Son of Poseidon and Tyro, and twin of Pelias. Tyro exposed the twins, but animals suckled them. Years later, after a quarrel, Neleus leaves Pelias as king of Iolcus and either conquers or founds Messenian Pylos. Here he fathers twelve sons, with Nestor the youngest. He reigns without playing a major role in the wars of Nestor's youth. But when he refuses to cleanse Heracles from the murder of Iphitus (see pollution; purification), Heracles conquers Pylos and kills all the sons, except Nestor. Exposure and miraculous survival are typical for founders of dynasties and empires (Romulus, Darius (1), Moses), while the geographical dislocation hides the combination of different local traditions. The later events, as they appear in the Iliad, are determined by Pylian story‐telling about the youth of Nestor.
Subjects: Classical Studies.