He and his twin-brother Neleus were exposed by their mother, but were nurtured by a herdsman.
According to the universal Greek tradition, the cities of Ionia were founded by emigrants from the other side of the Aegean (see Ionians), and their settlement was connected with the legendary history of the Ionic race in Attica, by the statement that the colonists were led by Neleus and Androclus, sons of Codrus, the last king of Athens.
Most scholars, ancient and modern, have identified this with the Homeric Pylos, the home of Neleus and Nestor,and a cave on the north slope of Coryphasium is pointed out as that in which Hermes hid the stolen cattle of Apollo.
On the one hand, there is the curious story given partly by Strabo (608-609) and partly in Plutarch's Sulla (c. 26), that Aristotle's successor Theophrastus left the books of both to their joint pupil, Neleus of Scepsis, where they were hidden in a cellar, till in Sulla's time they were sold to Apellicon, who made new copies, transferred after Apellicon's death by Sulla to Rome, and there edited and published by Tyrannio and Andronicus.
In the north-eastern portion the Budorus flows into the Aegean, being formed by two streams which unite their waters in a small plain, and were perhaps the Cereus and Neleus concerning which the story was told that sheep drinking the water of the one became white, of the other black.
He purchased from the family of Neleus of Skepsis in the Troad manuscripts of the works of Aristotle and Theophrastus (including their libraries), which had been given to Neleus by Theophrastus himself, whose pupil Neleus had been.
By Chloris, daughter of Amphion, Neleus was the father of twelve sons (of whom Nestor was the most famous) and a daughter Pero.