A son of Aesimus, or according to Virgil1 of Sisyphus, and a grandson of Autolycus, was a relation of Odysseus, and is described in later poems as having accompanied his kinsman to Troy.2

According to these traditions, he allowed himself to be taken prisoner by the Trojans, after he had mutilated himself in such a manner as to make them believe that he had been ill-treated by the Greeks. He told the Trojans that he was hated by Odysseus, and had been selected by him to be sacrificed, because Apollo had ordered a human sacrifice to be offered, that the Greeks might safely depart from the coast of Troy, and added that he had escaped death by flight. When he was asked what was the purport of the wooden horse, he told them that it had been constructed as an atonement for the Palladium which had been carried off, and that if the Trojans ventured to destroy it, their kingdom should fall, but that if they would draw it with their own hands into their own city, Asia would gain the supremacy over Greece.3 The Trojans took his advice, and when the horse was drawn into the city, he gave the preconcerted signal, opened the door of the horse, and the Greeks rushing out took possession of Troy.4

Quintus Smyrnaeus and Tryphiodorus have somewhat modified this tradition.


In the Lesche at Delphi he was represented as a companion of Odysseus, carrying off the body of Laomedon.5



  1. Aeneid ii, 79.
  2. Tzetzes on Lycophron, 344; Virgil. Aeneid ii, with Heyne's excursus.
  3. Virgil. Aeneid ii, 57 ff.; Tzetzes. Posthomerica, 680 ff.
  4. Virgil. Aeneid ii, 259; Dictys Cretensis, v, 12; Hyginus. Fabulae, 108.
  5. Pausanias. Description of Greece x, 27.3.


  • 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.