Penthesileia and Memnon (page 622, with art)

Chapter 16, The Trojan War

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Pherekydes FGrH 3F123 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 93, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Dik 4.3 – Diktys of Krete, Ephemeriodos Belli Troiani 

Achilles found Penthesilae among the cavalry and, hurling his spear, hit the mark. Then – no trouble now that she was wounded – he seized her by the hair and pulled her off her horse. Her followers, seeing her fallen, became disheartened and took to flight. We pursued and cut down those who were unable to reach the gates before they closed; nevertheless, we abstained from touching the women because of their sex.

Then we returned, all of us victors, our enemies slain. Finding Penthesilea still half-alive, we marveled at her brazen boldness. Almost immediately a meeting was held to determine her fate, and it was decided to throw her, while still alive enough to have feeling, either into the river to drown or out for the dogs to tear apart, for she had transgressed the bounds of nature and her sex. Achilles favored just letting her die and then giving her burial. Diomedes, however, prevailed: going around, he asked everyone what to do and won a unanimous vote in favor of drowning. Accordingly, dragging her by the feet, he dumped her into the Scamander. It goes without saying that this was a very cruel and barbarous act. But thus the queen of the Amazons having lost the forces she had brought to aid Priam, died in a way that befitted her foolhardy character.  Latin Text

Σ Lyk 999 – Scholia to Lykophron, Alexandra – Lykophronis Alexandra 2, p. 312, ed E. Scheer. Berlin 1908.

Greek Text

Olympia, Archaeological Museum B 112: bronze shield-band relief with Achilleus and Penthesileia

E. Kunze, Archaische Schildbänder. Olympische Forschungen 2 (1950) pl. 20

Digital LIMC (no image)

Olympia, Archaeological Museum B 1555: bronze shield-band relief with Achilleus and Penthesileia

E. Kunze, Archaische Schildbänder. Olympische Forschungen 2 (1950) pl. 60

Digital LIMC (no image)

London, British Museum B210: Attic black-figure neck-amphora by Exekias with Achilleus slaying Penthesileia

British Museum

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Munich, Antikensammlungen 2688: Attic red-figure cup by the Penthesileia Painter with  Achilleus and Penthesileia, flanked by Greek warrior and dead Amazon


Beazley Archive Pottery Database

London, British Museum B323: Attic black-figure hydria from the Leagros Group with Achilleus carrying Penthesileia, flanked by Greek warrior slaying an Amazon (on the left) and fleeing warrior and Oriental archer (on the right)

British Museum

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 03.804: Apulian red-figure volute krater with Phoinix, son of Amyntor, and Achilleus (in pavilion) and beheaded Thersites (beneath pavilion)

Museum of Fine Arts (for identification of all the figures on the vase)

C. Robert, Archaeologische Hermeneutik; Anleitung zur Deutung klassischer Bildwerke (1919), figs. 213-214 pp. 280-281

Kosmos Society

Digital LIMC

Aithiopis PEG – Poetae Epici Graeci 1, pp. 68-69, ed. A. Bernabé. Leipzig 1987.

Th 984-85 – Hesiod, Theogony

And Eos bore to Tithonus brazen-crested Memnon, [985] king of the Ethiopians, and the Lord Emathion.  Greek Text

Od 3.108-12 – Homer, Odyssey

lo, there all our best were slain. There lies warlike Aias, there Achilles, [110] there Patroclus, the peer of the gods in counsel; and there my own dear son, strong alike and peerless, Antilochus, pre-eminent in speed of foot and as a warrior.  Greek Text

Od 4.186-88 – Homer, Odyssey

nor could the son of Nestor keep his eyes tearless. For he thought in his heart of peerless Antilochus, whom the glorious son of the bright Dawn had slain.  Greek Text

♠ Od 11.522 – Homer, Odyssey

He verily was the comeliest man I saw, next to goodly Memnon.  Greek Text

Alkman 68 PMGPoetae Melici Graeci, p. 55, ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

Aias rages with his polished spear, and Memnon lusts for blood  (Transl. T. Gantz)

Simonides 539 PMGPoetae Melici Graeci, p. 280, ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

Athens, National Museum 3961 (911): Melian amphora with Apollo greeted by Artemis (main frieze) and Achilleus fighting Memnon (on neck), accompanied by their mothers Thetis (panel on the left) and Eos (panel on the right)—also identified as Aias and Odysseus battling over armor of Achilleus

P. Scaruffi, What the Greeks knew, Part II: Athens (2018)

Digital LIMC

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Artistic sources edited by R. Ross Holloway, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor Emeritus, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown Univ., and Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, December 2021

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, February 2023

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