Diomedes - Encyclopedia




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DIOMEDES, in Greek legend, son of Tydeus, one of the bravest of the heroes of the Trojan War. In the Iliad he is the favourite of Athena, by whose aid he not only overcomes all mortals who venture to oppose him, but is even enabled to attack the gods. In the post-Homeric story, he made his way with Odysseus by an underground passage into the citadel of Troy and carried off the Palladium, the presence of which within the walls secured Troy against capture (Virgil, Aeneid, ii. 164). On his return to Argos, finding that his wife had been unfaithful, he removed to Aetolia, and thence to Daunia (Apulia), where he married the daughter of King Daunus. He was buried or mysteriously disappeared on one of the islands in the Adriatic called after him Diomedeae, his sorrowing companions being changed into birds by the gods out of compassion (Ovid, Metam. xiv. 457 ff.). He was the reputed founder of Argyrippa (Arpi) and other Italian cities (Aeneid, xi. 243 ff.). He 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.

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