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This page is part of the "tools" section of a site, Plato and his dialogues, dedicated to developing a new interpretation of Plato's dialogues. The "tools" section provides historical and geographical context (chronology, maps, entries on characters and locations) for Socrates, Plato and their time. By clicking on the minimap at the beginning of the entry, you can go to a full size map in which the city or location appears. For more information on the structure of entries and links available from them, read the notice at the beginning of the index of persons and locations.
City of Messenia, along the southwestern coast of
Peloponnese, east of Sparta
Pylos was founded by Neleus, the son of Tyro and Poseidon who was raised in Iolcos at the court of Tyro's husband Chreteus with his twin brother Pelias. He had to move to Messenia when Pelias took the throne of Iolcos from Æson, Jason's father. There, he married Chloris, the only surviving daughter of Amphion and Niobe, from whom he had a daughter, Pero, and twelve sons. Pero was very beautiful, and Neleus was reluctant to marry her, even to his nephew Bias, the son of his brother Amythaon. He put as a condition for the marriage that Bias bring him back the herds of Phylacus, the father of Æson's wife Alcimede, that were kept by a very fierce dog (in some versions of the story, the herds to be stolen are those of Iphiclus, who was none other than Phylacus' son). Bias succeeded with the help of his brother Melampous and married Pero with whom he had, among other, a son named Talaus, who was the father of Adrastus, the king of Argos who led the expedition of the Seven against Thebes at the request of Polynices, Oedipus' son.
With his sons, Neleus had to sustain a war against Heracles, either because Neleus had refused tu purify him after the murder of Iphitus, or becase Neleus has sided with adversaries of Heracles in an earlier campaign waged by the hero. Anyway, in that war, all of Neleus' sons, except the youngest, Nestor, were killed, and maybe even Neleus himself (some traditions say that he survived and later died in Corinth). Nestor was endowed by Apollo, guilty of having massacred the brothers and sisters of his mother Chloris, with a very long life. He succeeded his father on the throne of Pylos, and is shown old in the Iliad playing a leading role as the wise advisor of the Greeks. He is one of the few heroes from the Trojan war who had a happy return home, and in the Odyssey, we see Telemachus pay him a visit to inquire about the fate of his father Ulysses.