Ακανθις

The daughter of Autonous and his wife Hippodamia, who also had four sons, Anthus, Erodius, Schoeneus and Acanthus. Acanthis was also known as Acanthyllis. The family farmed a large area of land but it was not very fruitful since they did not work hard and their fields were always full of thistles and rushes. This was appropriate to the names of two of the sons, Schoeneus and Acanthus, whose names in Greek mean respectively 'rush' and 'thistle'. Their main occupation was horse breeding and they were in the habit of leaving mares to graze on the marshes. One day Anthus went to fetch the mares and they, not wanting to leave their grazing, reared up in anger and fell on him crushing him to death. The whole family was cast into such despair by this dreadful death that Zeus and Apollo, out of pity for their passionate grief, turned them all into birds. Autonous became a bittern, Hippodamia a crested lark, and Anthus, Erodius, Schoeneus, Acanthus and Acanthis birds of uncertain identification, which were called by the same names. Acanthus and Acanthis probably became two varieties of goldfinch (see Acalanthis) and Erodius probably a heron.

{E2 DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY}

Table of Sources:
- Antoninus Liberalis, Met. 7

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