of starvation when the Argonauts arrived. Fineu promised to reveal the way if they would free him from the harpies. Zetes and Calais, sons of the north wind, and Orithia, who had wings on their heads and feet, drove the harpies to the Strophades islands, saving him from death.

Phineus helped the Argonauts cross the Symphades by sending a pigeon, and having them cross the rocks by rowing as hard as they could after the rocks opened up.

Phineus also helped the Argonauts by teaching them how to get rid of the birds on the island of Dia, which used their feathers as arrows. The solution was to use their shields and spears to make noise, and thus drive the birds away, in the manner of the curettes.

The Heroes of Olympus

In the book The Son of Neptune from Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series, he appears as Gaia's ally, tormented by the harpies, who have been cursed to only be able to feed on the food on her table.

He aims to capture Ella, a red-feathered harpy who decorates books and who disturbs him. Percy, Hazel and Frank beat him by making a bet and tricking him into giving them blood from the left side of a Gorgon, which can kill anyone very painfully.

Dictis of Crete

Phineus was the son of Agenor, and the father of Olizone, this married Dárdano, with whom she had son Erictonius.