A king of Troy, the son of Ilus and Eurydice, and the father of Priam, Tithonus, Lampus, Clytius, Hicetaon, and Bucolion.1 His wife is called Strymo, or Rhoeo, Placia, Thoosa, Zeuxippe, or Leucippe.2 Apollodorus further mentions three daughters of his, viz., Hesione or Theaneira, Cilla and Astyoche, instead of whom others mention Aethylla, Medesicaste, and Proclea.3
When Laomedon built Troy, Poseidon and Apollo, who had revolted against Zeus, were doomed to serve Laomedon for wages, and accordingly Poseidon built the walls of Troy, while Apollo attended to the king's flocks on Mount Ida.4 According to some, Poseidon was assisted in the building of the walls by Aeacus; and the part constructed by the latter was the weakest, where the wall might be destroyed.5 Apollodorus6 states that Poseidon and Apollo came to Laomedon of their own accord, in order to try him. When the two gods had done their work, Laomedon refused them the reward he had promised them, and expelled them from his dominions.7
According to a tradition not mentioned by Homer, Poseidon punished the breach of promise by sending a marine monster into the territory of Troy, which ravaged the whole country. By the command of an oracle, the Trojans were obliged, from time to time, to sacrifice a maiden to the monster; and on one occasion it was decided by lot that Hesione, the daughter of Laomedon himself, should be the victim. But it happened that Heracles was just returning from his expedition against the Amazons, and he promised to save the maiden, if Laomedon would give him the horses which Tros had once received from Zeus as a compensation for Ganymede.
Laomedon promised to give them to Heracles, but again broke his word when Heracles had killed the monster and saved Hesione. Hereupon Heracles sailed with a squadron of six ships against Troy, and killed Laomedon, with all his sons, except Podarces (Priam), and gave Hesione to Telamon. Hesione ransomed her brother Priam with her veil.8
His tomb existed in the neighborhood of the Scaean gate; and it was believed that Troy would be safe so long as the tomb remained uninjured.9
- Homer. Iliad xx, 236 ff.; vi, 23; Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 12.3.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus, l.c.; Scholiast on Homer's Iliad iii, 250; Tzetzes on Lycophron, 18.
- Tzetzes on Lycophron, 232, 467, 921.
- Homer. Iliad xxi, 446, comp. vii, 452.
- Pindar. Olympian Odes viii, 41, with the Scholiast, and Scholiast on Euripides' Orestes, 1373.
- The Library, ii, 59.
- Homer. Iliad xxi, 441 ff.; Horace. Carmina iii, 3, 21.
- Homer. Iliad v, 265, 640 ff.; xxiii, 348; Scholiast on Iliad xx, 145; xxi, 442; Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library ii, 5.9, 6.4; Diodorus Siculus, iv, 32, 49; Hyginus. Fabulae, 89.
- Servius on Virgil's Aeneid ii, 241; Ovid. Metamorphoses xii, 696.
- 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.