Pentheus (Greek: Πενθεύς ) was in Greek mythology the son of Echion and Agave, daughter of Cadmus. During the lifetime of his predecessor Cadmus Pentheus rendered this rule over Thebes.
When Dionysus came to Thebes and the women in his honor on the Cithaeron (a mountain between Thebes and Corinth ) celebrated a Bacchanal Festival, Pentheus tried to prevent it, and Dionysus, who had appeared in the appearance of a Bacchae to capture, but this failed. Finally, Dionysus can persuade the already deluded Pentheus, disguised as a woman, the swarming in the mountains maenads to eavesdrop. When he got there on the top of a tree, but he was discovered and torn by his own mother and his aunts and Ino Autonoe who held him for a wild animal in bacchanalian fury. An oracle of Pythia instructed the women to now retrieve the tree and to worship him like a god. Then, from the wood of the tree were two images that represented Dionysos, carved. Pausanias saw these pictures still on his visit to Corinth.
After the death of Pentheus of Thebes Cadmus left and Polydorus, son of Cadmus, became king of Thebes. A grandson of Pentheus is Menoikeus, the father of Creon and Jocasta.
The saga of Pentheus was laid by Euripides tragedy The Bacchae is based. In the (non- traditional ) tragedy of Aeschylus Pentheus Pentheus is not torn from his mother, but falls in battle. In addition, the Pentheussage appears in Hyginus, Ovid ( there does not Pentheus Dionysus himself caught, but a Tyrrhenian sailors called Akoites, a companion of the god ), Apollodorus. and Nonnus
- Mythological king ( Thebes)