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Autolycus, also known as the King of Thieves, is a recurring character on Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

Although Autolycus is a master thief and a skilled combatant, he is often described as having "a heart of gold". He has a code that he will never kill, although he was nearly driven to break that code when he came up against the man; who killed his brother. He is a great escape artist; capable of escaping 200 chain locks in less than a night.

Autolycus is also a good friend of Xena, Gabrielle, Hercules, Iolaus, Joxer and Salmoneus; often accompanying them in their travels.

Autolycus is played by Bruce Campbell.


Early life[]

Autolycus never met his father. His mother died when he was very young, so he was raised by his older brother, Malacus. As an adult, Malacus was tricked out of his land by a merchant named Tarsus. Malacus protested the injustice, but Tarsus then had him murdered – a crime that was blatantly ignored by law enforcement. Autolycus avenged his brother by robbing Tarsus blind and giving the spoils to the socially destitute. As a result, Autolycus became an outlaw, but he never forgets the good that Malacus had done for him. Autolycus also spoke once of a twin sister, but her name is unknown.

Career as a thief[]

Autolycus tried to plunder the Quallus Collection in his youth but failed because of King Quallus' superior security systems. Years later, a more seasoned Autolycus disguised himself as a statue of Hermes in the collection itself. He waited until the guards had left for the night and then proceeded to steal the Kronos Stone. When Autolycus discovered that the Kronos Stone could take him back in time he planned to go back and steal the Quallus Collection with fore-knowledge of the security. He did in fact go back in time and encountered his younger self who proved to be too obnoxious and egotistical to work with. (HTLJ "The End of the Beginning")

Getting back together with his ex wife[]

Luscious Deluxe was the ex-wife of Autolycus. Luscious was a show-dancer and thief who was married to Autolycus for a time, before they had a major falling-out. Eventually, in an act of spite, Luscious framed Autolycus for a bank robbery, but she was discovered by Hercules; after a fight, Hercules agreed not to implicate Luscious but still cleared Autolycus' name. These events rekindled Autolycus and Luscious' feelings for each other, and they became a couple once more. (HTLJ: "Hercules, Tramps and Thieves")



  • Autolycus appeared in 8 episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess and 10 episodes in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (a total of 18 episodes).
  • Autolycus was supposed to make no appearances on XWP after its second season because the producers wanted to reduce the reliance on crossovers and expand the supporting character roster of both series. As a result, Autolycus and Salmoneus were to be restricted to HTLJ, while Joxer and Callisto were restricted to XWP. However, Autolycus's popularity caused him to appear in both seasons 3 and 4.
  • Autolycus's wardrobe includes a green tunic, possibly in reference to Robin Hood (also known as a thief, particularly in the title of a film featuring Kevin Costner).
  • In mythology, Autolycus was the son of Hermes. He was the maternal grandfather of Jason and of Ulysses, through his daughters Polymede and Anticlea, respectfully. It was Autolycus who taught a young Heracles how to wrestle. A different Autolycus was counted among the Argonauts.

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