Butes (herdsman) In Greek mythology, a Thracian, the son of Boreas. His brother Lycurgus, whom he had tried to murder, banished him, and he settled on the island of Strongyle (or Naxos). Finding no women there to marry, he went to Thessaly and carried off some of the women while they were celebrating a sacrifice to Dionysus. One of these, Coronis, whom he raped and forced to be his wife, prayed to Dionysus for vengeance. In retaliation Dionysus drove him mad, and Butes threw himself into a well. Butes is also the name of an Athenian hero, son of the Athenians Pandion and Zeuxippe. He was a tiller of the soil and a priest of Athena and Poseidon. He was believed to be the ancestor of the priestly caste of the Butadae and Eteobutadae. He was worshipped at an altar in Erechtheum with Poseidon and Hephaestus. Variant myths say he was the son of Teleon and Zeuxippe and took part in the expedition of the Argonauts. Another Butes, a Sicilian hero, was also on the Argo. He was enticed by the Sirens’ song and leaped into the sea but was rescued and brought to Lilybaeum in Sicily by Aphrodite. He became the father of Eryx by Aphrodite.


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante