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Ἑκάβη). The daughter of Dymas, a Phrygian prince (or, according to others, of Cisseus, a Thracian king, while others, again, made her the daughter of the river-god Sangarius and Metopé). She was the second wife of Priam, king of Troy (Apollod. iii.12.6), and bore him nineteen children ( Il. xxiv. 496), of whom the chief were Hector, Paris, Deïphobus, Helenus, Troïlus, Polites, Polydorus, Cassandra, Creüsa, and Polyxena. When she was pregnant with Paris (q.v.), she dreamed that she brought into the world a burning torch, which reduced her husband's palace and all Troy to ashes. On her telling this dream to Priam, he sent for his son Aesacus, by a former wife Arisbé, the daughter of Merops, who had been reared and taught to interpret dreams by his grandfather. Aesacus declared that the child would be the ruin of his country, and recommended him to expose it. As soon as born, the babe was given to a servant to be left on Ida to perish; but the attempt proved a fruitless one, and the prediction of the soothsayer was fulfilled. After the ruin of Troy and the death of Priam, Hecuba fell to the lot of Odysseus, and embarked with the conquerors for Greece. The fleet, however, was detained off the coast of the Thracian Chersonese by the appearance of the spectre of Achilles on the summit of his tomb, demanding to be honoured with a new offering. Polyxena was, in consequence, torn from Hecuba and immolated by Neoptolemus on the grave of his father. The grief of the mother was increased by the sight of the dead body of her son Polydorus, washed upon the shore, who had been cruelly slain by Polymestor, king of Thrace, to whose care Priam had consigned him. Bent on revenge, Hecuba managed, by artifice, to get Polymestor and his two children in her power, and, by the aid of her fellow-captives, she effected the murder of his sons, and then put out the eyes of the father. This act drew upon her the vengeance of the Thracians: they assailed her with darts and showers of stones; and, in the act of biting a stone with impotent rage, she was suddenly metamorphosed into a dog (Ovid, Met. xiii. 429 foll.). Hyginus says that she threw herself into the sea ( Fab. 111), while Servius states that she was changed into a dog when on the point of casting herself into the waters (Ad Aen. iii. 6). The story of Hecuba forms the subject of a play by Euripides (q.v.).

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