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She not only gave the whip back to the son of Tydeus but also put fresh strength to his horses and went after Eumelus to break his yoke. Poor Eumelus was thrown down and his elbows, mouth, and nostrils were all torn. Antilochus told his horses that there is no point trying to overtake Diomedes for Athena wishes his victory.

Diomedes won the first prize — "a woman skilled in all useful arts, and a three-legged cauldron". The chariot race is considered as the most prestigious competition in the funeral games and the most formal occasion for validating the status of the elite. Next, he fought with great Ajax in an armed sparring contest where the winner was to draw blood first. Ajax attacked Diomedes where his armour covered his body and achieved no success.


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Ajax owned the biggest armour and the tallest shield which covered most of his body leaving only two places vulnerable; his neck and armpits. So, Diomedes maneuvered his spear above Ajax's shield and attacked his neck, drawing blood. The Achaean leaders were scared that another such blow would kill Ajax and they stopped the fight. Diomedes received the prize for the victor. This is the final appearance of Diomedes in the epic. It is generally accepted that Athena is closest to Diomedes in the epic. In the early traditions, Athena a virgin goddess is described as being shy in the company of males.

Penthesileia led a small army of Amazons to Troy for the last year of the Trojan War. Two of her warriors, named Alcibie and Derimacheia, were slain by Diomedes. Penthesileia killed many Achaeans in battle. She was, however, no match for Achilles, who killed her. When Achilles stripped Penthesileia of her armour, he saw that the woman was young and very beautiful, and seemingly falls madly in love with her.

Achilles then regrets killing her. Thersites mocked Achilles for his behaviour, because the hero was mourning his enemy. Enraged, Achilles killed Thersites with a single blow to his face. Thersites was so quarrelsome and abusive in character, that only his cousin, Diomedes, mourned for him. Diomedes wanted to avenge Thersites, but the other leaders persuaded the two mightiest Achaean warriors against fighting each other. Hearkening to prayers of comrades, the two heroes reconciled at last.

According to Quintus Smyrnaeus, the Achaean leaders agreed to the boon of returning her body to the Trojans for her funeral pyre. According to some other sources, Diomedes angrily tossed Penthesileia's body into the river, so neither side could give her decent burial. Nestor's son was killed by Memnon , and Achilles held funeral games for Antilochus. Diomedes won the sprint. After Achilles' death, the Achaeans piled him a mound and held magnificent games in his honor.

According to Apollodorus, Diomedes won the footrace. Smyrnaeus says that the wrestling match between he and Ajax the Great came to a draw. After the death of Achilles, it was prophesied that Troy could not be taken if Neoptolemus Achilles's son would not come and fight. According to the Epic Cycle , Odysseus and Phoenix did this.

The Achaean seer named Calchas prophesied that Philoctetes whom the Achaeans had abandoned on the island of Lemnos due to the vile odour from snakebite and the bow of Heracles are needed to take Troy. Philoctetes hated Odysseus, Agamemnon and Menelaus, because they were responsible for leaving him behind. Diomedes and Odysseus were charged with achieving this prophecy also.

Knowing that Philoctetes would never agree to come with them, they sailed to the island and stole the bow of Heracles by a trick. According to Little Iliad, Odysseus wanted to sail home with the bow but Diomedes refused to leave Philoctetes behind. Heracles now a god or Athena then persuaded Philoctetes to join the Achaeans again with the promise that he will be healed and he agreed to go with Diomedes. The bow of Heracles and the poisoned arrows were used by Philoctetes to slay Paris; this was a requirement to the fall of Troy.

According to some, Diomedes and Odysseus were sent into the city of Troy to negotiate for peace after the death of Paris. After Paris' death, Helenus left the city but was captured by Odysseus.

Diomedes - Wikipedia

The Achaeans learnt from Helenus, that Troy would not fall, while the Palladium , image or statue of Athena, remained within Troy's walls. The difficult task of stealing this sacred statue again fell upon the shoulders of Odysseus and Diomedes. Odysseus, some say, went by night to Troy, and leaving Diomedes waiting, disguised himself and entered the city as a beggar. There he was recognized by Helen, who told him where the Palladium was.

Diomedes then climbed the wall of Troy and entered the city. Together, the two friends killed several guards and one or more priests of Athena's temple and stole the Palladium "with their bloodstained hands". There are several statues and many ancient drawings of him with the Palladium. According to the Little Iliad , on the way to the ships, Odysseus plotted to kill Diomedes and claim the Palladium or perhaps the credit for gaining it for himself.

He raised his sword to stab Diomedes in the back. Diomedes was alerted to the danger by glimpsing the gleam of the sword in the moonlight. He turned round, seized the sword of Odysseus, tied his hands, and drove him along in front, beating his back with the flat of his sword. Because Odysseus was essential for the destruction of Troy, Diomedes refrained from punishing him.

