Anticlea was the daughter of Autolycus and Amphithea in Greek mythology, and granddaughter of the god Hermes. She was the spouse of Laertes, with whom she had a son, the famous hero Odysseus. According to some accounts, Odysseus was the son of Anticlea by Sisyphus.
In the epic Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus visited the underworld to seek advice from the prophet Tiresias. While searching for him, he came across many spirits, including that of her mother. Initially, he told her to keep aside until he took the counsel of the prophet; he then went back to her and asked her how she died. She explained that her grief for her son was so great that led to her death. She further described the current situation in his homeland; that his father Laertes lived in a shack and dressed in rags; that his wife Penelope longed for her husband's return; and that his son Telemachus was trying to manage his father's property. Odysseus then tried to hug his mother, but he found out that she was incorporeal, and she explained that this is how ghosts are.