Greek mythology
Brother of Trophonius. Agamedes and Trophonius were architects; they designed and built the Temple of Apollo at Delphi and the treasury of King Hyrieus. However, they designed the treasury so that they could remove one stone and have access to the king's wealth. Hyrieus, noticing his diminishing funds, set a trap in order to catch the thief, and Agamedes was caught. Trophonius, worried that he would be implicated, cut off Agamedes' head before he could name his brother as an accomplice.

E2 Dictionary of Classical Mythology


A famous architect, the son of Stymphalus and great-grandson of Arcas, from whom the name Arcadia is derived (Table 9). His wife was Epicaste, who is said to have had a son by Apollo named Trophonius, whom she brought to Agamedes. She then bore him a son, Cercyon. All three, Agamedes, Trophonius and Cercyon, were equally clever architects who constructed many famous buildings in archaic Greece. To them were attributed, most notably, the marriage chamber of Alcemene at Thebes, the temples of Apollo at Delphi and of Poseidon in Arcadia, on the road from Mantinea to Tegea, and a royal treasury for Hyrieus, king of Hyria in Boeotia.

The following legend is told about this treasury: Agamedes and Trophonius, who had been commissioned to build it, placed a stone so skilfully that they could easily remove it and in the night take what they wanted from the king's treasures. The king discovered the thefts and sought Daedalus' advice on how to catch the criminals. He arranged a trap in which Agamedes was caught. Trophonius cut off his head, so that he could not give away his accomplice's name, but the earth opened and swallowed up Trophonius. In the wood of Lebadeus there was a hole and a stele bearing the name of Agamedes. There stood the oracle of Trophonius, to which offerings were brought and where the name of Agamedes was also invoked.

In a slightly different version of this legend the king in question was not Hyrieus but Augias of Elis. Cercyon, who took part in the theft, fled with Trophonius to Orchomenues but when they were pursued by Daedalus and Augias, Cercyon sought refuge in Athens and Trophonius at Lebadeus.

According to yet another legend Agamedes and Trophonius had built a temple to Apollo, and when they asked the god to pay them, he promised to do so at the end of a week and advised them to lead a happy life in the meantime. On the eighth night the two architects died peacefully, this being the best payment the god could make them.


Table of Sources:
- Paus. 8, 4, 8; 8, 10, 2; 9, 11, 1; 9, 37, 3ff.; 9, 39, 6
- Strabo, 9, 3, 9, p. 421
- schol. on Aristophanes, Clouds 508
- Plato, Axiochus 367c
- Homeric Hymn to Apollo 296
- Plutarch, Consol. ad Ap. 14, 109ab
- Cic. Tusc. 1, 114
- See also Trophonius

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