Neoptolemus - Encyclopedia




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NEOPTOLEMUS (also called Pyrrhus), in Greek legend, the son of Achilles and Deidameia. He was brought up by his grandfather Lycomedes in the island of Scyros, and taken to Troy in the last year of the war by Odysseus, since Helenus had declared that the city could not be captured without the aid of a descendant of Aeacus. Neoptolemus was famed for his beauty, eloquence and bravery. He was one of the warriors in the wooden horse and slew Priam at the sack of Troy (Odyssey, xi. 508-526; Aeneid, ii. 527). Apart from these Trojan tales, Neoptolemus is a prominent figure in the legends of Epirus and of Delphi. He was the ancestor of the Molossian kings, who therefore claimed to be of pure Hellenic stock. He was murdered at Delphi, where he was buried, and a festival was held in his honour every eighth year.

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