The Journey to Troy: Philoktetes and Tennes (page 591)

Chapter 16, The Trojan War

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Lykophron, Alexandra 232-42

and now two children are slain together with their father who is smitten on the collar-bone with the hard mill-stone, an omen of good beginning; those children which before escaped when cast out to death in an ark through the lying speech of the piper, to whom hearkened the sullen butcher of his children – he the gull-reared, captive of the nets of fishermen, friend of winkle and bandy sea-snail – and imprisoned his two children in a chest. And therewithal the wretch, who was not mindful to tell the bidding of the goddess mother but erred in forgetfulness, shall die upon his face, his breast pierced by the swordGreek Text

Konon 26F1.28 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 199, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Diodoros Siculus, Library of History 5.83.4-5

But we must not omit to mention what the myths of the Tenedians have to tell about Tennes, the founder of the city. Cycnus his father, they say, giving credence to the unjust slanders of his wife, put his son Tennes in a chest and cast it into the sea; this chest was borne along by the waves and brought to shore on Tenedos, and since Tennes had been saved alive in this astonishing fashion by the providence of some one of the gods, he became king of the island, and becoming distinguished by reason of the justice he displayed and his other virtues, he was granted immortal honours. But it had happened, when his step-mother was slandering him, that a certain flute player had borne false witness against him, and so the Tenedians passed a law that no flute player should ever enter his sacred precinct. [5] And when Tennes was slain by Achilles in the course of the Trojan War, on the occasion when the Greeks sacked Tenedos, the Tenedians passed a law that no man should ever pronounce the name of Achilles in the sacred precinct of the founder of their city. Such, then, is the account which the myths give regarding Tenedos and its ancient inhabitants.  Greek Text

Apollodoros, Epitome 3.25-26

Cycnus believed her, and putting him and his sister in a chest he set them adrift on the sea. The chest was washed up on the island of Leucophrys, and Tenes landed and settled in the island, and called it Tenedos after himself. But Cycnus afterwards learning the truth, stoned the flute-player to death and buried his wife alive in the earth. So when the Greeks were standing in for Tenedos, Tenes saw them and tried to keep them off by throwing stones, but was killed by Achilles with a sword-cut in the breast, though Thetis had forewarned Achilles not to kill Tenes, because he himself would die by the hand of Apollo if he slew Tenes.  Greek Text

Plutarch, Moralia 297d-f

Greek Text and English Translation

Pausanias, Description of Greece 10.14.1-4

The axes were dedicated by Periclytus, son of Euthymachus, a man of Tenedos, and allude to an old story. Cycnus, they say, was a son of Poseidon, and ruled as king in Colonae, a city in the Troad situated opposite the island Leucophrys. [2] He had a daughter, by name Hemithea, and a son, called Tennes, by Procleia, who was a daughter of Clytius and a sister of Caletor. Homer in the Iliad says that this Caletor, as he was putting the fire under the ship of Protesilaus, was killed by Ajax. Procleia died before Cycnus, and his second wife, Philonome, daughter of Cragasus, fell in love with Tennes. Rejected by him she falsely accused him before her husband, saying that he had made love to her, and she had rejected him. Cycnus was deceived by the trick, placed Tennes with his sister in a chest and launched it out to sea. [3] The young people came safely to the island Leucophrys, and the island was given its present name from Tennes. Cycnus, however, was not to remain for ever ignorant of the trick, and sailed to his son to confess his ignorance and to ask for pardon for his mistake. He put in at the island and fastened the cables of his ship to something—a rock or a tree—but Tennes in a passion cut them adrift with an axe. [4] For this reason a by-word has arisen, which is used of those who make a stern refusal: “So and so has cut whatever it may be with an axe of Tenedos.” The Greeks say that while Tennes was defending his country he was killed by Achilles. In course of time weakness compelled the people of Tenedos to merge themselves with the Alexandrians on the Troad mainland.  Greek Text

Scholia at Lykophron, Alexandra 232 – Lykophronis Alexandra, vol. 2, pp. 105-6, ed. E. Scheer. Berlin 1908.

Greek Text

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

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