COMAETHO IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY
Comaetho of Taphos in Greek Mythology
Comaetho was the name of several distinct characters from Greek mythology, one such woman though, was a princess of Taphos who is famed for her treachery.
Comaetho Daughter of Pterelaus
Comaetho was the daughter of King Pterelaus, king of the Taphians. Pterelaus was father to six sons, Antiochus, Chersidamas, Chromius, Everes, Mestor and Tyrannus. Comaetho’s brothers, bar Everes, would be killed in a short-lived war in Mycenae, where the sons of Pterelaus killed the sons of Electryon.
The Treachery of Comaetho
Treachery was a cornerstone of many takes in Greek mythology, with the likes of Jason’s abandonment of Medea, and Clytemnestra’s killing of her husband to the fore. There were though a number of examples of daughters betraying their fathers. Famous examples being Ariadne’s betrayal of Midas, with her assistance of Jason, and Scylla’s betrayal of Nisus.
The story of Comaetho is similar.
Alcmene called upon her fiancé, Amphitryon, to avenge the deaths of her brothers. Amphitryon led a coalition of Athenians, Thebans and Argives against the Taphians.
The peripheral islands of Pterelaus’ kingdom fell to the alliance, but the main island of Taphos would not fall. This was because Pterelaus was immortal, for Poseidon had planted upon his head a golden hair, which meant he could not die; Pterelaus being the grandson of Poseidon.
Comaetho would fall in love with Amphitryon, and from her father’s head, Comaetho plucked the magical golden hair. Pterelaus lost his invincibility, and he was soon killed, and the last island of Taphos would fall.
The Death of Comaetho
Comaetho may have been in love with Amphitryon but Amphitryon did not reciprocate the love, for he was very much in love with Alcmene. As a result after Taphos fell, Amphitryon had Comaetho put to death. Pterelaus’ kingdom was then divided between Heleus and Cephalus, whilst Amphitryon returned to Thebes.
Colin Quartermain - Comaetho - 24th August 2021