A son of Agrius, the most ugly and most impudent talker among the Greeks at Troy. Once, when he had spoken in the assembly in an unbecoming manner against Agamemnon, he was chastised by Odysseus.1 According to the later poets he pulled the eyes out of the dead body of Penthesilea, the queen of the Amazons, who had been killed by Achilles, and also calumniated Achilles, for which, however, the latter slew him.2

In Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (I, iii) the character of Thersites is "a slave whose gall coins slander like a mint."


In the Lesche of Delphi he was represented by Polygnotus in the act of playing at dice with Palamedes.3



  1. Homer. Iliad ii, 212 ff.; Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 8.6.
  2. Tzetzes on Lycophron, 999.
  3. Pausanias. Description of Greece x, 31.1; Sophocles. Philoctetes, 442.


  • 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.