Troilus is mentioned by Priam, Il. 24. 257, with the epithet of ἱππιοχάρμης, as having been killed in battle (before the time of the Iliad). The tradition that he was killed by Achilles must have been drawn by Virg. from other sources, such as those represented by Quintus Smyrnaeus, Tzetzes, Dictys, and Dares, who however differ about the period in the Trojan war when his death occurred. Heyne conjectures from a Schol. on Hom. l. c. that Soph. in his lost tragedy of Troilus represented the youth as surprised by Achilles while exercising his chariot, and killed. See his Excursus on this passage. Plautus, Bacchid. 4. 9. 29 foll., speaks of the death of Troilus as one of the three fatal events in the siege of Troy, the other two being the loss of the Palladium and the fall of the top of the Scaean gate. Ribbeck transposes this passage so as to make it follow the next scene; but this would be to bind Virg. to follow servilely the Homeric order, with which indeed there would still be a disagreement, as in Hom. the mission to the temple of Athene precedes the Dolonea. The intention of Virg. doubtless is to mention first two fatal blows to Troy, and then the despairing effort of the Trojan women to propitiate the angry goddess.
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