Thespius (Θέσπιος), a legendary king of Thespia (or Thespiae), Boetia. Thespius descends from Erechteus, one of the ancient kings of Athens. Desiring grandchildren by the hero Heracles, he offered his fifty daughters as a prize to the hero for killing a lion (not to be confused with the Nemean Lion). The hunt for the lion lasted fifty days, and during each night of the hunt Heracles slept with each of the fifty daughters, who in turn each gave birth to one son. Alternate sources claim that Heracles slept with the daughters in a single night. In this version, only forty-nine slept with the hero, with the fiftieth being destined to serve as a virgin prestess in a temple to Heracles. In this version there were fifty-one grandsons of Thespiae, of which forty colonzied the island of Sardinia. The daughters are often referred to as the Thespiadae.
(Pausan. ix. 26, 4).
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