Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Form: also called Pyrrhus; i.e. the fair.
Son of Achilles and Deidamia. He was brought up by his grandfather Lycomedes in Scyros. After Achilles' death, however, he was taken by Odysseus to Troy, since, according to the prophecy of Helenus, that town could be taken only by a descendant of Aeacus. Here, like his father, he distinguished himself above all by a courage which none could withstand. He slew Eurypylus, son of Telephus, and was one of the heroes in the Wooden Horse, where he alone remained undaunted. Later legend depicted him as fierce and cruel: at the, taking of Troy he killed the aged Priam at the altar of Zeus, hurled Hector's son. Astyanax, down from the walls, and offered up Polyxena, upon his father's tomb. In Homer he arrives safely with much booty at Phthia, his father's home, and weds Menelaus' daughter Hermione, who was promised him during the siege of Troy [Od. iv 5]. Later legend represents him as accompanied by Andromache, Hector's wife, who is allotted him as part of his booty, and Helenus, and then, on the strength of a prophecy of Helenus, as going to Epirus and settling there. It was to a son of his by Lanassa, granddaughter of Heracles, that the later kings of Epirus traced back their descent, and accordingly styled themselves Aeacidoe, while from his son by Andromache, Molossus, the district of Molossia was said to derive its name. He afterwards went to Phthia, to reinstate his grandfather Peleus in his kingdom (whence he had been expelled by Acastus), and wedded Hermione. He soon, however, met his death at Delphi, whither, according to one story, he had gone with dedicatory offerings, or, according to another, to plunder the temple of Apollo in revenge for his father's death. The accounts of his death vary, some attributing it to Orestes, the earlier lover of Hermione; others to the Delphians, at the instance of the Pythian priestess; others again to a quarrel about the meat-offerings. The scene of his death was the altar, a coincidence which was regarded as a judgment for his murder of Priam. His tomb was within the precincts of the Delphic temple, and in later times he was worshipped as a hero with annual sacrifices by the Delphians, as he was said to have vouchsafed valuable assistance against the Gauls when they threatened the sacred spot [B.C. 279; Pausanias, x 23].
Type: Standard
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