In Greek mythology, Autolycus (in Greek, "polytonic|Αὐτόλυκος" – "Lone Wolf") was a son of Hermes and Chione.

He was the father of Anticlea (who married Laertes of Ithaca and was the mother of Odysseus) and of several sons of whom only Aesimus is named.

Autolycus was a renowned thief (skills passed down by his father, the King of Thieves and Messenger God) and a formidable exponent of wrestling (which he taught to Heracles). Autolycus stole the cattle of Sisyphus as well as the helmet that his grandson, Odysseus (whom he thus named), wore during the Trojan War. Autolycus was one of the Argonauts. He is also purported to have been the one who took Eurytus' (see the main article, "Eurytus") mares (or cattle), leading to the murder of one his sons, Iphitus, by Heracles.

Although not as well known as many other Greek mythological figures, Autolycus has appeared in a number of works of fiction. A comic thief in Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale" boasts that he is named after Autolycus and, like him, is "a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles". In the television series ' and ', Autolycus appeared as a somewhat bumbling and comical antihero, referring to himself as the "King of Thieves". Although occasionally uncoordinated, he was also a cunning thief, portrayed by cult actor Bruce Campbell.

Autolycus is also the name of a fictional racehorse in the 1934 film "The Clairvoyant", starring Claude Rains.


*Apollodorus. Bibliotheke I, ix, 16; II, iv, 9; vi, 2.
*Ovid. Metamorphoses XI, 301-17; Homer. Iliad X, 265-271.
*Homer. Odyssey XI, 84-6; XIX,395-566.

External links

* [ Godchecker - Autolycus: The Prince of Thieves]
* [ Classic Encyclopedia (1911) - Autolycus]
* [ Encyclopedia Mythica - Autolycus]
* [ Marvel Characters - Captain Autolycus]
* [ Autolycus: The Herculean Thief's Page]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Autolycus — Autolycus, griech., Astronom aus Pitane im 4. Jahrh. v. Chr., schrieb über die Himmelskugel und den Auf und Untergang der Fixsterne Werke, die keine besonderen Beobachtungen enthalten (abgedruckt in des Dasypodius Propos. doctr. sphaericae,… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Autolycus — /aw tol i keuhs/, n. Class. Myth. a thief, the son of Hermes and Chione, and the grandfather of Odysseus. He possessed the power of changing the shape of whatever he stole and of making it and himself invisible. * * * ▪ Greek mythology       in… …   Universalium

  • AUTOLYCUS — I. AUTOLYCUS Mercurii filius, qui proxima Parnassi loca furtis infestavit. Ovid. Mer. l. 11. v. 313. Nascitur Autolycus furtum ingeniosus ad omne. Martial. l. 8. Epigr. 59. v. 4. Non fuit Autolyci tam piceata manus. Sunt qui Iasonis comitem… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Autolycus — Autolykos (lat. Autolycus) war ein Dieb in der griechischen Mythologie. Als Sohn des Gottes Hermes und der Chione stand er unter dessen Schutz und übertraf alle übrigen Menschen an Diebesfertigkeit. Er war der Großvater des Odysseus… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Autolycus — /aw tol i keuhs/, n. Class. Myth. a thief, the son of Hermes and Chione, and the grandfather of Odysseus. He possessed the power of changing the shape of whatever he stole and of making it and himself invisible. * * * Autolycus /ö tolˈi kəs/ noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • Autolycus — Autolycos Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Dans la mythologie grecque, Autolycos est l aïeul maternel d Ulysse. Autolycos de Pitane est un savant grec, né vers 360 av. J. C. Autolycos est …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Autolycus — See Exact sciences (The) in Hellenistic times: texts and issues …   History of philosophy

  • Autolycus — /ɔˈtɒləkəs/ (say aw toluhkuhs) noun 1. Greek Legend maternal grandfather of Odysseus, renowned as a thief. 2. a lighthearted thief, trickster, or plagiarist; an opportunist (from the character in Shakespeare s Winter s Tale) …   Australian English dictionary

  • Autolycus of Pitane — (c. 360 BC–c. 290 BC) was a Greek astronomer, mathematician, and geographer. Life and work Autolycus was born in Pitane, a town of Aeolis within Western Anatolia. Of his personal life nothing is known, although he was a contemporary of Aristotle… …   Wikipedia

  • AUTOLYCUS puer — pancratiô victor, propter quem Xenophon Symposium scripsit, inter Leocratis opera, memoratur Plinio l. 34. c. 8 …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

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