Ilione

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In Greek mythology, Ilione was the oldest daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy.[1] Her husband was the Thracian king Polymestor. She is briefly mentioned in Virgil's Aeneid: Aeneas gives her scepter to Dido.[2]

Ilione plays a significant role in a version of the story of her younger brother Polydorus. He had been entrusted by Priam and Hecuba to the care of his older sister and her husband. Ilione, who already had a son of her own, Deipylus, brought her brother up as her son, and her son as her brother, thinking that if anything happened to one of them, she could return the other one to her parents in any case. So when Polymestor was instigated by the Greeks to kill the son of Priam, he killed Deipylus instead, taking him for Polydorus. The real Polydorus thus survived and escaped. Later, he went to inquire the oracle at Delphi about his parents, and was answered that his native city had been destroyed, father killed, and mother enslaved. Still thinking that he was the son of Polymestor and Ilione, Polydorus thought that the oracle must have been wrong, and asked Ilione about it. She told him all the truth and suggested that he take revenge on Polymestor; Polydorus then blinded and killed him.[3]

Ilione was said to have eventually committed suicide, grieving at her parents' deaths.[4]

Her story was the subject of early Roman tragedies by Pacuvius and Accius.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 90
  2. ^ Virgil, Aeneid, 1. 653, with the commentary by Servius
  3. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 109
  4. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 243

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