Βρανχος

The son of a hero called Smicrus, who was a native of Delphi. Smicrus had settled in Miletus and married there and, before Branchus was born, his mother had had a vision, in which she saw the sun sink into her mouth, pass through her whole body and come up again out of her belly. The seers interpreted this as a portent of good fortune. The son she gave birth to was called Branchus, meaning bronchus, because it was through that part of her body that she felt the sun go down inside her.

When the boy, who was very handsome, was looking after the flocks on the mountain one day, Apollo fell in love with him. Broncho raised an altar to Apollo the Friendly, and, inspired by the god who endowed him with the gift of divination, he founded an oracle south of Miletus, at Didymas, which was regarded until historical times as almost equal in prestige to that of Delphi. It was served by Branchides (descendants of Branchus).

Branchus was supposed to have among his ancestors Machaereus, the man who had killed Neoptolemus at Delphi.

{E2 DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY}

Table of Sources:
- Conon, Narr. 33; 44
- schol. on Paus. 5, 8, 8
- Strabo 9, 3, 9, p. 421; 14, 1, 5, p. 634

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