In Greek mythology, Harpalyceharpax- "snatcher" and lyke "she-wolf"— is a name attributed to two women whose myths both embody an incestuous father and a vengeful feast in which a child is killed and served up.[1]

Harpalyce, daughter of ClymeneusEdit

Harpalyce is the daughter of King Clymenus of Arcadia, son of Schoeneus (first version) or of Teleus of Argos (second version). Clymenus was overcome with passion for his daughter. There are several versions of what happened next.

In the first version Clymenus, son of Schoeneus, rapes his daughter and she becomes pregnant. When the son was born she serves him up as a meal at a banquet, to his father. Her father killed her. In an alternative version of this tale, she was instead transformed into a bird, the Calchis (see second version below).[2][3]

In the second version[4] Harpalyce is the daughter of Clymenus son of Teleus of Argos, and of Epicasta, and she has two brothers: Idas and Therager. Clymenus is overcome with passion for his daughter and secretly embarks on an affair with her that lasts for some time. Finally, Alastor, descendant of Neleus, came to claim Harpalyce as his wife, she having been betrothed to him since she was young. When the couple were halfway to their home, Clymenus abducted her back and lived with her openly as his wife. Harpalyce, being upset by father's treatment of her, killed her younger brother and served him up to his father at a banquet. She then prayed to the gods and was transformed into a bird called the Calchis. Clymenus took his own life.

Harpalyce, daughter of HarpalycusEdit

Harpalyce is the daughter of Harpalykos, king of the Amymnei in Thrace. Her mother died and her father suckled her from the teats of heifers and mares. He trained her as a warrior, intending for her to succeed him as ruler. When Neoptolemus, returning from Troy, attacked Harpalycus and severely wounded him, his daughter retaliated, putting the enemy to flight and saving her father. Later Harpalycus died when his people rebelled. After her father's death Harpalyce took to plundering herds of cattle; eventually she was killed by a group of herdsmen.[5]


  1. This mytheme also figures in the story of Tantalus and Pelops.
  2. Hyginus. Fabulae, 206, 238, 239, 246, 253, 255.
  3. Nonnus. Dionysiaca, 70, note 11.
  4. Parthenius of Nicaea. Love Stories, 8.
  5. Hyginus. Fabulae, 193, 252, 254.

Template:Greek-myth-stubbg:Харпалика (митология) ru:Гарпалика (дочь Гарпалика) fi:Harpalyke (mytologia) uk:Гарпаліка

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