Βαττος

  1. The name of an old man who played a part in the story of the theft of Apollo's oxen by Hermes. When Apollo was completely absorbed by his love for Hymenaeus, the son of Magnes, he neglected his flocks and Hermes stole a certain number of beasts from him and removed them to the outskirts of Menale in the Peloponnese. There, meeting an old man who lived on the mountain, he was afraid that his theft might be disclosed and he promised the old man whose name was Battus a heifer if he agreed to keep silent. The old man gave his promise but Hermes after putting the cattle in a safe place changed his shape and returned to Battus, pretending that he was looking for his cattle, and asking him if he had not seen a herd pass by, promising him a reward if he would help him find them. Battus broke his promise and told him, and Hermes in anger changed him into a rock.
     
  2. Battus was also the name of a mythical or historical character, the founder of the colony of Cyrene on the coast of Libya. His father was Polymnestus, a descendant of the Argonaut Euphemus. He belonged to the race known as Minyans who were descended from the Argonauts (see Minyas). Having left Lemnos for Lacedaemonia, they were obliged to leave Lacedaemonia and settle in Thera, following the Lacedaemonian Theras. His mother was called Phronime and was a native-born Cretan. In the commonest tradition Battus was only a nickname given to a hero because he stammered; however, Herodotus tells us that Battus means king in the language spoken in Libya. Battus' real name is said by some to be Aristoteles, by others, Aristaeus (the latter has perhaps been confused with Aristaeus, the son of the Nymph Cyrene). According to Pausanias, Battus regained the power of speech after the foundation of Cyrene.

{E2 DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY}

Table of Sources:

  1. - Anotninus Liberalis, Met. 23
    - Ovid, Met. 2, 676ff.
     
  2. - Paus. 3, 14, 3; 10, 15, 6f
    - Suda s.v.
    - Hdt. 4, 150ff.
    - Pind. Pyth. 5, 27ff. (37ff.) with schol. on 35; Pyth. 4, 1ff.
    - Justin 13, 7
    - schol. on Callim. Hymn 2, 65

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