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POLYXENA 100.00%
Daughter of Priam and Hecuba, the betrothed of Achilles, who, at his wedding with her in the temple of the Thymbraean Apollo, was killed by Paris. After the fall of Troy the shade of Achilles demanded the expiation of his death with her blood, and she was sacrificed on his funeral pyre.
PRIAM 32.16%
Son of Laomedon and Strymo, brother of Tithonus and Hesione, the last king of Troy. Originally his name was Podarces (the swift-footed); the name Priamus, which is interpreted to mean "ransomed," is supposed to have been given to him after the first sacking of Troy by Heracles. Heracles allowed Hesione to select one of the prisoners, and when she decided in favour of her sole surviving brother, she was permitted to ransom him with her veil. Legends represented him as rich alike in treasures and in children. He had fifty sons and fifty daughters by different wives; by his second wife, Hecuba (Gr. Hekabe) alone, nineteen sons; among them Hector, Paris, Deiphobus, Helenus, Polydorus, Troilus; by his first, Arisbe, Aesacus. Among his daughters were Creusa, the wife of Aeneas, Cassandra, and Polyxena. In his young days he was a migbty warrior, as in the conflict with the Amazons; but at the outbreak of the Trojan War, he was so old and feeble that he took no part in the combat, and only twice left the city to conclude the compact for the duel between Paris and Menelaus, and to beg the dead body of Hector from Achilles. He met his death in the sack of the city by the band of Neoptolemus, at his family altar, whither he bad fled with Hecuba and his daughter.
Youngest son of Priam and of Laothoe, his father's favourite son. He was killed while yet a boy by Achilles. The tragedians make him the son of Priam and Hecuba, who, before the fall of Troy, committed him with many treasures to the care of their guest-friend, the Thracian king Polymestor (or Polymnestor). After the capture of Troy Polymestor puts the boy to death, in order to get possession of the gold, and throws the body into the sea. The waves cast it up on the Trojan shore, and here Hecuba finds it, just as Polyxena is on the point of being sacrificed. Out of revenge she, with the help of the captive Trojan women, kills the two children of the murderer, and blinds Polymestor himself. According to another version, Ilione, Priam's daughter and Polymestor's wife, brings up the brother, who has been committed to her charge, as her own son, while she gives up her child Delphilus (or Delpylus) instead of Polydorus. The Greeks, who wish to exterminate the race of Priam, win over Polymestor by promising him the hand of Electra and a large present of money in return for the murder of Polydorns. Polymestor then murders his own son, and is blinded and killed by Ilione.
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].
The story of the Trojan War, like the story of the Argonauts, underwent, in the course of time, many changes and amplifications. The kernel of the story is contained in the two epic poems of Homer: the Iliad and the Odyssey. The incidents, either narrated or briefly touched upon in these, were elaborated or developed by the post-Homeric poets, partly by connecting them with other popular traditions, and partly by the addition of further details of their own in ation. While in Homer it is simply the rape of Helen which is the occasion of the war, a later legend traced its origin to the marriage of Pelous and Thetis, when Eris threw down among the assembled gods the golden apple inscribed For the fairest. The quarrel that ensued between Hera, Athene, and Aphrodite for the prize of beauty was decided by Paris in favour of Aphrodite, who in return secured him the possession of Helen, while Hera and Athene became, from that time onward, the implacable enemies of the whole Trojan race. According to Homer, after Helen had been carried off by Paris, Menelaus and Agamemnon visited all the Greek chieftains in turn, and prevailed on them to take part in the expedition which they were preparing to avenge the wrong. According to the later account, the majority of the chieftains were already bound to follow the expedition by an oath, which they had sworn to Tyndareos. Agamemnon was chosen commander-in-chief; next to him the most prominent Greek heroes are his brother Menelaus, Achilles and Patroclus, the two Ajaxes, Teucer, Nestor and his son Antilochus, Odysseus, Diomedes,Idomeneus, and Philoctetes, who, however, at the very outset of the expedition had to be left behind, and does not appear on the scene of action until just before the fall of Troy. Later epics add the name of Palamedes. The entire host of 100,000 men and 1,186 ships assembled in the harbour of Aulis. Here, while they were sacrificing under a plane tree, a snake darted out from under the altar and ascended the tree, and there, after devouring a brood of eight young sparrows and the mother-bird himself, was turned into stone. This omen Calchas, the seer of the host, interpreted to mean that the war would last nine years, and terminate in the tenth with the destruction of Troy [Iliad ii 299-332]. Agamemnon had already