Thirsty Thursday: Get Your Gay Greeks Straight With Iolaus

In Greek mythology, Iolaus (gr. Iolaos, ??????) was a Theban divine hero. The son of Iphicles and Automedusa Iolaos was the nephew of Heracles (Hercules)  and often acted as Heracles’ charioteer and companion.

Iolaus was famed for helping with some of Hercules’ Labors, and also for being one of the Argonauts. Through his daughter Leipephilene, he was considered to have fathered the mythic and historic line of the kings of Corinth, ending with Telestes.

He was popularly regarded as Heracles’s lover, and the shrine to him in Thebes was a place where male couples worshiped and made vows.

When Heracles was having trouble slaying the Hydra because of the regeneration of its many heads, Iolaus cauterized each neck as Heracles beheaded it, and enabled the Hydra to be killed. What a pal!

A genus of Lycaenid butterfly has been named after him.