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Headword: Ἴλιον
Adler number: iota,320
Translated headword: Ilion, Ilium, Troy
Vetting Status: high
The city of Phrygia.
"When the affair of the Argonauts was over, the Red (Erythraean) Sibyl[1] gave an oracle to the Greeks: [...].[2] In the territory of the Phrygians Tros, the father of Ilus and Ganymede, was king after founding Troy in his own name and Ilium in his son's name. After filling all the cities he won over the local rulers from Tantalus, the King of Thrace. And after some time he sent his son Ganymede, strongly loved by him, with 50 men, to take sacrifices and gifts to European Zeus for thanksgiving. So Tantalus, thinking that he was sent to spy on his kingdom, overpowered him before he reached the shrine. And after learning the real reason he nursed him. But he (Ganymede) after a short while was overcome by disease and died. Tantalus in grief placed him in a coffin, and sent men to tell his father of his death. The poets wrote that Ganymede was kidnapped by Zeus, turning the bitterness of his death into myth."
Greek Original:
Ἴλιον: ἡ τῆς Φρυγίας πόλις. ὅτε τὰ κατὰ τοὺς Ἀργοναύτας ἐπράχθη, τηνικαῦτα παρ' Ἕλλησιν ἐχρημάτιζε καὶ Ἐρυθρὰ Σίβυλλα: κατὰ δὲ τὴν Φρυγῶν χώραν Τρώς, ὁ πατὴρ Ἴλου καὶ Γαννυμήδους, ἐβασίλευσε κτίσας τὴν μὲν Τροίαν εἰς ἴδιον ὄνομα, τὸ δὲ Ἴλιον εἰς ὄνομα τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ. καὶ πληρώσας τὰς πόλεις πάντας τοὺς τοπάρχας ἐν τοῖς ἐγκαινίοις προετρέψατο δίχα Ταντάλου τοῦ βασιλέως τῆς Θρᾴκης. καὶ μετά τινα χρόνον ἀπέστειλε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ Γαννυμήδην τὸν ἀγαπώμενον ὑπ' αὐτοῦ σφόδρα θυσίαν ἀπάγειν καὶ δῶρα τῷ Εὐρωπαίῳ Διὶ̈ ὑπὲρ εὐχαριστίας, δεδωκὼς αὐτῷ ἄνδρας πεντήκοντα. νομίσας οὖν ὁ Τάνταλος ὅτι κατάσκοπος ἐπέμφθη τῆς αὐτοῦ βασιλείας, ἐκράτησεν αὐτὸν πρὶν ἢ καταλαβεῖν τὸ ἱερόν. καὶ μαθὼν τὴν αἰτίαν ἐθεράπευσεν. ὁ δὲ μικρὸν διατρίψας καὶ νόσῳ πιεσθεὶς ἐτελεύτα. λυπηθεὶς δὲ ὁ Τάνταλος αὐτὸν μὲν ἔθηκεν ἐν σορῷ, τοὺς δὲ σὺν αὐτῷ ἀπέστειλεν ἀπαγγελοῦντας τῷ πατρὶ τὸν ἐκείνου θάνατον. οἱ δὲ ποιηταὶ ἁρπαγῆναι τὸν Γαννυμήδην ὑπὸ τοῦ Διὸς ἔγραψαν, τὸ ὀξὺ τοῦ θανάτου μυθολογήσαντες.
This bipartite entry confounds the city of Ilion -- built on a spur of Mt. Ida overlooking a fertile horse-breeding plain (called the Troad), whose great walls protected the citadel Pergama and the palace of the kings -- with the name of that kingdom, Troy (?Hittite Taruisa). The rulers of Troy were not, to the best of our knowledge, Phrygian. Homer portrays King Priam of Troy as married to a Phrygian, Queen Hecuba (see epsilon 337), apparently coming with her brother Asios from a Phrygian kingdom of Dymas (delta 1569) in Europe. The Phrygians did, however, move into Anatolia and may have ruled Troy VIIB before settling near present-day Ankara (see mu 1036 'Midas' and bibliography). The ethnic character of the Trojans is, however, unknown. Ilus and Ganymede (to give him his usual spelling; cf. theta 41, mu 1092) do figure in the genealogy of Trojan kings. Tantalus, in mythology the "Phrygian" ancestor of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus, is more often located on Mt. Sipylus in Anatolia than in Thrace; he was punished for an attempt to reach Hera (Juno) by being condemned in Hades to thirst and hunger forever as food and water moved "tantalizingly" out of his reach (tau 77, tau 78).
This story of Ganymede is taken from that of Joannes Malalas (Chron. 79ff.) or a common source. Ganymede, in this myth, was kidnapped by Zeus (in exchange for the first of the famous Trojan breed of horses) to be his wine steward or, in later sources, his 'catamite' (see OCD(4) s.v. and theta 41, mu 1092).
[1] For this Sibyl, apparently the original one, see sigma 355, sigma 361 (cf. eta 541, chi 484). She was located in a place in the Troad called Erythrae, which may have owed its name to its red clay (ἐρυθρός 'red, vermilion'), hence the use here of "red" instead of "Erythraean".
[2] There is probably a missing line here, as the phrase following was probably linked as the sense "against the land of the Phrygians" and repeated later in the sense "in the territory of the Phrygians". The prophecy was that the Greeks would return to fight against Troy and conquer it, but suffer great loss at the same time.
Keywords: chronology; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; history; medicine; mythology; poetry; religion; women
Translated by: Robert Dyer on 8 December 2000@10:30:32.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keywords; cosmetics) on 11 September 2002@08:38:52.
Catharine Roth (betacode typo) on 18 December 2005@22:59:50.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 11 January 2013@04:49:33.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 2 August 2014@06:54:09.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation following a suggestion from Brady Kiesling) on 28 December 2016@12:14:44.


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