Codros

Mythical king of Athens who was one of the Neleids, descendants of king Neleus of Pylos on the west coast of the Peloponnese.

While Codros was king the Peloponnesians attacked Athens. They had been told by an oracle that they would win if the king was spared. Codros then dressed as a common soldier and was killed on the battlefield.

Because the Athenians could not find a worthy successor the monarchy was abolished. This explained why Athens during historical time was not ruled by kings.

Codros was worshipped as a hero in Athens, and his sons emigrated to Asia Minor where they founded the Ionian cities. One of them, Neleus, founded Miletus.