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And having slain the Trojans, they set fire to the city and divided the spoil among them. And having sacrificed to all the gods, they threw Astyanax from the battlements1 and slaughtered Polyxena on the grave of Achilles.2 And as special awards Agamemnon got Cassandra, Neoptolemus got Andromache, and Ulysses got Hecuba.3 But some say that Helenus got her, and crossed over with her to the Chersonese4; and that there she turned into a bitch, and he buried her at the place now called the Bitch's Tomb.5 As for Laodice, the fairest of the daughters of Priam, she was swallowed up by a chasm in the earth in the sight of all.6 When they had laid Troy waste and were about to sail away, they were detained by Calchas, who said that Athena was angry with them on account of the impiety of Ajax. And they would have killed Ajax, but he fled to the altar and they let him alone.7

1 Compare Arctinus, Ilii Persis, summarized by Proclus, in Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. G. Kinkel, p. 50; Eur. Tro. 719-739, Eur. Tro. 1133-1135; Eur. And. 8-11; Paus. 10.26.9; Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica xiii.251-257; Tryphiodorus, Excidium Ilii 644-646; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 1263; Scholiast on Eur. Andr. 10; Ov. Met. 13.415-417; Hyginus, Fab. 109; Seneca, Troades 524ff., 1063ff. While ancient writers generally agree that Astyanax was killed by being thrown from a tower at or after the sack of Troy, they differ as to the agent of his death. Arctinus, as reported by Proclus, says merely that he was killed by Ulysses. Tryphiodorus reports that he was hurled by Ulysses from a high tower. On the other hand, Lesches in the Little Iliad said that it was Neoptolemus who snatched Astyanax from his mother's lap and cast him down from the battlements (Tzetzes and Paus. 10.26.9). According to Euripides and Seneca, the murder of the child was not perpetrated in hot blood during the sack of Troy but was deliberately executed after the capture of the city in pursuance of a decree passed by the Greeks in a regular assembly. This seems to have been the version followed by Apollodorus, who apparently regarded the death of Astyanax as a sacrifice, like the slaughter of Polyxena on the grave of Achilles. But the killing of Astyanax was not thus viewed by our other ancient authorities, unless we except Seneca, who describes how Astyanax leaped voluntarily from the wall while Ulysses was reciting the words of the soothsayer Calchas and invoking the cruel gods to attend the rite.

2 As to the sacrifice of Polyxena on the grave of Achilles, see Arctinus, Ilii Persis, summarized by Proclus, in Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. G. Kinkel, p. 50; Eur. Hec. 107ff.; Eur. Hec. 218ff.; Eur. Hec. 391-393; Eur. Hec. 521-582; Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica xiv.210-328; Tryphiodorus, Excidium Ilii 686ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 323; Hyginus, Fab. 110; Ov. Met. 13.439-480; Seneca, Troades 168ff., 938-944, 1118-1164; Dictys Cretensis v.13; Serv. Verg. A. 3.322. According to Euripides and Seneca, the ghost of Achilles appeared above his grave and demanded the sacrifice of the maiden. Others said that the spirit of the dead showed himself in a dream to Neoptolemus (so Quintus Smyrnaeus) or to Agamemnon (so Ovid). In Quintus Smyrnaeus the ghost threatens to keep the Greeks wind-bound at Troy until they have complied with his demand, and accordingly the offering of the sacrifice is followed by a great calm. Euripides seems to have contemplated the sacrifice, in primitive fashion, as a means of furnishing the ghost with the blood needed to quench his thirst (Eur. Hec. 391-393; Eur. Hec. 536ff.); but Seneca represents the ghost as desiring to have Polyxena as his wife in the Elysian Fields (Seneca, Troades 938-944). A more romantic turn is given to the tradition by Philostratus, who says that after the death of Achilles, and before the fall of Troy, the amorous Polyxena stole out from the city and stabbed herself to death on the grave of Achilles, that she might be his bride in the other world. See Philostratus, Her. xx.18; Philostratus, Vit. Apollon. iv.16.4. According to the usual tradition, it was Neoptolemus who slew the maiden on his father's tomb. Pictures of the sacrifice were to be seen at Athens and PergamusPaus. 1.22.6; Paus. 10.25.10). Sophocles wrote a tragedy on the theme. See The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. ii. pp. 161ff.

3 Compare Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica xiv.20-23, who agrees with Apollodorus as to the partition of these captive women among the Greek leaders.

4 This is the version of the story adopted by Dares Phrygius, who says that Helenus went to the Chersonese along with Hecuba, Andromache, and Cassandra (Dares Phrygius, De excidio Trojae 43).

5 As to the transformation of Hecuba into a bitch, compare Eur. Hec. 1259-1273; Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica xiv.347-351; Dio Chrysostom xxxii. vol. ii. p. 20, ed. L. Dindorf; Agatharchides, De Erythraeo Mari, in Photius, Bibliotheca, p. 442a, ll. 23ff., ed. Bekker; Julius Pollux, v.45; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 315, 1176; Excidium Ilii, Tusc. Disp. iii.26.63; Ov. Met. 13.565-571; Hyginus, Fab. 111; Serv. Verg. A. 3.6; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. G.H.Bode, i. p. 145 (Second Vatican Mythographer 209). A rationalistic version of the story is told by Dictys Cretensis v.16. We may conjecture that the fable of the transformation originated in the resemblance of the name Hecuba to the name Hecate; for Hecate was supposed to be attended by dogs, and Hecuba is called an attendant of Hecate (Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 1176).

6 Compare Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica xiii.544-551; Tryphiodorus, Excidium Ilii 660-663; Tzetzes, Posthomerica 736; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 314.

7 Compare Arctinus, Ilii Persis, summarized by Proclus, in Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. G. Kinkel, pp. 49ff. Ulysses advised the Greeks to stone Ajax to death for his crime against Cassandra (Paus. 10.31.2).

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