Eumaeus was the swineherd and friend of the well-known hero Odysseus in Greek mythology. He was the son of Ktesios, king of the island of Syria. He was kidnapped as a child by his nurse, who was seduced by a Phoenician sailor; during the voyage, the nurse was killed by Artemis. The ship eventually docked at the island of Ithaca, where Laertes, father of Odysseus, bought the young Eumaeus as a slave. He was well treated in the court of Laertes, and in fact, Anticleia, Odysseus' mother, treated him as equal to her daughter Ctimene.
After the end of the Trojan War and Odysseus' ten-year journey back home, Eumaeus was the first person the hero met when he disembarked on Ithaca. He did not recognise the disguised Odysseus but still treated him well and offered him his hospitality, thinking he is a poor soul. Odysseus presented himself as the son of Castor and informed Eumaeus that Odysseus was on his way back home, which Eumaeus quickly dismissed as false, having heard the same thing too many times. Meanwhile, Telemachus, son of Odysseus, returned to Ithaca and went straight to Eumaeus' hut as he was instructed by the goddess Athena. There, he was greeted by Eumaeus with fatherly love, who expressed worries while Telemachus was away. Odysseus then revealed his true identity to the two men, and all together, made their plan to kill the suitors of Penelope.