Hiera (mythology)

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In Greek mythology, Hiera (Ἱέρα) is the wife of Telephus, the mythic founder of the city of Pergamum.[1] She is depicted in the frieze on the interior of the Altar of Pergamum.[2]

During the Trojan War the Greeks attacked Pergamum, either because they mistook it for Troy, or because an alliance existed between Troy and Pergamum. Hiera was apparently an Amazon,[2] and the Amazons united with the defenders of Pergamum to repel the attack. However, in the battle Hiera was killed by the Greek warrior Nireus.[2] Telephus was so grief-stricken that he called a cease-fire to hold the funeral for Hiera, before restarting the battle and finally driving the invaders away.[2]

It is possible that the ancient city of Hierapolis (modern Pamukkale, Turkey) was named in her honor, though the name can also be read as just 'holy city'.[3] She had two sons with Telephus, Tarchon and Tyrsenus.[1]


  1. ^ a b Smith, William (1849). Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. Boston: C.C. Little and J. Brown. pp. 990, 1196. 
  2. ^ a b c d Schraudolph, edited by Renée Dreyfus, Ellen (1996). Pergamon : the Telephos frieze from the Great Altar. San Francisco, Calif.: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. p. 17,74. ISBN 0884010899. 
  3. ^ Brenk, Frederick E. (1998). Relighting the souls : studies in Plutarch, in Greek literature, religion, and philosophy, and in the New Testament background. Stuttgart: Steiner. p. 381. ISBN 351507158X.