Abderus (Greek: polytonic|Ἄβδηρος) was in
Greek mythologya divine hero, a son of Hermesby some accounts, and eponymof Abdera.Citation
last = Schmitz
first = Leonhard
contribution = Abderus
editor-last = Smith
editor-first = William
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
volume = 1
pages = 2
year = 1867
contribution-url = http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/0011.html ]
The paternity of Abderus differs according to which source is referred to. Some say he was the son of the god
Hermes. But according to other writers, he was the son of Thromius the Locrian. [ Apollodorusii. 5. § 8; Strabo, "Geographica" vii. p. 331.] Still others claimed he was the son of Heracles' friend, Opian Menoetius, which would make Abderus a brother to Patroclus, the famous friend of Achilles who died at Troy.
He is mostly known for his tragic role in
Heracles' Eighth Labor. Along with others, he helped Heracles capture the four savage mares of Diomedes the king of the Thracian Bistones. Heracles overpowered the grooms and drove the Mares of Diomedesinto the sea and left them in the care of Abderus. However, while Heracles was away, the horses devoured Abderus. In revenge, Heracles fed Diomedes alive to his own mares. Heracles founded the city of Abdera near Abderus' tomb, where agones (Greek: polytonic|ἀγῶνες), athletic games consisting of boxing, pancratium and wrestlingwere held in his honor (but chariot races were banned in respect of how he died).
In some very different traditions, instead of helping Heracles with his Eight Labor, Abderus (or Abdertis) was a servant of the Thracian King Diomedes, and was killed by Heracles together with his master and his four men-devouring horses. [Hyginus, "
Fabulae" 30; cf. Philostratus, "Heroicus" 3. § 1 ; 10. § 2.]
*On the agones: Philostratus II 25.
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