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In Greek mythology, King Gelanor (Ancient Greek: Γελάνωρ) of Argos, was the son and successor of Sthenelus.[1] His real name was Pelasgus, the name "Gelanor" is a literary devise meaning 'laughter': he was so called because he had initially laughed at the claim to kingship over Argos by Danaus.[2]

Gelanor welcomed Danaus and his daughters when they tried to escape Aegyptus and his sons. When an oracle told Gelanor to give Danaus his kingdom, he did so. He wanted to sell the Danaïdes into slavery following their murder of their husbands, but Danaus and the gods dissuaded him. He is simply called the "king" in Aeschylus's Suppliant Maidens. Alternatively, it was not an oracle, but an omen, that induced Gelanor to renounce his kinship in favor of Danaus. The omen was of a wolf attacking a herd of cattle grazing beside the city-wall, and killing the leading bull.

In Helen of Troy, a novel by Margaret George, Gelanor is a fictional character who acts as an advisor to the Spartans under Menelaus. He accompanies Helen when she goes to Troy.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Sthenelus King of Argos Succeeded by


Apollod. 2.1.4,

Paus. 2.16.1

After Iasus, Crotopus, the son of Agenor, came to the throne and begat Sthenelas, but Danaus sailed from Egypt against Gelanor, the son of Sthenelas, and stayed the succession to the kingdom of the descendants of Agenor. What followed is known to all alike: the crime the daughters of Danaus committed against their cousins, and how, on the death of Danaus, Lynceus succeeded him.

Paus. 2.19.3

The most famous building in the city of Argos is the sanctuary of Apollo Lycius. The modern image was made by the Athenian Attalus, but the original temple and wooden image were the offering of Danaus. I am of opinion that in those days all images, especially Egyptian images, were made of wood. The reason why Danaus founded a sanctuary of Apollo Lycius was this. On coming to Argos he claimed the kingdom against Gelanor, the son of Sthenelas. Many plausible arguments were brought forward by both parties, and those of Sthenelas were considered as fair as those of his opponent; so the people, who were sitting in judgment, put off, they say, the decision to the following day.

At dawn a wolf fell upon a herd of oxen that was pasturing before the wall, and attacked and fought with the bull that was the leader of the herd. It occurred to the Argives that Gelanor was like the bull and Danaus like the wolf, for as the wolf will not live with men, so Danaus up to that time had not lived with them. It was because the wolf overcame the bull that Danaus won the kingdom. Accordingly, believing that Apollo had brought the wolf on the herd, he founded a sanctuary of Apollo Lycius.

Greek Mythology

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