Iolaus, a nephew of Heracles (son of Iphicles, brother of Heracles and Automedusa) born in Thebes, is said to have been his charioteer, faithful companion, and lover. He is the mythical founder of Olbia, in Sardinia (Italy). As the comrade of Heracles he was worshipped beside him in Thebes, where the gymnasium was named after him. Plutarch alludes to this friendship again in his treatise on Love:
"And as to the loves of Heracles, it is difficult to record them because of their number; but those who think that Iolaus was one of them do to this day worship and honor him, and make their loved ones swear fidelity at his tomb."
Plutarch, Eroticus, par. 17