received an oracle from the Delphian god that Troy would fall when the best of the Greeks quarrelled. In Homer the crossing to Troy follows immediately; but in the later story the Greeks at first land by mistake in Mysia, in the country of Telephus (q.v.), and being dispersed by a storm and driven back to Greece, assemble afresh at Aulis, whence they are only permitted to set out after the sacrifice of Iphigenia (an incident entirely unknown to Homer). On the Greek side the first to fall is Protesilaiis, who is the first to land. The disembarkation cannot take place until Achilles has slain the mighty Cycnus (q.v., 2). After pitching their camp, Odysseus and Menelaus proceed as ambassadors to Troy, to demand the surrender of Helen. But this proposal, in spite of the inclination of Helen herself and the admonition of the Trojan Antenor, falls to the ground, owing to the opposition of Paris, and war is declared. The number of the Trojans, whose chief hero is Hector, scarcely amounts to the tenth part of that of the besiegers; and although they possess the aid of countless brave allies, such as Aeneas, Sarpedon, and Glaucus, in their fear of Achilles they dare not risk a general engagement. On the other hand, the Achaeans can do nothing against the well-fortified and defended town, and see themselves confined to laying ambuscades and devastating the surrounding country, and compelled by lack of provisions to have resource to foraging expeditions in the neighbourhood, undertaken by sea and by land under the generalship, of Achilles. At length the decisive tenth year arrives. The Homeric Iliad narrates the events of this year, confining itself to the space of fifty-one days. Chryses, of Apollo, comes in priestly garb into camp of the Greeks to ransom his daughter Chryseis from Agamemnon. He is rudely repulsed, and Apollo consequently visits the Greeks with a plague. In an assembly of the Greeks summoned by Achilles, Calchas declares the only means of appeasing the god to be the surrender of girl without ransom. Agamemnon assents to the general wish; but, by way of compensation, takes from Achilles, whom he considers to be the instigator of the whole plot, his favourite, slave Briseis. Achilles withdraws in a rage to his tent, and implores his mother Thetis to obtain from Zeus a promise that the Greeks should meet with disaster in fighting the Trojans until Agamemnon should give her son complete satisfaction [Il. i]. The Trojans immediately take the open field, and Agamemnon is induced by a promise of victory, conveyed in a dream from Zeus, to appoint the following day for a battle [ii]. The hosts are already standing opposed to one another, prepared for fight, when they agree to a treaty that the conflict for Helen and the plundered treasures be decided by a duel between Paris and Menelaus. Paris is overcome in the duel, and is only rescued from death by the intervention of Aphrodite [iii]. When Agamemnon presses for the fulfilment of the treaty, the Trojan Pandarus breaks the peace by shooting an arrow at Menelaus, and the first open engagement in the war begins [iv], in which, under the protection of Athene, Diomede performs miracles of bravery and wounds even Aphrodite and Ares [v]. Diomede and the Lycian Glaucus are on the point of fighting, when they recognise one another as hereditary guest-friends. Hector goes from the battle to Troy, and the day ends with an indecisive duel between Hector and Ajax son of Telamon. In the armistice ensuing both sides bury their dead, and the Greeks, acting on the advice of Nestor, surround the camp with a wall and trench [vii]. When the fighting begins afresh, Zeus forbids the gods to take part in it, and ordains that the battle shall terminate with the discomfiture of the Greeks [viii]. On the following night Agamemnon already begins to meditate flight, but Nestor advises reconciliation with Achilles. The efforts of the ambassadors are, however, fruitless [ix]. Here-upon Odysseus and Diomede go out to reconnoitre, capture Dolon, a Trojan spy, and surprise Rhesus (q.v.), king of the Thracians, the newly arrived ally of the enemy [x]. On the succeeding day Agamemnon's bravery drives the Trojans back to the walls of the town; but he himself, Diomede, Odysseus, and other heroes leave the battle wounded, the Greeks retire behind the camp walls [xi], to attack which the Trojans set out in five detachments. The opposition of the Greeks is brave; but Hector breaks the rough gate with a rock, and the stream of enemies pours itself unimpeded into the camp [xii]. Once more the Greek heroes who are still capable of taking part in the fight, especially the two Ajaxes and Idomeneus, succeed with the help of Poseidon in repelling the Trojans, while Telamonian Ajax dashes Hector to the ground with a stone; but the latter soon reappears on the battlefield with fresh strength granted him by Apollo at the command of Zeus [xiii]. Poseidon is obliged to leave the Greeks to their fate; they retire again to the ships, which Ajax in vain defends [xv]. The foremost ship is already burning, when Achilles gives way to the entreaties of his friend Patroclus, and sends him, clad in