Laodice (daughter of Priam)

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In Greek mythology, Laodice (/lˈɒdəˌsi/; Greek: Λαοδίκη, "people-justice") was the daughter of Priam of Troy and Hecuba. She is described as the most beautiful of Priam's daughters.[1][2]

Before the outbreak of the Trojan war Laodice fell in love with Acamas, son of Theseus, who had come to Troy to try to recover Helen through diplomatic means. She became pregnant and bore him the son Munitus. Munitus was given to Acamas' grandmother Aethra, who was then a slave to Helen. After the war had ended, Acamas took his son with him. Much later, Munitus was bitten by a snake while hunting with his father in Thrace and died.[3][4]

The Iliad mentions Laodice as the wife of Helicaon, son of Antenor.[1]

According to other sources she was the wife of Telephus, king of Mysia and son of Heracles.[5] She accompanied Telephus and his son Eurypylus when he traveled to Troy to defend it against the Greeks. As they set foot in Asia Minor, Helicaon forced Laodice to marry him and was going to drown Eurypylus in Xanthos' Lake. However, Telephus returned just in time to save his wife and son. Telephus decapitated Helicaon and had the latter's face engraved on all Mysian shields with an expression of terror and fear in his eyes. Yet other versions say that Laodice had married Helicaon. When Telephus came she tricked him into believing that the cattle handed down to him by his father Heracles had been stolen by Helicaon, and that she would exact revenge on behalf of Telephus if he would marry her. And so at night she stabbed Helicaon and afterwards married Telephus.

According to the Bibliotheca and several other sources, in the night of the fall of Troy Laodice feared she might become one of the captive women and prayed to the gods. She was swallowed up in a chasm that opened on the earth.[6][7][8][9] There is no information on which deity she prayed to but Persephone seemed to have provided the chasm. There is no information on what happened after she was swallowed. The assumption is that she was transported alive to Hades.

Yet Pausanias mentions her among the captive Trojans painted in the Lesche of Delphi, but assumes the Greeks would not have done her any harm, since she was married to the son of Antenor, who was an ally of the Greeks.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Homer, Iliad, 3. 123
  2. ^ Homer, Iliad, 6. 252
  3. ^ Parthenius, Love Romances, 16
  4. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 495-496
  5. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 101
  6. ^ Bibliotheca, Epitome of Book 4, 5.23.
  7. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 314
  8. ^ Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy, 13. 544
  9. ^ Tryphiodorus, The Taking of Ilios, 660
  10. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10. 26. 7-8