Dares Phrygius

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Dares Phrygius (Ancient Greek: Δάρης), according to Homer,[1] was a Trojan priest of Hephaestus. He was supposed to have been the author of an account of the destruction of Troy, and to have lived before Homer.[2] A work in Latin, purporting to be a translation of this, and entitled Daretis Phrygii de excidio Trojae historia, was much read in the Middle Ages, and was then ascribed to Cornelius Nepos, who is made to dedicate it to Sallust; but the language better fits a period much later than the time of Nepos (probably the 5th century AD).

It is doubtful whether the existing work is an abridgment of a larger Latin work or an adaptation of a Greek original. Together with the similar work of Dictys Cretensis (with which it is generally printed), the De excidio forms the chief source for the numerous medieval accounts of the Trojan legend, the so-called Matter of Troy. Dares has claimed 866,000 Greeks and 676,000 Trojans were killed in this war, but archaeology has uncovered nothing that suggests a war this large was ever fought on that site.[3]

The work was a significant source for Joseph of Exeter's De bello Troiano.[4]


  1. ^ Homer. Iliad, 5.9, 5.27.
  2. ^ Claudius Aelianus. Var. Hist. Xl, 2.
  3. ^ White, Matthew (2012). Atrocities: the 100 Deadliest Episodes in Human History. New York: W. W. Norton. p. 556. ISBN 978-0-393-34523-0.
  4. ^ Rigg, A.G. "Joseph of Exeter: Iliad". Centre for Medieval Studies. Retrieved 1 November 2013.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Dares Phrygius". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 829.
  • O.S. von Fleschenberg, Daresstudie, i, 1908.
  • Gudeman, Alfred (1894). "Literary Frauds among the Romans". Transactions of the American Philological Association. 25: 140–164. doi:10.2307/2935663. ISSN 0271-4442. JSTOR 2935663.
  • (fr) Louis Faivre d'Arcier, Histoire et géographie d’un mythe. La circulation des manuscrits du De excidio Troiae de Darès le Phrygien (VIIIe-XVe s.), Paris, 2006 (ISBN 2-900791-79-0).
  • (de) Andreas Beschorner, Untersuchungen zu Dares Phrygius-Narr, Tübingen, 1992 (ISBN 3-8233-4863-9).

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