The craftiest of thieves. He stole the flocks of his
neighbours, and changed their marks. Sisyphos out-witted him by
marking his sheep under their feet, a device which so tickled the rogue
that he instantly
“cottoned” to him. Shakespeare introduces him in The Winter's
Tale as a pedlar, and says he was called the son of Mercury,
because he was born under that “thieving planet.”
“Autolycus is no lapidary, though he drives a roaring trade in flash
jewellery.” —Pall Mall Gazette.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Autolycus from Infoplease:
- Autolycus, in Greek mythology - Autolycus Autolycus, in Greek mythology, the son of Hermes, from whom he received special powers in ...
- Autolycus, Greek astronomer and mathematician - Autolycus Autolycus , fl. 4th cent. B.C., astronomer and mathematician of Pitane in Aeolis. Of his ...
- Autolycus: meaning and definitions - Autolycus: Definition and Pronunciation
- Autolycus - Autolycus The craftiest of thieves. He stole the flocks of his neighbours, and changed their marks. ...
- William Shakespeare: Winter's Tale, Act IV, Scene III - When daffodils begin to peer, With heigh! the doxy over the dale, Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year; For the red blood reigns in the winter's p