Diomedes took the Palladium with him when he left Troy. According to some, he brought it to Argos where it remained until Ergiaeus, one of his descendants, took it away with the assistance of the Laconian Leagrus, who conveyed it to Sparta. Some say that Diomedes was robbed of the palladium by Demophon in Attica, where he landed one night on his return from Troy, without knowing where he was. He was informed by an oracle, that he should be exposed to unceasing sufferings unless he restored the sacred image to the Trojans.

Therefore, he gave it back to his enemy, Aeneas. Stealing the Palladium after killing the priests was viewed as the greatest transgression committed by Diomedes and Odysseus by Trojans. Odysseus used this sentiment to his advantage when he invented the Trojan Horse stratagem.

This stratagem invented by Odysseus made it possible to take the city. Diomedes was one of the warriors inside. He slew many Trojan warriors inside the city. According to Quintus Smyrnaeus, while slaughtering countless Trojans, Diomedes met an elderly man named Ilioneus who begged for mercy. Despite his fury of war, Diomedes held back his sword so that the old man might speak.

Ilioneus begged "Oh compassionate my suppliant hands! To slay the young and valiant is a glorious thing; but if you smite an old man, small renown waits on your prowess. Therefore turn from me your hands against young men, if you hope ever to come to grey hairs such as mine. The brave man makes an end of every foe.

Some of the other Trojan warriors slain by Diomedes during that night were Coroebus who came to Troy to win the hand of Cassandra, [20] Eurydamas and Eurycoon. Cypria says that Polyxena died after being wounded by Odysseus and Diomedes in the capture of the city. During the sacking and looting of the great city, the seeress Cassandra, daughter of Priam and Hecuba, clung to the statue of Athena, but the Lesser Ajax raped her. Odysseus, unsuccessfully, tried to persuade the Achaean leaders to put Ajax to death, by stoning the Locrian leader to divert the goddess's anger. Diomedes and other Achaean leaders disagreed because Ajax himself clung to the same statue of Athena in order to save himself.

The failure of Achaean leaders to punish Ajax the Lesser for the sacrilege of Athena's altar resulted in earning her wrath. However, she did not punish Diomedes. Athena caused a quarrel between Agamemnon and Menelaus about the voyage from Troy. Agamemnon then stayed on to appease the anger of Athena.

Diomedes and Nestor held a discussion about the situation and decided to leave immediately. They took their vast armies and left Troy. They managed to reach home safely but Athena called upon Poseidon to bring a violent storm upon most of other Achaean ships.

Diomedes is one of the few Achaean commanders to return home safely. Since the other Achaeans suffered during their respective 'nostoi' Returns because they committed an atrocity of some kind, Diomedes' safe nostos implies that he had the favour of the gods during his journey. The Palamedes affair haunted several Achaean Leaders including Diomedes. Palamedes's brother Oeax went to Argos and reported to Aegialia, falsely or not, that her husband was bringing a woman he preferred to his wife. Others say that Aegialia herself had taken a lover, Cometes son of Sthenelus , being persuaded to do so by Palamedes's father Nauplius.

Still others say that despite Diomedes's noble treatment of her son Aeneas, Aphrodite never managed to forget about the Argive spear that had once pierced her flesh in the fields of Troy. She helped Aegialia to obtain not one, but many lovers. According to different traditions, Aegialeia was living in adultery with Hippolytus, Cometes or Cyllabarus. In any case Aegialia, being helped by the Argives, prevented Diomedes from entering the city.

Or else, if he ever entered Argos, he had to take sanctuary at the altar of Hera, and thence flee with his companions by night. Diomedes then migrated to Aetolia, and thence to Daunia Apulia in Italy. He went to the court of King Daunus, King of the Daunians. The king was honored to accept the great warrior. He begged Diomedes for help in warring against the Messapians, for a share of the land and marriage to his daughter. Diomedes agreed the proposal, drew up his men and routed the Messapians.

He took his land which he assigned to the Dorians, his followers. The two nations 'Monadi' and the 'Dardi' were vanquished by Diomedes along with the two cities of 'Apina' and 'Trica'. Diomedes later married Daunus's daughter Euippe and had two sons named Diomedes and Amphinomus. Some say that, after the sack of Troy, Diomedes came to Libya due to a storm , where he was put in prison by King Lycus who planned on sacrificing him to Ares.

It is said that it was the king's daughter Callirrhoe, who loosing Diomedes from his bonds, saved him. Diomedes is said to have thanklessly sailed away, and the girl killed herself with a halter. The last was made as a peace-offering to the goddess, including temples in her honor. Virgil 's Aeneid describes the beauty and prosperity of Diomedes' kingdom. When war broke out between Aeneas and Turnus, Turnus tried to persuade Diomedes to aid them in the war against the Trojans. Diomedes told them he had fought enough Trojans in his lifetime and urged Turnus that it was best to make peace with Aeneas than to fight the Trojans.

