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Ιαμος

An Olympian hero, the mythical founder of the priestly family of the Iamids. His divine ancestry was as follows. Pitane, the daughter of the river-god Eurotas, bore Poseidon a daughter EVADNE, who was brought up by her human 'father' AEPYTUS. Apollo fell in love with Evadne, who bore him a son. Since she was ashamed of having been seduced, Evadne abandoned her child. However, two snakes came and fed the child with honey. One day Evadne found him miraculously safe and sleeping in the middle of some flowering violets. So she called him Iamus (the 'child of the violets').

Aepytus then questioned the oracle of Delphi who replied that little Iamus would be a famous prophet and the founder of a long line of priests and prophets. When he was an adult, Iamus went one night to the banks of the Alpheus and invoked his father Apollo and his grandfather Poseidon. Apollo answered his call and told him to follow the sound of his voice. Apollo then led him to the site of Olympus and told him to settle there and wait for Heracles to come and found the games which would later become famous. Apollo also taught him to understand the language of birds and to interpret the omens from sacrificial victims.

{E2 DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY}

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