P. 443

Diodoros Siculus, Library of History 4.32.1-5

After this Heracles, returning to Peloponnesus, made war against Ilium, since he had a ground of complaint against its king, Laomedon. For when Heracles was on the expedition with Jason to get the golden fleece and had slain the sea-monster, Laomedon had withheld from him the mares which he had agreed to give him and of which we shall give a detailed account a little later in connection with the Argonauts.​ [2] At that time Heracles had not had the leisure, since he was engaged upon the expedition of Jason, but later he found an opportunity and made war upon Troy with eighteen ships of war, as some say, but, as Homer writes, with six in all, when he introduces Heracles’ son Tlepolemus as saying:

Aye, what a man, they say, was Heracles

In might, my father he, steadfast, with heart

Of lion, who once came here to carry off

The mares of King Laomedon, with but

Six ships and scantier men, yet sacked he then

The city of proud Ilium, and made

Her streets bereft.

[3] When Heracles, then, had landed on the coast of the Troad, he advanced in person with his select troops against the city and left in command of the ships Oecles, the son of Amphiaraus. And since the presence of the enemy had not been expected, it proved impossible for Laomedon, on account of the exigencies of the moment, to collect a passable army, but gathering as many soldiers as he could he advanced with them against the ships, in the hope that if he could burn them he could bring an end to the war. Oecles came out to meet him, but when he, the general, fell, the rest succeeded in making good their flight to the ships and in putting out to sea from the land. [4] Laomedon then withdrew and joining combat with the troops of Heracles near the city he was slain himself and most of the soldiers with him. Heracles then took the city by storm and after slaughtering many of its inhabitants in the action he gave the kingdom of the Iliadae to Priam because of his sense of justice; [5] for Priam was the only one of the sons of Laomedon who had opposed his father and had counselled him to give the mares back to Heracles, as he had promised to do. And Heracles crowned Telamon with the meed of valour by bestowing upon him Hesionê the daughter of Laomedon, for in the siege he had been the first to force his way into the city, while Heracles was assaulting the strongest section of the wall of the acropolis.  Greek Text

Diodoros Siculus, Library of History 4.49.3-6

After this they put out to sea, and after sailing through the Propontis and Hellespont they landed at the Troad. Here, when Heracles dispatched to the city his brother Iphiclus and Telamon to demand back both the mares and Hesionê, Laomedon, it is said, threw the ambassadors into prison and planned to lay an ambush for the other Argonauts and encompass their death. He had the rest of his sons as willing aids in the deed, but Priam alone opposed it; for he declared that Laomedon should observe justice in his dealings with the strangers and should deliver to them both his sister and the mares which had been promised. [4] But when no one paid any heed to Priam, he brought two swords to the prison, they say, and gave them secretly to Telamon and his companions, and by disclosing the plan of his father he became the cause of their deliverance. [5] For immediately Telamon and his companions slew such of the guards as offered resistance, and fleeing to the sea gave the Argonauts a full account of what had happened. Accordingly, these got ready for battle and went out to meet the forces which were pouring out of the city with the king. [6] There was a sharp battle, but their courage gave the chieftains the upper hand, and Heracles, the myths report, performed the bravest feats of them all; for he slew Laomedon, and taking the city at the first assault he punished those who were parties with the king to the plot, but to Priam, because of the spirit of justice he had shown, he gave the kingship, entered into a league of friendship with him, and then sailed away in company with the Argonauts.  Greek Text

Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library) 2.6.4

After his servitude, being rid of his disease he mustered an army of noble volunteers and sailed for Ilium with eighteen ships of fifty oars each. And having come to port at Ilium, he left the guard of the ships to Oicles and himself with the rest of the champions set out to attack the city. Howbeit Laomedon marched against the ships with the multitude and slew Oicles in battle, but being repulsed by the troops of Hercules, he was besieged. The siege once laid, Telamon was the first to breach the wall and enter the city, and after him Hercules. But when he saw that Telamon had entered it first, he drew his sword and rushed at him, loath that anybody should be reputed a better man than himself. Perceiving that, Telamon collected stones that lay to hand, and when Hercules asked him what he did, he said he was building an altar to Hercules the Glorious Victor. Hercules thanked him, and when he had taken the city and shot down Laomedon and his sons, except Podarces, he assigned Laomedon’s daughter Hesione as a prize to Telamon and allowed her to take with her whomsoever of the captives she would. When she chose her brother Podarces, Hercules said that he must first be a slave and then be ransomed by her. So when he was being sold she took the veil from her head and gave it as a ransom; hence Podarces was called Priam.  Greek Text

Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library) 3.12.3

And Ilus married Eurydice, daughter of Adrastus, and begat Laomedon, who married Strymo, daughter of Scamander; but according to some his wife was Placia, daughter of Otreus, and according to others she was Leucippe; and he begat five sons, Tithonus, Lampus, Clytius, Hicetaon, Podarces, and three daughters, Hesione, Cilla, and Astyoche; and by a nymph Calybe he had a son Bucolion.  Greek Text

Hyginus, Fabulae 89

LAOMEDON: Neptune and Apollo are said to have built a wall around Troy. King Laomedon vowed that he would sacrifice to them from his flocks whatever should be born that year in his kingdom. This vow he defaulted on through avarice. Other writers say that he promised too little. Because of this Neptune sent a sea-monster to plague Troy, and for this reason the king sent to Apollo for advice. Apollo angrily replied that if Trojan maidens were bound and offered to the monster, there would be an end to the plague. When many girls had been devoured, and the lot fell on Hesione, and she was bound to the rocks, Hercules and Telamon came there, the Argonauts being on their way to Colchis, and killed the monster. They delivered Hesione to her father on condition that when they returned they should take her with them to their country, as well as the horses which walk over water standing ears of grain. Laomedon defaulted in this, too, and refused to give up Hesione. Laomedon defaulted in this, too, and refused to give up Hesione. And so Hercules, assembling ships to attack Troy, came and slew Laomedon, and gave the kingdom to his infant son Podarces, who was afterward called apo tou priasthai, “from being redeemed,” Priam. He recovered Hesione and gave her in marriage to Telamon. Their child was Teucer.  Latin Text

Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, November 2023.

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