He also said that his purpose in Italy is to live in peace. He states that when he found Diomedes, he was laying the foundations of his new city, Argyrippa. The hero also states that birds pursue him and his soldiers, birds which used to be his companions and cry out everywhere they land, including the sea cliffs. The worship and service of gods and heroes was spread by Diomedes far and wide: At Troezene he had founded a temple of Apollo Epibaterius and instituted the Pythian games there.

Hero cults became much more commonplace from the beginning of the 8th century onwards, and they were widespread throughout several Greek cities in the Mediterranean by the last quarter of the century. There are also vestiges of this cult in areas like Cyprus and some mainland Greek cities, given the inscriptions on votive offerings found in temples and tombs, but the popularity is most evident along the Eastern coast of Italy.

This cult reached so far East in the Mediterranean due to the Achaean migration during the 8th century. Strabo claims that the votive offerings in the Daunian temple of Athena at Luceria contained votive offerings specifically addressing Diomedes.

Hercules and the Mares of Diomedes

Diomedes was worshipped as a hero not only in Greece, but on the coast of the Adriatic, as at Thurii and Metapontum. At Argos, his native place, during the festival of Athena, his shield was carried through the streets as a relic, together with the Palladium, and his statue was washed in the river Inachus.

There are two islands named after the hero Islands of Diomedes on the Adriatic. Strabo mentions that one was uninhabited. A passage in Aelian's On Animals explains the significance of this island and the mysterious birds which inhabit it. Strabo reflects on the peculiarities of this island, including the history tied to Diomedes' excursions and the regions and peoples among which he had the most influence.

He writes that Diomedes himself had sovereignty over the areas around the Adriatic, citing the islands of Diomedes as proof of this, as well as the various tribes of people who worshiped him even in contemporary times, including the Heneti and the Dauni. The Heneti sacrificed a white horse to Diomedes in special groves where wild animals grew tame.

This cult was not widespread; cults like those of Herakles and Theseus had a much more prominent function in the Greek world due to the benefits which they granted their followers and the popular mythological traditions of these figures. Strabo lists four different traditions about the hero's life in Italy. For one, he claims that at the city of Urium, Diomedes was making a canal to the sea when he was summoned home to Argos. He left the city and his undertakings half-finished and went home where he died.

The second tradition claims the opposite, that he stayed at Urium until the end of his life. The third tradition claims he disappeared on Diomedea, the uninhabited island called after him in the Adriatic where the Shearwaters who were formerly his companions live, which implies some kind of deification. The fourth tradition comes from the Heneti, who claim Diomedes stayed in their country and eventually had a mysterious apotheosis. One Legend says that on his death, the albatrosses got together and sang a song their normal call. Others say his companions were turned into birds afterwards.

The family name for albatrosses Diomedea originates from Diomedes. According to a legend, the goddess Venus seeing the men of Diomedes cry so bitterly transformed them into birds Diomedee so that they could stand guard at the grave of their king. According to the post Homeric stories, Diomedes was given immortality by Athena, which she had not given to his father.

In other translations it is said that the mares are freed to Mount Olympus where some were eaten by wild beasts. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the king of Thrace whose horses were stolen by Heracles. For other uses, see Diomedes disambiguation. Web Gallery of Art. Library and Epitome , 2. Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history.

DIOMEDES - The Ancient Greek All Star Superhero (by Ancient Greece Reloaded)

In other projects Wikimedia Commons. The beloved son of Zeus and, the mortal, Alkmene Alcmene , Herakles was the archetype for bravery and living proof that might-makes-right. According to Hesiod The Shield of Herakles, line 51 , Alkmene bore two sons, not twins but brothers by blood.

With armor and shield forged by Hephaistos Hephaestus , Herakles was more than a match for men and gods alike. After his death Herakles was granted godhood and was welcomed to Mount Olympos Olympus by all the Immortals. Even Hera put aside her jealously to receive our Hero. Herakles was of the Age of Heroes, the fourth generation of mortal men on the earth.

Half-man and half-god, he was the focus of considerable wrath and love from the Immortals. His life was one of self sacrifice and sadness. His belt and golden baldrick were artistically designed with all manner of vicious beast and graphic acts of manslaughter. Odysseus hoped that the artist who designed these horrid images would never again display his craft Odyssey, book 11, line Herakles told Odysseus of the time he was sent to the underworld to fetch the Hell Hound, Kerberos Cerberus.