his own armour, with the Myrmidons to the help of the distressed Greeks. Supposing it to be Achilles himself, the Trojans in terror flee from the camp before Patroclus, who pursues them to the town, and lays low vast numbers of the enemy, including the brave Sarpedon, whose corpse is only rescued from the Greeks after a severe fight. At last Patroclus himself is slain by Hector with the help of Apollo [xvi]; Achilles' arms are lost, and even the corpse is with difficulty saved [xvii]. And now Achilles repents of his anger, reconciles himself to Agamemnon, and on the following day, furnished with new and splendid armour by Hephaestus at the request of Thetis [xviii], avenges the death of his friend on countless Trojans and finally on Hector himself [xxii]. With the burial of Patroclus and the funeral games established in his honour [xxiii], the restoration of Hector's corpse to Priam, and the burial of Hector, for which Archilles allows an armistice of eleven days [xxiv], the Iliad concludes. Immediately after the death of Hector the later legends bring the Amazons to the help of the Trojans, and their queen Penthesilea is slain by Achilles. Then appears Memnon, who is also mentioned by Homer; at the head of his Aethiopians he slays Antilochus son of Nestor, and is himself slain by Achilles. And now comes the fulfilment of the oracle given to Agamemnon at Delphi; for at a sacrificial banquet a violent quarrel arises between Achilles and Odysseus, the latter declaring craft and not valour to be the only means of capturing Troy. Soon after, in an attempt to force a way into the hostile town through the Scaean gate, or, according to later legend, at the marriage of Priam's daughter Polyxena in the temple of Thymbraean Apollo, Achilles falls slain by the arrow of Paris, directed by the god. After his burial, Thetis offers the arms of her son as a prize for the bravest of the Greek heroes, and they are adjudged to Odysseus. Thereupon his competitor, the Telamonian Ajax, slays himself. For these losses, however, the Greeks find some compensation. Acting on the admonition of Helenus, son of Priam, who had been captured by Odysseus, that Troy could not be conquered without the arrows of Heracles and the presence of a descendant of Aeacus, they fetch to the camp Philoctetes, the heir of Heracles, who had been abandoned on Lemnos, and Neoptolemus, the young son of Achilles, who had been brought up on Seyros. The latter, a worthy son of his father, slays the last ally of the Trojans, Eurypylus, the brave son of Telephus; and Philoctetes, with one of the arrows of Heracles, kills Paris. Even when the last condition of the capture of Troy, viz. the removal of the Palladium from the temple of Athene on the citadel, lias been successfully fulfilled by Diomede and Odysseus, the town can only be taken by treachery. On the advice of Athene, Epeius, son of Panopeus, builds a gigantic wooden horse, in the belly of which the bravest Greek warriorsconceal themselves under the direction of Odysseus, while the rest of the Greeks burn the camp and embark on board ship, only, however, to anchor behind Tenedos. The Trojans, streaming out of the town, find the horse, and are in doubt what to do with it. According to the later legend, they are deceived by the treacherous Sinon, a kinsman of Odysseus, who has of his own free will remained behind. He pretends that he has escaped from the death by sacrifice to which he had been doomed by the malice of Odysseus, and that the horse has been erected to expiate the robbery of the Palladium; to destroy it would be fatal to Troy, but should it be set on the citadel, Asia would conquer Europe. The fate of Laocoon (q.v.) removes the last doubt from the minds of the Trojans; the city gate being too small, they break down a portion of the wall, and draw the horse up to the citadel as a dedicatory offering for Athene. While they are giving themselves up to transports of joy, Sinon in the night opens the door of the horse. The heroes descend, and light the flames that give to the Greek fleet the preconcerted signal for its return. Thus Troy is captured; all the inhabitants are either slain or carried into slavery, and the city is destroyed. The only survivors of the royal house are Helenus, Cassandra, and Hector's wife Andromache, besides Aeneas (q.v.; for the fate of the rest see DEIPHOBUS, HECUBA, POLYDORUS, 2, POLYXENA, PRIAM, TROILUS). After Troy has been destroyed and plundered, Agamemnon and Menelaus, contrary to custom, call the drunken Greeks to an assembly in the evening. A division ensues, half siding with Menelaus in a desire to return home at once; while Agamemnon and the other half wish first to appease by sacrifice the deity of Athene, who has been offended by the outrage of the Locrian Ajax (see AIAS, 1). The army consequently sets out on its journey in two parts. Only Nestor, Diomede, Neoptolemus, Philoctetes, and Idomeneus reach home in safety; while Menelaus and Odysseus have first to undergo wanderings for many a long year. Death overtakes the Locrian Ajax on the sea, and Agamemnon immediately after his arrival home.
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