Parthenius’ collection Erotica Pathemata comprises thirty-six stories. The fifth story is about Leucippus and his adventures. The story seems to be structured according to the prevailing standards of Hellenistic aesthetics. However, the case of Leucippus exhibits certain particularities since this name is also used in other stories that echo the initiation rites of the Cretan Ekdysia. From this viewpoint, it seems possible to interpret the incestuous relationship between Leucippus and his sister (which appears exclusively in Parthenius) as a romanticized story, according to the standards of Hellenistic aesthetics, which reflects the close relationship of the twins of the Apollonian triad.
The stories in Parthenius’ collection are generally “dehydrated” since they were mainly meant to inspire the creation of poems. Thankfully, in this case inscriptions in the agora of Magnesia on the Meander have been found, thus providing an actual historical background to certain aspects of this specific story. These inscriptions link Leucippus with the founding myth of Magnesia on the Meander and are a strong indication of the close and friendly relations between Magnetes and Cretans.
Parthenius’ reference to the founding of Cretinaeum (hapax legomenon) by Leucippus is noteworthy. Kern has indicated various similarities with the myth of Althaemenes. Is it possible to assume that Parthenius’ story about Leucippus is essentially a redaction based on Althaemenes’ original story of the founding of Cretinaea on Rhodes? Such a statement would appear to be an integral part of a more general attempt to diminish the magnitude of the prestige and influence of Rhodes in the area of Asia Minor, something that Phillip V was actively pursuing, sometimes with the aid of Cretans. Moreover, the story of the mythical Homeric Prothoos, as it appears in Conon, exhibits similarities with the story of Leucippus, which, nonetheless, has its own unique particularities.