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).

Antenor (Greek: Ἀντήνωρ, Antḗnōr) was a counselor to King Priam of Troy in the legendary Greek accounts of the Trojan War.


Antenor was variously named as the son of the Dardanian noble Aesyetes by Cleomestra or of Hicetaon.

Antenor was one of the wisest of the Trojan elders and counsellors.[1] 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).[2] He was also the father of a son, Pedaeus, by an unknown woman. According to numerous scholars, Antenor was actually related to Priam.[3]

In the Homeric account of the Trojan War, Antenor advised his countrymen to return Helen to her husband and otherwise proved sympathetic to a negotiated peace with the Greeks.[4] In later developments of the myths, particularly per Dares and Dictys,[1] Antenor was made an open traitor, unsealing the city gates to the enemy.[4] As payment, his house—marked by a panther skin over the door—was spared during the sack of the city.[4]

His subsequent fate varied across the authors. He was said to have rebuilt a city on the site of Troy;[4] to have settled at Cyrene;[4] or to have founded Patavium (modern Padua),[5][6] Korčula,[citation needed] or other cities in eastern Italy.[4]

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.

Michel de Nostradamus mentions "the Ancient City of Antenor" in Century VI, Quartan #76.[7]

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", the third book of Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past.[8]


The minor planet 2207 Antenor, discovered in 1977 by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh, is named after him.[9]



  1. ^ a b EB (1911).
  2. ^ Greek Mythology Link (Carlos Parada) Antenor 1
  3. ^ Lempriere (1788), p. 55.
  4. ^ a b c d e f EB (1878).
  5. ^ Virgil, Aeneid, Book I, l. 242.
  6. ^ Livy. History of Rome, Vol. I, Ch. I.
  7. ^ Cheetham, Erica, p. 76. The Prophecies of Nostradamus. Perigee Books (a division of Putnam Pub. Group). 399-10995-1
  8. ^ Page 225 in The Pleiade edition.
  9. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.). New York: Springer Verlag. p. 293. ISBN 3-540-00238-3.