Akusilaos of Argos

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Akusilaos of Argos (* late 6th century BC ; † first half of 5th century BC ) was an ancient Greek genealogist and historian . According to Hekataios of Miletus, one of the first known Greek prose writers and historians at all, he, like Pherecydes of Athens , is counted among the so-called logographers and mainly dealt with mythography .

Akusilaos wrote three books of which we know from fragments (collectively called Historiai or Genealogiai ) and in each of them dealt with divine, heroic and ultimately human genealogy . Particularly in the divine genealogy there are differences to the model Hesiod : While Hesiod begins mythology with the four parentless protogonoi Chaos , Tartaros , Ge and Eros , Akusilaos only takes chaos as a starting point and probably only moves Eros into the fourth generation.

Overall, Akusilaos apparently attempted, like Hesiod, to convert the very different local myths of gods into an overall genealogical system (in contrast to his model, however, at the beginning it was strictly hierarchically structured); In the field of the history of heroes and men, too, he must have intended something similar. His examination of the subject is, however, judged negatively by later historians, such as Herodotus , as well as by many contemporary historians. The approach of Akusilaos and that of the other ancient authors, who are counted among the logographers, is considered less scientific compared to the predecessor Hecataeus of Miletus.

Edition of the fragments

  • Felix Jacoby , The Fragments of Greek Historians , No. 2.
  • Ilaria Andolfi (Ed.): Acusilaus of Argos' Rhapsody in Prose. Introduction, Text and Commentary. De Gruyter, Berlin, New York 2019 (Trends in Classics - Supplementary Volumes, 70).



  1. ^ For example Otto Lendle: Introduction to Greek Historiography. From Hekataios to Zosimos , Darmstadt 1992, p. 22.