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The children of Tyndareos, especially the Dioscuri (q.v.).
Son of (Ebalus of Sparta and of the Nymph Bateia, drove his brothers Tyndareos and Icarius from home. Afterwards, in consequence of his slaying the young (Eonus, a kinsman of Heracles, he himself, with his twenty sons, was slain by Heracles in alliance with king Cepheus of Tegea. Tyndareos was thereby restored to the inheritance of his father's kingdom.
LEDA 61.12%
Daughter of Thestius, and sister of Althaea, and wife of Tyndareos. According to Homer it was by Tyndareos, that she became the mother of Castor and Pollux (Polydeuces), and also of Clytaemnestra, while Helen was her daughter by Zeus. Generally, however, Helen and Pollux are described as children of Zeus, Clytaemnestra and Castor as those of Tyndareos. According to the later story, Zeus approached Leda in the shape of a swan, and she brought forth two eggs, out of one of which sprang Helen, and out of the other Castor and Pollux.
OEBALUS 54.23%
King of Sparta, father of Hippocoon, Tyndareos, and Icarius by the Nymph Bateia. The first of these expels his brethren from their home, but falls with all his sons in battle against Heracles and Cepheus of Tegea; upon this Tyndareos (q.v.) returns and takes possession of his father's realm. Icarius, who remains in Acarnania, becomes by Polycaste, or (according to another account) by the Naiad Peribcea, father of Penelope, the wife of Odysseus.
Son of Atreus, and younger brother of Agamemnon, with whom he was exiled by Thyestes, the murderer of Atreus, and fled to king Tyndareos, at Sparta, whose daughter Helen he married, and whose throne he inherited after the death of Helen's brothers, Castor and Polydeuces (Pollux). When Paris had robbed him of his wife and of great treasures, he went with Odysseus to Troy to demand restitution, and they were hospitably received there by Antenor. His just claims were refused, and his life was even in danger; he and Agamemnon accordingly called on the Greek chieftains to join in an expedition against Troy, and himself furnished sixty ships. At Troy he distinguished himself in counsel and in action, and was specially protected by Athene and Hera. In the single combat with Paris he is victorious, but his opponent is rescued and carried off by Aphrodite. On demanding that Helen and the treasures should be restored, he is wounded by an arrow shot by the Trojan Pandarus. He is also ready to fight Hector, and is only prevented by the entreaties of his friends. When Patroclus has fallen, he shields the dead body, at first alone, and then with the aid of Ajax, and bears it from the field of battle with Meriones. He is also one of the heroes of the wooden horse. Having recovered Helen he hastens home, but on rounding the promontory of Malea he is driven to Egypt with five ships, and wanders about for eight years among the peoples of the East, where he is kindly received everywhere and receives rich gifts. He is finally detained at the isle of Pharos by contrary winds, and with the help of the marine goddess Eidothea he artfully compels her father Proteus to prophecy to him. He thus learns the reason of his being unwillingly detained at the island, and is also told that, as husband of the daughter of Zeus, he will not die, but enter the Elysian plains alive. After appeasing the gods in Egypt with hecatombs, he returns swiftly and prosperously to his home, where he arrives on the very day on which Orestes is burying Aegisthus and Clytaemnestra. He spent the rest of his life quietly withHelen, in Lacedaemon. Their only daughter Hermione was married to Neoptolemus, son of Achilles.
HELENA 9.74%
The divinely beautiful daughter of Zeus and Leda, the wife of Tyndareos of Sparta; sister of the Dioscuri and of Clytaemnestra. The post-Homeric story represented her as carried off, while still a maiden, by Theseus, to the Attic fortress of Aphidnae, where she bore him a daughter Iphigeneia. She was afterwards set free by her brothers, who took her back to Sparta. She was wooed by numbers of suitors, and at length gave her hand to Menelaus, by whom she became the mother of one child, Hermione. In the absence of her husband she was carried away to Troy by Paris the son of Priamus, taking with her much treasure. This was the origin of the Trojan War. The Trojans, in spite of the calamity she had brought upon them, loved her for her beauty, and refused to restore her to her husband. She, however, lamented the fickleness of her youth, and yearned for her home, her husband, and her daughter. After the death of Paris she was wedded to Deiphobus, assisted the Greeks at the taking of Troy, and betrayed Deiphobus into Menelaus' hands. With Menelaus finally she returned to Sparta after eight years' wandering, and lived thenceforth with him in happiness and concord. According to another story, mainly current after the time of Stesichorus, Paris carried off to Troy not the real Helena, but a phantom of her created by Hera. The real Helena was wafted through the air by Hermes, and brought to Proteus in Egypt, whence, after the destruction of Troy, she was taken home by Menelaus. (See PROTEUS.) After the death of Menelaus she was, according to one story, driven from Sparta by her stepsons, and fled thereupon to Rhodes to her friend Polyxo, who hanged her on a tree. Another tradition represented her as living after death in wedlock with Achilles on the island of Leuce. She was worshipped as the goddess of beauty in a special sanctuary at Therapne in Laconia, where a festival was held in her honour. She was also invoked like her brothers the Dioscuri, as a tutelary deity of mariners. (See DIOSCURI.)
