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[4]

After his servitude, being rid of his disease he mustered an army of noble volunteers and sailed for Ilium with eighteen ships of fifty oars each.1 And having come to port at Ilium, he left the guard of the ships to Oicles2 and himself with the rest of the champions set out to attack the city. Howbeit Laomedon marched against the ships with the multitude and slew Oicles in battle, but being repulsed by the troops of Hercules, he was besieged. The siege once laid, Telamon was the first to breach the wall and enter the city, and after him Hercules. But when he saw that Telamon had entered it first, he drew his sword and rushed at him, loath that anybody should be reputed a better man than himself. Perceiving that, Telamon collected stones that lay to hand, and when Hercules asked him what he did, he said he was building an altar to Hercules the Glorious Victor.3 Hercules thanked him, and when he had taken the city and shot down Laomedon and his sons, except Podarces, he assigned Laomedon's daughter Hesione as a prize to Telamon4 and allowed her to take with her whomsoever of the captives she would. When she chose her brother Podarces, Hercules said that he must first be a slave and then be ransomed by her. So when he was being sold she took the veil from her head and gave it as a ransom; hence Podarces was called Priam.5


1 As to the siege and capture of Troy by Herakles, see Hom. Il. 5.640-643, Hom. Il. 5.648-651; Pind. I. 6.26(38)ff.; Diod. 4.32; Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.443ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 34; Ov. Met. 11.213-217, xiii.22ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 89. The account given by Diodorus agrees so closely in matter, though not in words, with that of Apollodorus that both authors probably drew on the same source. Homer, with whom Tzetzes agrees, says that Herakles went to Troy with only six ships. Diodorus notices the Homeric statement, but mentions that according to some the fleet of Herakles numbered “eighteen long ships.”

2 As to Oicles at Troy, compare Diod. 4.32.3; Paus. 8.36.6, who says that his tomb was shown near Megalopolis in Arcadia. Sophocles seems to have written a play called Oicles, though there is some doubt as to the spelling of the name. See The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, ii.119.

3 This incident is recorded also by Tzetzes (Scholiast on Lycophron 469); but according to him the title which Telamon applied to Herakles at the altar was Averter of Ills (Alexikakos), not Glorious Victor (Kallinikos).

4 Compare Soph. Aj. 1299-1303; Scholiast on Hom. Il. 8.284; Ov. Met. 11.216ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 89.

5 This derivation of the name Priam from the verb πρίαμαι, “to buy,” is repeated, somewhat more clearly, by Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 34, Ποδάρκην ἐπρίατο, ὅθεν καὶ ἐκλήθη πρίαμος. Compare Hyginus, Fab. 89, Podarci, filio eius infanti, regnum dedit, qui postea Priamus est appellatus, ἀπὸ τοῦ πρίασθαι. For the bestowal by Herakles of the kingdom on the youthful Priam, compare Seneca, Troades 718ff.

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