He asked Odysseus if he too was the victim of some wretched destiny, which of course, he was. Why else would he be in the underworld while he was still living? Herakles also freed Prometheus from his bondage and torture Theogony, line As punishment for giving the mortals stolen fire, Zeus ordered Hephaistos to chain Prometheus to a rock.

In due time, Herakles killed the eagle and freed Prometheus, as was also the will of Zeus. By the time the walls of Troy were toppled by the Greeks, Herakles had ended his mortal existence and ascended to Mount Olympos as one of the Immortals. As Herakles laid on his funeral pyre he offered his bow to anyone who would light the blaze and end his suffering. The hero had been poisoned by the blood of the centaur, Nessos , and was begging to be released from his pain and torment. I will relate the story of Nessos in detail after the Labors.

By the time the exploits of Herakles were committed to paper, i. Labors, Incidentals and Deeds. The Labors athloi were twelve tasks that Herakles was obliged to undertake for his cousin, Eurystheus , the son of the son of the king of Argos. The Incidentals parerga were adventures Herakles had during the course of his Labors. The life of Herakles was documented in artwork that predates any written account by as much as four hundred years. For this reason I have compiled this brief explanation of his Labors, Incidentals and Deeds from the surviving artwork rather from the later, understandably, embellished, written versions.

The chronology of the Twelve Labors is rather arbitrary but, since the time of the Greek grammarian, Apollodorus Dysklus circa BCE , the numbering of the Labors has become, literally, written in stone. For that reason it is understandable why killing of the lion of Nemea was considered to be the First Labor of Herakles. The ordering of the other Labors are not quite so obvious but we will yield to the authority of Apollodorus Dysklus. Nemea was a valley in southeast Greece, in ancient Argos.

According to Hesiod Theogony, line , the Nemean lion was the predatory offspring of the dog, Orthos and the monster, Ekhidna Echidna , and presumably, the sister of the deadly Sphinx of the city of Thebe Thebes and the half-sister of Kerberos, the watchdog of the gates of the Underworld. As you can deduce from her family, this was no ordinary beast which terrorized the travelers and livestock in the peaceful countryside around Nemea. Eurystheus sent Herakles to kill the lion of Nemea as the first of his Twelve Labors. Herakles wrestled with the lion and strangled it to death.

Early artistic renderings of this wrestling match showed the lion on its hind feet fighting Herakles in the same manner that two men would grapple but after circa BCE the lion and Herakles were usually shown on the ground fighting like animals. According to Hesoid Theogony, line , the Hydra was the offspring of Ekhidna and Typhon but he fails to describe the Hydra in detail.

This description agreed with later writers who said that the Hydra had a huge body with eight mortal heads and one immortal head. The creature lurked in the swamps of Lerna , which was a marshy region near ancient Argos in southeast Greece on the Peloponnesian Peninsula.

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The artistic representations of this Labor date back to the end of the eighth century BCE, where a bearded Herakles was almost always assisted by his devoted nephew, Iolaos. The Hydra was very hard to kill because each time one of the serpent-like heads was hacked off, two new heads grew to replace it. Also, the blood of the Hydra was a deadly poison. With the help of Iolaos and with Athene watching the battle to lend her protection Herakles attacked the Hydra. He used either a sword or a sickle to hack at the heads while a giant crab, sent by the vengeful Hera to distract him, snapped at his heels.

To prevent the heads from growing back two-fold, Herakles succeeded in cauterizing the squirming necks with fire as he cut off each head. After the Hydra was dead, Herakles dipped his arrows in the poisonous blood. According to the chronology of Apollodorus, the Third Labor that Eurystheus commanded of Herakles was the capture of the Keryneian Hind. This Labor is the subject of Attic artwork dating back to the mid-sixth century BCE and perhaps, but not definitely, to the eighth century. The Keryneian Hind was sacred to Artemis and was named after a Peloponnesian river.

Herakles spent a year searching for the elusive deer before he was able to capture it. Later versions of this Labor show Herakles breaking off the horns of the hind and writers, such as Euripides circa BCE , say that the hind was killed, not captured, by Herakles. While returning the hind to Eurystheus, Herakles encountered Apollon and Artemis. They demanded the return of the sacred creature but Herakles successfully argued the justice of his quest and was allowed to complete his Labor. Several depictions of this encounter show Herakles and Apollon struggling over the hind in a sort of tug-of-war.

While representations of this Labor appear on the metopes of the Treasury of the Athenians at Delphi and the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, the topic is not to be found in non-Attic artwork before circa BCE.

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This, the Fourth Labor of Herakles, has the distinction of being the most tragic and comic of the Labors. It is tragic because it caused the death of two renowned centaurs, Khiron Chiron and Pholos , and comic because when Herakles took the boar to Mykenae Mycenae he threatened to drop the fierce beast on his cousin, Eurystheus, as he cowered in a pithos, i.