"Ant-people." A people who inhabited Phthia in Thessaly, which was ruled by Achilles. They supposedly came from Aegina. When a terrible plague depopulated the island, Zeus, at the request of Aeacus, turned ants into people. Aeacus' son Peleus led the "Ant-people" from Aegina to Thessaly. The Myrmidons were Achilles' faithful soldiers in the Trojan War.
The name comes from the Greek μυρμηδών, "ant's nest," and μύρμηξ, "ant." The word myrmidon became to mean a faithful follower who obeys orders unquestioningly.
- Homer. Iliad xvi, 197; xvii, 475 ff.
- Hyginus. Fabulae, 52.
- Ovid. Metamorphoses vii, 618 ff.
- Virgil. Aeneid iv, 402, with the note of Servius.