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Archegetes (Ancient Greek: Ἀρχηγέτης) is a Greek word that meant, effectively, "leader" or "founder". It could refer to a number of different things in classical antiquity.


Primarily, it was a title for Greek gods and heroes that typically indicated one who was an originator or ancestor, especially of new colonies or settlements; this could be seen most commonly with Apollo, but sometimes also with Heracles and the heroes of the demes of Attica, and the Thracian horseman.[1]


Archegetes was notably an epithet of the Greek god Apollo, under which he was worshipped in several places, as at Naxos in Sicily,[2][3] where Archegetes was the most popular cult of Apollo,[4] and at Megara;[5] the name has reference either to Apollo as the leader and protector of colonies, or as the founder of towns in general, in which case the import of the name is nearly the same as Δεὸς πατρῷος.


Archegetes was also an epithet of the Greek god Asclepius, under which he was worshipped at Tithorea in Phocis.[6]


  1. ^ Graf, Fritz (2011). "Archegetes". In Cancik, Hubert; Schneider, Helmuth (eds.). Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes. Brill Publishers. ISBN 9789004122598. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  2. ^ Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War 6.3
  3. ^ Pindar Pythian 5.80
  4. ^ Sweeney, Naoise Mac (2014). Foundation Myths in Ancient Societies: Dialogues and Discourses. UPCC book collections on Project MUSE. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 55. ISBN 9780812246421. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  5. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 1.42.5
  6. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 10.32.8

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLeonhard Schmitz, Leonhard (1870). "Archegetes". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. p. 260.