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For the Epicurean philosopher, see Idomeneus of Lampsacus

In Greek mythology, Idomeneus was a Cretan warrior, grandson of Minos. He led the Cretan armies to the Trojan War and was also one of Helen's suitors. Meriones was his charioteer and brother-in-arms.

In the Iliad, he is found among the first rank of the Greek generals, leading his troops and engaging the enemy head-on, and escaping serious injury. Idomeneus was one of Agamemnon's trusted advisors. He was one of the primary defenders when most of the other Danaan heroes were injured, and even fought Hector briefly and repulsed his attack. He was one of the Achaeans to enter the Trojan Horse. Like most of the other leaders of the Greeks he is alive and well as the story comes to a close.

After the war, his ship hit a horrible storm. Idomeneus promised Poseidon that he would sacrifice the first living thing he saw when he returned home if Poseidon would save his ship and crew. The first living thing was his son, whom Idomeneus refused to sacrifice, reneging on his word. Angry at this breach of their trust, the Gods sent a horrible plague to the island of Crete, and the Cretans sent him into exile in Calabria, Italy. (Virgil III, 400)

According to the hypothetical reading of Achterberg et al. (2004), Idomeneus may be mentioned on the Phaistos Disk (spelled i-du-ma-na, word B.IX) as the governor of Mesara.

Idomeneo, a 1780 opera seria by Mozart is based on the story of Idomeneus.

[edit] References

  • Achterberg, Winfried; Best, Jan; Enzler, Kees; Rietveld, Lia; Woudhuizen, Fred, The Phaistos Disc: A Luwian Letter to Nestor, Publications of the Henry Frankfort Foundation vol XIII , Dutch Archeological and Historical Society, Amsterdam 2004bg:Идоменей

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