A son of Zeus and Electra, the daughter of Atlas. He was the brother of Iasion (Iasus, Iasius, or Iason), Aetion and Harmonia, and his native place in the various traditions is Arcadia, Crete, Troas, or Italy.1 Dardanus is the mythical ancestor of the Trojans, and through them of the Romans.
It is necessary to distinguish between the earlier Greek legends and the later ones which we meet with in the poetry of Italy. According to the former, he was married to Chryse, the daughter of Pallas, in Arcadia, who bore him two sons, Idaeus and Deimas. These sons ruled for a time over the kingdom of Atlas in Arcadia, but then they separated on account of a great flood, and the calamities resulting from it. Deimas remained in Arcadia, while Idaeus emigrated with his father, Dardanus. They first arrived in Samothrace, which was henceforth called Dardania, and after having established a colony there, they went to Phrygia. Here Dardanus received a tract of land from king Teucrus, on which he built the town of Dardanus.
At his marriage with Chryse, she had brought him as a dowry the palladia and sacra of the great gods, whose worship she had learned, and which worship Dardanus introduced into Samothrace, though without making the people acquainted with the names of the gods. Servius2 states, that he also instituted the Salii in Samothrace. When he went to Phrygia he took the images of the gods with him; and when, after forming the plan of founding a town, he consulted the oracle, he was told, among other things, that the town should remain invincible as long as the sacred dowry of his wife should be preserved in the country under the protection of Athena.
After the death of Dardanus those palladia (others mention only one Palladium) were carried to Troy by his descendants. When Chryse died, Dardanus married Batea, the daughter of Teucrus, or Arisbe of Crete, by whom he became the father of Erichthonius and Idaea.3
According to the Italian traditions, Dardanus was the son of Corythus, an Etruscan prince of Corythus (Cortona), or of Zeus by the wife of Corythus.4 In a battle with the Aborigines, Dardanus lost his helmet (κόρυς); and although he was already beaten, he led his troops to a fresh attack, in order to recover his helmet. He gained the victory, and called the place where this happened Corythus. He afterwards emigrated with his brother Iasius from Etruria. Dardanus went to Phrygia, where he founded the Dardanian kingdom, and Iasius went to Samothrace, after they had previously divided the Penates between themselves.5
- Servius on Virgil's Aeneid iii, 167.
- On Virgil's Aeneid viii, 285.
- Homer. Iliad xx, 215 ff.; Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 12.1 ff., 15.3; Dionysius, i, 61 ff.; Lycophron, 1302; Eustathius on Homer's Iliad, 1204; Conon. Narratives, 21; Strabo. Geography vii, 331; Pausanias. Description of Greece vii, 4.3, 19.3; Diodorus Siculus, iv, 49; Servius on Virgil's Aeneid i, 32.
- Servius on Virgil's Aeneid ix, 10; vii, 207.
- ibid. iii, 15, 167, 170; vii, 207, 210.
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.