i.e. sons of Zeus, the horsetamer Castor, and Polydeuces (Lat. Pollux) the master of the art of boxing. In Homer they are represented as the sons of Leda and Tyndareos, and called in consequence Tyndaridae, as dying in the time between the rape of Helen and the Trojan War, and as buried in their father-city Lacedaemon. But even under the earth they were alive. Honoured of Zeus, they live and die on alternate days and enjoy the prerogatives of godhead. In the later story sometimes both, sometimes only Polydeuces is the descendant of Zeus. (See LEDA.) They undertake an expedition to Attica, where they set free their sister Helena, whom Theseus has carried off. They take part in the expedition of the Argonauts. (See AMYCUS.) Castor, who had been born mortal, falls in a contest with Idas and Lynceus, the sons of their paternal uncle Aphareus. The fight arose, according to one version, in a quarrel over some cattle which they had carried off; according to another, it was about the rape of two daughters of another uncle Leucippus, Phoebe and Hilaira, who were betrothed to the sons of Aphareus. On his brother's death Polydeuces, the immortal son of Zeus, prays his father to let him die too. Zeus permits him to spend alternately one day among the gods his peers, the other in the lower world with his beloved brother. According to another story Zeus, in reward for their brotherly love, sets them in the sky as the constellation of the Twins, or the morning and evening star. They are the ideal types of bravery and dexterity in fight. Thus they are the tutelary gods of warlike youth, often sharing in their contests, and honoured as the inventors of military dances and melodies. The ancient symbol of the twin gods at Lacedaemon was two parallel beams, joined by cross-pieces, which the Spartans took with them into war. They were worshipped at Sparta and Olympia with Heracles and other heroes. At Athen too they were honoured as gods under the name of Anakes (Lords Protectors). At sea, as in war, they lend their aid to men. The storm-tossed mariner sees the sign of their beneficent presence in the flame at the mast-head. He prays, and vows to them the sacrifice of a white lamb, and the storm soon ceases. (See HELENA.) The rites of hospitality are also under their protection. They are generally represented with their horses Xanthus and Cyllarus, as in the celebrated colossal group of Monte Cavallo in Rome. Their characteristic emblem is an oval helmet crowned with a star. The worship of Castor and Pollux was from early times current among the tribes of Italy. They enjoyed especial honours in Tusculum and Rome. In the latter city a considerable temple was built to them near the Forum (414 B.C.) in gratitude for their appearance and assistance at the battle of the Lake Regillus twelve years before. In this building, generally called simply the temple of Castor, the senate of ten held its sittings. It was in their honour, too, that the solemn review of the Roman equites was held on the 15th July. The names of Castor and Pollux, like that of Hercules, were often in use as familiar expletives, but the name of Castor was invoked by women only. They were worshipped as gods of the sea, particularly in Ostia, the harbour town of Rome. Their image is to be seen stamped on the reverse of the oldest Roman silver coins. (See COINAGE.)
