Acamas (son of Theseus)

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Acamas, the son of Phaedra and Theseus, and brother or half brother to Demophon, was a character in the Trojan War.[1]

Mythology[edit]

After his father was exiled from Athens, he and his brother were sent to Euboea, where they grew to adulthood and allied themselves with Euboea's King Elephenor. Prior to the assault of Troy by the Greeks, he and Diomedes were sent to demand the surrender of Helen (this expedition Homer ascribes to Menelaus and Odysseus),[2] but during his stay at Troy he won the affection of Laodice, daughter of Priam,[3] and begot by her a son, Munitus, who was brought up by Aethra, grandmother of Acamas.[4] He was killed by the bite of a snake while hunting at Olynthus in Thrace.[5]

Acamas and Demophon on a Neck Amphora by Exekias

In the war, Acamas fought on the side of the Greeks. After the war, he rescued his grandmother, Aethra, who was being held captive in Troy as Helen's maid.[6] Later mythological traditions describe the two brothers embarking on other adventures as well, including the capture of the Palladium.[7] Some sources relate of Acamas the story which is more commonly told of his brother Demophon, namely the one of his relationship with Phyllis of Thrace.[4] This might be a mistake.

Acamas is not mentioned in Homer's Iliad, but later works, including Virgil's Aeneid,[8] and almost certainly the Iliou persis, mention that Acamas was one of the men inside the Trojan horse.[9] The dominant character trait of Acamas is his interest in faraway places.[7]

Eponyms and Acamas in art[edit]

The promontory of Acamas in Cyprus, the town of Acamentium in Phrygia, and the Attic tribe Acamantis all derived their names from him.[10][11] He was painted in the Lesche at Delphi by Polygnotus, and there was also a statue of him at Delphi.[12]

Acamas appears in the epilogue to the 2011 film Immortals, experiencing a vision of a war in heaven. He's played by actor Gage Munroe.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Diodorus Siculus, 4. 62.
  2. ^ Homer. Iliad, xi. 139, &c.
  3. ^ Parthenius of Nicaea. Erot. 16.
  4. ^ a b Tzetzes on Lycophron 495, &c.
  5. ^ Parthenius, Love Romances, 16
  6. ^ Bibliotheca, Epitome of Book 4, 5. 22
  7. ^ a b Hornblower, Simon (1996). "Acamas". Oxford Classical Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 2. 
  8. ^ Virgil, Aeneid 2. 262
  9. ^ Schmitz, Leonhard (1867), "Acamas (1)", in Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology 1, Boston, p. 5 
  10. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium s.v. Ακαμάντιον
  11. ^ Pausanias 1. 5. § 2
  12. ^ Paus. 10. 26. § 3, 10. 10. § 1.

Sources[edit]