World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Polydamas (Iliad)

Article Id: WHEBN0028063356
Reproduction Date:

Title: Polydamas (Iliad)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hector, List of Greek phrases, Memnon (mythology), Polydamas, Posthomerica, Asius (mythology), List of Homeric characters, Iliad
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Polydamas (Iliad)

For other uses, see Polydamas

In Greek mythology, Poludamas or Polydamas (Greek: Πολυδάμας, -αντος) was a lieutenant and friend of Hector during the Trojan War. They were born on the same night. Since Homer, in the Iliad, makes no reference to his ancestry (except to note that he is the son of Panthous (Πάνθοος) and Phrontis (Φροντίς),[1] he is apparently a commoner, or in any event not a member of the royal house of Troy.

During the battles described in the Iliad, he often proposes a cautious battle strategy which is sometimes accepted but more often refused by Hector, who prefers direct attack. In Book XII, he prefers retreat in the face of the omen of a hawk. Hector defies this and presses forth anyway. However, Hector does take his advice to regroup in Book XIII, after the Argives have done tremendous damage to the Trojans. In Book XVIII of the Iliad, Polydamas advises the Trojans to retire from the battlefield after the death of Patroclus. Hector, however, overrules Polydamas, leaving the army in the field when Achilles ends his feud with Agamemnon and rejoins the Achaean forces. As a result, Achilles kills a great number of Trojan warriors, culminating in a duel with Hector in which the latter is killed.

Polydamas appears periodically throughout the battles, and brags about killing Prothoënor. He often complements Hector in battle. In Book XV, after killing Mecistus and Otus, he is attacked by Meges, but Apollo saves him, causing him to dodge at the last moment. Polydamas killed three Greeks in the war.[2]

Homer gives no foreshadowing of Polydamas's final fate, nor is he mentioned in most of the later poems dealing with the aftermath of the war, leaving the reader to infer that he perished in the general slaughter after the fall of Troy to the Greek forces.

He is mentioned in Quintus Smyrnaeus' Posthomerica, but again, no death is mentioned. In Quintus Smyrneaus' story, Polydamas actually suggests that instead of attacking or fleeing, the Trojans should just give Helen back to the Greeks. This suggestion is well received by many soldiers, but nobody admits it. Paris calls him a deserter and a coward, but Polydamas retorts that Paris' ambitions instigated the problem. Later on, he tries again to persuade the Trojans to stay inside the city in order to raise troop morale, but it is Aeneas that opposes his opinion this time, on the grounds that the Greeks will not be disheartened by a long stay inside the walls.

References

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.