King of Ithaca, son of Laertes and Anticlea, daughter of Autolycus. In post-Homeric legend he is called a son of Sisyphus, borne by Anticlea before her marriage with Laertes. According to Homer, his name, "the hater," was given him by his grandfather Autolycus, because he himself had so often cherished feelings of hatred during his life [Od. xix 402]. His wife Penelope (or Penelopeia), daughter of Icarius (see OEBALUS), is said by later legends to have been obtained for him by her uncle Tyndareos in gratitude for counsel given by him. (See TYNDAREOS.) When his son Telemachus was still an infant, Agamemnon and Menelaus, as Homer tells us, prevailed on him to take part in the expedition against Troy. Their task was hard, as it had been predicted to him that it would be twenty years before he saw his wife and child again. Later writers relate that he was bound as one of Helen's suitors to take, part in the scheme, but tried to escape his obligation by feigning madness, and among other acts yoked a horse and an ox to his plough and so ploughed a field. When however Palamedes, who with Nestor and Menelaus was desirous of taking him to Troy, proceeded to place Telemachus in the furrow, he betrayed himself and had to accompany them to war. He led the men of Ithaca and the surrounding isles to Troy in twelve vessels. In contrast to the later legend, which represents him as a cowardly, deceitful and intriguing personage, he always appears in Homer among the noblest and most respected of the heroes, and, on account of his good qualities, he is the declared favourite of Athene. He combines in his person courage and determined perseverance with prudence, ingenuity, cunning and eloquence. Accordingly he is employed by preference as a negotiator and a spy. Thus, after the disembarkation, he goes with Menelaus into the enemy's city to demand the surrender of Helen. Again, he is among those who are despatched by the Greeks to reconcile with Agamemnon the enraged Achilles. With Diomedes, who delights in his company, he captures the spy Dolon and surprises Rhesus; with the same hero he is said by later legend to have stolen the Palladium from Troy. When Agamemnon faint-heartedly thinks of flight, he opposes this idea with the utmost decision. Everywhere he avails himself of the right time and the right place, and, where courage and cunning are needed, is ever the foremost. After Achilles' death, in the contest with Ajax, the son of Telamon, he receives the hero's arms as a recognition of his services, and by his ingenuity brings about the fall of Troy. Shortly before it, he steals into the city in the garb of a beggar, in order to reconnoitre everything there; he then climbs with the others into the wooden horse, and contrives to control the impatient and the timid alike until the decisive moment. His adventures during the return from Troy and on his arrival in his native country form the contents of the Odyssey of Homer. Immediately after the departure Odysseus is driven to the Thracian Ismarus, the city of the Cicones, and, though he plunders them, loses in a surprise seventy-two of his companions. When he is now desirous of rounding the south-east point of the Peloponnesus, the promontory of Malea, he is caught by the storm and carried in nine days to the coast of North Africa, on to the land of the Lotophagi (Lotus-eaters) whence he has to drag his companions by force to prevent their forgetting their homes for love of the sweet lotus food. Thence the voyage passes into the legendary world of the Western sea, then little known to the Greeks. Odysseus comes first to the country of the Cyclopes (q.v.), where, with twelve of his comrades, he is shut up in a cavern by Polyphemus. The monster has already devoured half of Odysseus' companions before the latter intoxicates him (fig. 1), deprives him of his one eye, and by his cunning escapes with his comrades. From this time the anger of Poseidon, on whom Polyphemus calls for revenge, pursues him and keeps him far from his country. On the island of Aeolus, the Keeper of the Winds (q.v.), he finds hospitable entertainment, and receives on his departure a leathern bag in which are inclosed all the winds except the western. The latter would carry him in nine days to the coast of Ithaca, but, whilst Odysseus is taking rest, his comrades open the bag, which they imagine to contain treasure, and the winds thus released carry them back to Aeolus. He orders them off from his island, regarding them as enemies of the gods. On coming to Telephylus, the city of Lamus, king Antiphates and his Loestrygones, cannibals of immense stature, shatter eleven of their vessels, and the twelfth is saved only by Odysseus' wariness. (See PAINTING, fig. 5.) On the island of Aeaea the sorceress Circe turns part of his crew into swine, but, with the help of Hermes, he compels her to restore them to their human shape and spends a whole year with her in pleasure and enjoyment. When his companions urge him to return home, Circe bids him first sail toward the farthest west, to the entrance into the lower world on the farther bank of Oceanus, and there question the shade of the seer Tiresias concerning his return. (See HADES, REALM OF.) From the latter he learns that it is the malice of Poseidon that prevents his return, but that nevertheless he will now attain his object if his comrades spare the cattle of Helios on the island of Thrinacia; otherwise it will only be after a long time, deprived of all his comrades and on a foreign shit, that he will reach his home. Odysseus then returns to the isle of Circe and sets out on his homeward voyage, supplied by her with valuable directions and a favouring wind. Passing the isles of the Sirens (q.v.) and sailing through Scylla and Charybdis (q.v.), he reaches the island of Thrinacia, where he is compelled to land by his