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In Greek Mythology, Arcesius (also spelled Arceisius or Arkeisios; Greek: Ἀρκείσιος) was the son of either Zeus or Cephalus, and king in Ithaca.


According to scholia on the Odyssey, Arcesius' parents were Zeus and Euryodeia;[1] Ovid also writes of Arcesius as a son of Zeus.[2] Other sources make him a son of Cephalus. Aristotle in his lost work The State of the Ithacians cited a myth according to which Cephalus was instructed by an oracle to mate with the first female being he should encounter if he wanted to have offspring; Cephalus mated with a she-bear, who then transformed into a human woman and bore him a son, Arcesius.[3] Hyginus makes Arcesius a son of Cephalus and Procris,[4] while Eustathius and the exegetical scholia to the Iliad report a version according to which Arcesius was a grandson of Cephalus through Cillus or Celeus.[5]

Zeus made Arcesius' line one of "only sons": his only son was Laertes, whose only son was Odysseus, whose only son was Telemachus.[6] Arcesius's wife (and thus mother of Laertes) was Chalcomedusa,[7] whose origins are not mentioned further, but whose very name, chalcos ("copper") and medousa ("guardian" or "protectress"), identifies her as the protector of Bronze Age metal-working technology.

Arcesius line[edit]

Arceisiades (Ancient Greek: Ἀρκεισιάδης) was a patronymic from Arcesius, who as well as his son Odysseus are designated by the name of "Arceisiades".[8]


Of another Arcesius, an architect, Vitruvius (vii, introduction) notes: "Arcesius, on the Corinthian order proportions, and on the Ionic order temple of Aesculapius at Tralles, which it is said that he built with his own hands."


  1. ^ Scholia and Eustathius on Odyssey 16. 118
  2. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses, 13. 144
  3. ^ Aristotle in Etymologicum Magnum 130. 21, under Arkeisios.
  4. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 189
  5. ^ sch. Il. 2.173b; Eustathius on Iliad, 2. 631
  6. ^ Homer, The Odyssey, 14. 182; 16. 118; cf. also Bibliotheca 1. 9. 16; Hyginus, Fabulae, 173
  7. ^ Scholia on Odyssey 16. 118
  8. ^ Homer, Odyssey xxiv. 270, iv. 755


  • Homer. The Odyssey, Book XVI, in The Iliad & The Odyssey. Trans. Samuel Butler. p. 625. ISBN 978-1-4351-1043-4.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLeonhard Schmitz, Leonhard (1870). "Arceisiades". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. p. 253.