In Greek mythology, Tenes was the eponymous hero of the island of Tenedos. He was the son either of Apollo or of King Cycnus of Colonae by Proclia, daughter or granddaughter of Laomedon. Cycnus' second wife Philonome, daughter of Tragasus or Cragasus, falsely accused Tenes of rape, bringing in a flutist named Eumolpus as witness. Cycnus believed the accusations and tried to kill Tenes and his sister Hemithea by placing them both in a chest, which was set into the ocean. However, the chest landed at the island of Leucophrye, which was later renamed Tenedos, and the two survived. The natives of the island pronounced Tenes their king. Cycnus later learned the truth, killed Eumolpus, buried Philonome alive and tried to reconcile with his children, but Tenes rejected his overture: when Cycnus' ship landed at Tenedos, Tenes took an axe and cut the moorings.
Tenes fought in the Trojan War on the side of the Trojans and was slain by Achilles, even though Thetis had previously warned her son against doing so, for Tenes' death would be avenged by Apollo. Shortly after the end of the Trojan War, Agamemnon permitted the Trojan prisoners of war to build a city north of Mycenea. The city was called Tenea after Tenes. A description on the history of Tenea was also given by Pausanias.
Diodorus Siculus relates that the Tenedians founded a sanctuary of Tenes to commemorate his virtues. No flute-player was allowed to enter the sacred precinct, and the name of Achilles was not to be pronounced in it. Sacrifices were offered to Tenes down to late times.
- Bibliotheca, Epitome of Book IV, 3. 24-25
- Conon, Narrations, 28
- Tzetzes on Lycophron, 232-233
- Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10. 14. 2 - 3
- Stephanus of Byzantium s. v. Tenedos
- Bibliotheca, Epitome of Book IV, 3. 26
- Strabo, Geography, 8. 6. 22
- Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.5.4
- Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 5. 83
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