Online Encyclopedia

LAOMEDON

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 189 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LAOMEDON, in Greek legend, son of Ilus, king of Troy and father of Podarces (Priam). The gods Apollo and Poseidon served him for hire, Apollo tending his herds, while Poseidon built the walls of Troy. When Laomedon refused to pay the reward agreed upon, Apollo visited the land with a pestilence, and Poseidon sent up a monster from the sea, which ravaged the land. According to the oracle, the wrath of Poseidon could only be appeased by the sacrifice of one of the king's daughters. The lot .fell upon Hesione, who was chained to a rock to await the monster's coming. Heracles, on his way back from the land of the Amazons, offered to slay the monster and release Hesione, on condition that he should receive the wonderful horses presented by Zeus to Tros, the father of Ganymede, to console him for the loss of his son. Again Laomedon broke his word; whereupon Heracles returned with a band of warriors, attacked Troy, and slew Laomedon and all his sons except Priam. According to Diodorus Siculus, Laomedon aggravated his offence by imprisoning Iphiclus and Telamon, who had been sent by Heracles to demand the surrender of the horses. Laomedon was buried near the Scaean gate, and it was said that so long as his grave remained undisturbed, so long would the walls of Troy remain impregnable. See Homer, Iliad, v. 265, 640, vii. 452, xxi. 443; Apollodorus H. 5. 9 and 6. 4; Diod. Sic. iv. 32, 42, 49; Hyginus, Fab. 89; Horace, Odes Hi. 3, 22 ; Ovid, Metam. xi. 194.
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