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date: 11 December 2023



  • Jenny March


Troilus (Τρωΐλος), in mythology son of *Priam and *Hecuba, though sometimes said to be son of *Apollo (Apollod. 3. 12. 5). In Homer's Iliad he is mentioned only as being dead (24. 257). Later accounts, however, starting with the Cypria (see epic cycle; proclus), specify that he was killed by *Achilles. This was clearly a popular story, for Achilles' ambush of Troilus (accompanied by *Polyxena) at the fountain, the pursuit, the slaughter of the boy on the altar of Apollo, and the battle over the mutilated body, are favourite subjects in Archaic art from the early 6th cent. and found occasionally later (see A. Kossatz-Deissmann in LIMC I/1. 72–95). From Homer on, Troilus tends to be associated with horses: Homer gives him the epithet ἱππιοχάρμης, ‘delighting in horses fighting from a chariot’; in art he is often shown fleeing on horseback from Achilles pursuing on foot; in *Sophocles(1)'s lost Troilus he was exercising his horses when Achilles ambushed him (TrGF 4 Radt, 453); in *Virgil (Aen.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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