Historical Figure
Nationality: Athens
Date of Birth: Unknown
Date of Death: 1068 BC
Cause of Death: Murder-suicide
Religion: Greek pantheon
Occupation: Monarch
Children: Medon, Acastus
Political Office(s): King of Athens
Turtledove Appearances:
"Counting Potsherds"
POD: 483 BCE;
Relevant POD: 480 BCE
Type of Appearance: Posthumous reference
Kodros (Codrus) (Greek: Κόδρος) was the last of the semi-mythical Kings of Athens, reigning c. 1089–1068 BC. He was an ancient exemplar of patriotism and self-sacrifice. He was succeeded by his son Medon, who it is claimed ruled not as king but as the first Archon of Athens.

According to legend, the Dorian leader Aletes had been told by the Delphic oracle that the Dorian invasion of Athens would succeed as long as the king was not harmed. The news of this prophecy, that only the death of an Athenian king would ensure the safety of Athens, quickly found its way to the ears of Kodros. In devotion to his people, Kodros disguised himself as a peasant and provoked a Dorian soldier into killing him. The Dorians, realising Kodros had been slain, decided to retreat in fear of their prophesied defeat. In the aftermath of these events, it was claimed that no one thought himself worthy to succeed Kodros and so the title of king was abolished, and that of archon substituted for it.

Kodros in "Counting Potsherds"Edit

Kodros was named in Yauna legend as the last king of Athens. Yet Athens continued as a city state for nearly six centuries after his death. Polydoros knew no more than this. Mithredath could not believe that a city state could exist so long without a king.[1]


  1. Departures, p. 11-12.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Athens
1089-1068 BC
Succeeded by
as Archon