Antenor (mythology)

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This article is about the mythological figure. For the historical sculptor, see Antenor. For other uses, see Antenor (disambiguation).

In Greek mythology, Antenor[pronunciation?] (Ancient Greek: Ἀντήνωρ) was a son of the Dardanian noble Aesyetes by Cleomestra; or, alternately, of Hicetaon. He was a counselor to Priam during the Trojan War.


Antenor was one of the wisest of the Trojan elders and counsellors. He was the husband of Theano, daughter of Cisseus of Thrace, who bore him at least one daughter, Crino, and numerous sons, including Archelochus, Acamas, Glaucus, Helicaon, Laodocus, Coön, Polybus, Agenor, Iphidamas, Laodamas, Demoleon, Eurymachus, Hippolochus, Medon, Thersilochus, and Antheus (most of whom perished during the Trojan War).[1] He was also the father of a son, Pedaeus, by an unknown woman. According to numerous scholars, Antenor was actually related to Priam. (Lempriere, 1788, p.55)

As a counselor to Priam in the Trojan war, Antenor advised his fellow-townsmen to send Helen back to the Greeks. He proved to be friendly to the Greeks and an advocate of peace. In the later story (according to Dares and Dictys) he was said to have treacherously opened the gates of Troy to the enemy; in return for which, in the general sack of the city, his house, marked by a panther's skin at the door, was spared by the victors. Afterwards, according to various versions of the legend, he either rebuilt a city on the site of Troy, settled at Cyrene, became the founder of Patavium (currently Padua),[2][3] or became the founder of Korčula.

In literature[edit]

Antenor appears briefly in Homer's Iliad. In Book 3 he is present when Helen identifies for Priam each of the Greek warriors from the wall of Troy; when she describes Odysseus, Antenor criticizes her, saying how he entertained Odysseus and Menelaus and got to know both. In Book 7, as mentioned above, he advises the Trojans to give Helen back, but Paris refuses to yield.

In Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, Antenor appears as a minor, non-speaking, character who has been taken prisoner by the Greeks but is returned by them in exchange for Criseyde.

The circle Antenora is named after him in the poem Inferno in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. It is located in Hell's Circle of Treachery which is reserved for traitors of cities, countries, and political parties.

Antenor was also the affectionate name given by the 17th century poet Katherine Philips to her husband, the Parliamentarian James Phillips.

Antenor is mentioned in "The Guermantes Way", Book 3 of Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time (page 225 in The Pleiade edition).


The minor planet 2207 Antenor, discovered in 1977 by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh, is named after him.[4]


  1. ^ Greek Mythology Link (Carlos Parada) Antenor 1
  2. ^ Virgil. Aeneid, I, 242.
  3. ^ Livy. From the Founding of the City, I, I, 1-3.
  4. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.). New York: Springer Verlag. p. 179. ISBN 3-540-00238-3.