views updated May 18 2018

Autolycus in Greek mythology, a notable thief who was a son of Hermes, and who stole his neighbours' flocks and concealed them among his own animals.

In Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, the pedlar and petty thief Autolycus describes himself as a ‘snapper up of unconsidered trifles’.


views updated May 17 2018

Autolycus In Greek mythology, son of Hermes and the mortal Chione. He received from his father the gift of making whatever he touched invisible. In this way, he was able to commit numerous thefts until one day he was caught by Sisyphus, whose oxen he had stolen.