comrades. They are there detained for a month by contrary winds; at length his comrades, overcome by hunger, in spite of the oath they have sworn to him, slaughter, during his absence, the finest of the cattle of Helios. Scarcely are they once more at sea, when a terrible storm breaks forth, and Zeus splits the ship in twain with a flash of lightning, as a penalty for the offence. All perish except Odysseus, who clings to the mast and keel, and is carried back by the waves to Scylla and Charybdis, and after nine days reaches the island of Ogygia, the abode of the nymph Calypso, daughter of Atlas. For seven years he dwells here with the nymph, who promises him immortality and eternal youth, if he will consent to remain with her and be her husband. But the yearning for his wife and home make him proof against her snares. All the day long he sits on the shore gazing through his tears across the broad sea; fain would he catch a glimpse, were it only of the rising smoke of his home, and thereafter die. So his protectress, Athene, during Poseidon's absence, prevails on Zeus in an assembly of the gods to decree his return, and to send Hermes to order Calypso to release him. Borne on a raft of his own building, he comes in eighteen days near to Scheria, the island of the Phaeacians, when Poseidon catches sight of him and shatters his raft in pieces. However, with the aid of the veil of Ino Leucothea (q.v.), he reaches land in safety and meets with Nausicaa, the king's daughter, who conducts him into the Phaeacian city before her parents Alcinous (q.v.) and Arete. He receives the most hospitable treatment, and is then brought loaded with presents by the Phaeacians on board one of their marvellous vessels to his country, which he reaches after twenty years' absence, while asleep. He arrives just in time to ward off the disaster that is threatening his house. After his mother Anticlea had died of grief for her son, and the old Laertes had retired to his country estate in mourning, more than a hundred noble youths of Ithaca and the surrounding isles had appeared as suitors for the hand of the fair and chaste Penelope, had persecuted Telemachus, who was now growing up to manhood, and were wasting the substance of the absent Odysseus. Penelope had demanded a respite from making her decision until she had finished weaving a shroud intended for her father-in-law, and every night unravelled the work of the day. In the fourth year one of her attendants betrayed the secret; she had to complete the garment, and when urged to make her decision promised to choose the man who should win in a shooting match with Odysseus bow, hoping that none of the wooers would be able even so much as to bend it. Just before the day of trial, Odysseus lands on the island disguised by Athena as a beggar. He betakes himself to the honest swineherd Eumoeus, one of the few retainers who have remained true to him, who receives his master, whom he fails to recognise, in a hospitable manner. To the same spot Athene brings Telemachus, who has returned in safety, in spite of the plots of the suitors from a journey to Nestor at Pylus and Menelaus and Helen in Sparta. Hereupon Odysseus makes himself known and, together with his son and retainer, concerts his plan of revenge. In the shape of a beggar he betakes himself to the house, where he manfully controls his anger at the arrogance of the suitors which is displayed towards himself, and his emotion on meeting Penelope. Next day the shooting match takes place. This involves shooting through the handles of twelve axes with the bow of Eurytus (q.v.), which the latter's son Iphitus had once presented to the young Odysseus. None of the suitors can bend the bow, and so Odysseus takes hold of it, and bends it in an instant, thus achieving the master-shot. Supported by Telemachus, Eumaeus, and the herdsman Philcetius, and with the aiding presence of Athens, he shoots first the insolent Antinous, and then the other suitors. He next makes himself known to Penelope, who has meanwhile fallen into a deep sleep, and visits his old father. In the meantime the relatives of the murdered suitors have taken up arms, but Athene, in the form of Mentor (q.v.) brings about a reconciliation. The only hint of Odysseus' end in Homer is in the prophecy of Tiresias, that in a calm old age a peaceful death will come upon him from the sea. In later poetry Telegonus, the son of Odysseus by Circe, is sent forth by his mother to seek out his father. He lands at Ithaca, and plunders the island: Odysseus proceeds to meet him, is wounded by him with a poisonous sting-ray, given by Circe to her son as a spear-point, and dies a painfal death, which thus comes "from the sea." On Telegonus discovering that he has killed his father, he carries the dead body home with him, together with Penelope and Telemachus, and there the latter live a life of immortality, Telemachus becoming husband of Circe, and Telegonus of Penelope. Besides Telegonus, the legend told of two sons of Odysseus by Circe, named Agrius and Latinus, who were said to have reigned over the Etruscans. Telegonus in particular was regarded by the Romans as the founder of Tusculum [Ovid, Fasti, iii 92], and Praeneste [Horace, Odes iii 29, 8]. In later times the adventures of Odysseus were transferred as a whole to the coast of Italy: the promontory of Circeii was regarded as the abode of Circe, Formiae as the city of the Laestrygones. Near Surrentum was found the island of the Sirens; near Cape Lacinium that of Calypso, while near to Sicily were the isle of Aeolus, Scylla, and Charybdis, and, on the Sicilian shore, the Cyclopes. Odysseus is generally represented as a bearded man, wearing a semi-oval cap like that of a Greek sailor. (See fig. 1.)
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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