World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Palamedes (mythology)

Article Id: WHEBN0002093019
Reproduction Date:

Title: Palamedes (mythology)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Alcidamas, Trojan War, Cadmus, Philyra (mythology), Inuus, Gorgias, Stesichorus, Nauplius (mythology), Stoning, Cynegeticus
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Palamedes (mythology)

In Greek mythology, Palamedes (Ancient Greek: Παλαμήδης) was the son of Nauplius and either Clymene or Philyra or Hesione, and a prince of Nauplia who led the Nauplians in the Trojan War.

He is said to have invented counting, currency, weights and measures, jokes, dice and pessoi, as well as military ranks. Sometimes he is credited with discoveries in the field of wine making and the supplementary letters of the Greek alphabet.

Agamemnon sent Palamedes to Ithaca to retrieve Odysseus, who had promised to defend the marriage of Helen and Menelaus. Paris had kidnapped Helen, but Odysseus did not want to honor his oath. He pretended to be insane and plowed his fields with salt. Palamedes guessed what was happening and put Odysseus' son, Telemachus, in front of the plow. Odysseus stopped working and revealed his sanity.[1]

Odysseus never forgave Palamedes for sending him to the Trojan War. When Palamedes advised the Greeks to return home, Odysseus hid gold in his tent and wrote a fake letter purportedly from Priam. The letter was found and the Greeks accused him of being a traitor.[2] Palamedes was stoned to death by Odysseus and Diomedes. According to other accounts the two warriors drowned him. Still another version relates that he was lured into a well in search of treasure, and then was crushed by stones. Although he is a major character in some accounts of the Trojan War, Palamedes is not mentioned in Homer's Iliad.

Ovid discusses Palamedes' role in the Trojan War in the Metamorphoses.[3] Palamedes' fate is described in Virgil's Aeneid.[4] Plato describes Socrates as looking forward to speaking with Palamedes after death.[5] Euripides and many other dramatists have written dramas about his fate.

Hyginus revives an old account that Palamedes created eleven letters of the Greek alphabet:

The three Fates created the first five vowels of the alphabet and the letters B and T. It is said that Palamedes, son of Nauplius invented the remaining eleven consonants. Then Hermes reduced these sounds to characters, showing wedge shapes because cranes fly in wedge formation and then carried the system from Greece to Egypt*. This was the Pelasgian alphabet, which Cadmus had later brought to Boeotia, then Evander of Arcadia, a Pelasgian, introduced into Italy, where his mother, Carmenta, formed the familiar fifteen characters of the Latin alphabet. Other consonants have since been added to the Greek alphabet. Alpha was the first of eighteen letters, because alphe means honor, and alphainein is to invent.[6]

In one modern account, The Luck of Troy by Roger Lancelyn Green, Palamedes really was double-dealing with the Trojans.

References

  • D. R. Reinsch, "Die Palamedes-Episode in der Synopsis Chronike des Konstantinos Manasses und ihre Inspirationsquelle," in Byzantinische Sprachkunst. Studien zur byzantinischen Literatur gewidmet Wolfram Hoerandner zum 65. Geburtstag. Hg. v. Martin Hinterberger und Elisabeth Schiffer. Berlin-New York, Walter de Gruyter, 2007 (Byzantinisches Archiv, 20), 266-276.

External links

  • Palamedes at Greek Mythology Link
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.