Calchas (brazen) In Greek mythology, a soothsayer, son of Thestor and Megaera; brother of Alcmeon, Leucippe, and Theonoe; father of Cressida. Calchas was an Argonaut who accompanied Agamemnon’s army in the Trojan War. Homer, in the Iliad (book 1), says that Calchas was the “most excellent of augurs, who knew of things that were and that should be and that had been before.”

In postHomeric myth, it was Calchas whose predictions demanded the sacrifice of Iphigenia as well as the building of the wooden horse. He died when he met another soothsayer, Mopsus, who beat him at guessing how many figs were in the branches of a certain fig tree. Some accounts say he died of grief; others say he took his own life. Another myth tells that he died laughing when, as he raised a cup of wine, someone said he would never live to drink it.


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