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The son of Tydeus and Deïpylé. He was king of Aetolia, and one of the bravest of the Grecian chiefs in the Trojan War, ranking next to Achilles and Aiax. Homer represents him as one of the favourites of Athené. Among his exploits, it is recorded of him that he engaged in single combat with Hector and Aeneas; that he wounded Ares, Aeneas, and Aphrodité; and that, in concert with Odysseus, he carried off the horses of Rhesus and the palladium, and secured the arrows of Philoctetes. Diomedes was deprived of the affection of his wife Aegialé through the wrath and vengeance of Aphrodité, by whose influence, during his absence at the war, she had become attached to Cyllabarus, the son of Sthenelus. Diomedes was so afflicted at the estrangement of Aegialé that he abandoned Greece and settled at the head of a colony in Magna Graecia, where he founded a city, to which he gave the name of Argyripa, and married a daughter of Daunus, prince of the country. In the progress of his voyage to Italy, Diomedes was shipwrecked on that part of the Libyan coast which was under the sway of Lycus , who seized and confined him. He was, however, liberated by Callirrhoé, the tyrant's daughter, who became so fond of him that upon his quitting the African shores she put herself to death. Diomedes, according to one account, died in Italy at a very advanced age; while another legend makes him to have been slain by his father-in-law Daunus. His companions were so much afflicted by his death that they were changed into birds. Vergil, however, makes this transformation earlier in date, and to have taken place during the lifetime of Diomedes ( Aen. xi. 272). He seems to have followed the tradition recorded by Ovid ( Met. xiv. 457), that Agnon, one of Diomedes's companions in his voyage from Troy, insulted Aphrodité with contemptuous language, and that the goddess, in revenge, transformed not only Agnon, but many others of Diomedes's followers into birds. (See Diomedeae Insulae.)


A king of the Bistones, in Thrace, son of Ares and Cyrené. His mares fed on human flesh. Heracles sailed to this quarter, having been ordered, as his eighth labour, to bring these mares to Mycenae. The hero overcame the grooms of Diomedes and led the mares to the sea. The Bistones pursued with arms. Heracles, leaving the mares in charge of Abderus, one of his companions, went to engage the foe. Meantime the mares tore their keeper to pieces; and the hero, having defeated the Bistones and slain Diomedes, built a city by the tomb of Abderus, which he called Abdera after him. Heracles brought the mares to Eurystheus, who turned them loose, and they strayed to Mount Olympus, where they were destroyed by the wild beasts (Apollod. ii.5.8). Another account makes Heracles to have given Diomedes to be devoured by his own mares, and Eurystheus to have consecrated them to Heré (Diod. Sic. iv. 15).


A Roman grammarian of the fourth century A.D., whose work, entitled Ars Grammatica, has come down to us in three books. It is taken from the same sources as the contemporary work by Charisius (q.v.), and is chiefly valuable for the notices on literary history contained in the third book and taken from the De Poetis of Suetonius. The best text of Diomedes is that in Keil, Grammatici Latini (i. 298). On his Latinity see the treatise of Paucker (Berlin, 1883).

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