AEACUS, in Greek legend, ancestor of the Aeacidae, was the son of Zeus and Aegina, daughter of the river-god Asopus. His mother was carried off by Zeus to the island of Oenone, which was afterwards called by her name. The island having been depopulated by a pestilence, Zeus changed the ants upon it into human beings (Ovid, Met. vii. 520), who were called Myrmidones (murmekes = ants) . Aeacus ruled over his people with such justice and impartiality that after his death he was made judge of the lower world together with Minos and Rhadamanthus. By his wife Endeis he was the father of Telamon and Peleus. His successful prayer to Zeus for rain at a time of drought (Isocrates, Evagoras, 14) was commemorated by a temple at Aegina (Pausanias ii. 29). He himself erected a temple to Zeus Panhellenios and helped Poseidon and Apollo to build the walls of Troy. See Hutchinson, Aeacus, 1901.
Source: 1911 encyclopedia.
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