The daughter of the Trojan king Laomedon, sister of Priam. An old legend tells that during Laomedon's reign, Apollo and Poseidon constructed the walls of Troy, but when Laomedon refused to compensate the gods for their work, Poseidon sent a plague and a sea monster. In order to get rid of these calamities, Laomedon chained Hesione to a rock, in accordance with the command of an oracle, where she was to be devoured by the sea monster (see Cetea). Heracles, on his return from his expedition against the Amazons, promised to save her in exchange for Laomedon's divine horses, which the king had received from Zeus as compensation for Ganymede. Heracles saved Hesione and killed the sea monster, but again, Laomedon reneged on his promise.
In a later expedition against Troy, Heracles destroyed the city and killed Laomedon and his sons, with the exception of Podarces. In this expedition Heracles was assisted by Telamon, and it was to him that Heracles gave Hesione as a slave. Hesione's son by Telamon is called Teucer.
Priam sent Antenor to claim her back, and the refusal on the part of the Greeks is mentioned as one of the causes of the Trojan war.1 According to Tzetzes,2 Hesione, already pregnant by Telamon, fled from his ship to Miletus, where king Arion found her and her newly-born son, Trambelus, whom he brought up as his own child.
- Aken, Dr. A.R.A. van. (1961). Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
- Bartelink, Dr. G.J.M. (1988). Prisma van de mythologie. Utrecht: Het Spectrum.
- Diodorus Siculus. Historical Library iv, 42.
- Homer. Iliad v, 649 ff.
- Ovid. Metamorphoses xi, 194 ff.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 12.7.
- 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.