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In Greek mythology, Priam (Greek Πρίαμος, Priamos) was the king of Troy during the Trojan War, and youngest son of Laomedon.


[edit] Marriage and issue

Priam had a number of wives; his first was Arisbe, who bore him a son Aesacus, who met a tragic death before the advent of the Trojan War. Priam later divorced her in favor of Hecabe (or Hecuba), daughter of the Phrygian king Dymas. By his various wives and concubines Priam was the father of fifty sons and several daughters. Hector was Priam's eldest son by Hecuba, and heir to the Trojan throne. Paris, another son, was the cause of the Trojan War. Other children of Priam and Hecabe include the prophetic Helenus and Cassandra, Deiphobus, Troilus, Polites, Creusa (wife of Aeneas), Laodice (wife of Helicaon), and Polyxena, who was slaughtered on the grave of Achilles.

[edit] Life

Priam was originally called Podarces and he kept himself from being killed by Heracles by giving him a golden veil embroidered by his sister, Hesione. After this, Podarces changed his name to Priam. This is an etymology based on priatos "ransomed"; the actual etymology of the name is probably not Greek, but perhaps Lydian in origin.

When Hector is killed by Achilles, Achilles treats the body with disrespect and refuses to give it back. Zeus sends the god Hermes to escort King Priam, Hector’s father and the ruler of Troy, into the Achaean camp. Priam tearfully pleads with Achilles to take pity on a father bereft of his son and return Hector’s body. He invokes the memory of Achilles’ own father, Peleus. Deeply moved, Achilles finally relents and returns Hector’s corpse to the Trojans. Both sides agree to a temporary truce, and Hector receives a hero’s funeral. Achilles further goes on to give Priam leave to hold a proper funeral for Hector complete with funeral games. He promises that no Greek will engage in combat for 11 days, but on the 12th the war would resume.

[edit] In later literature

In the sack of Troy, Priam was brutally murdered by Achilles's son Neoptolemus (also known in the Aeneid as Pyrrhus), in a scene memorialized both in Virgil's Aeneid and Shakespeare's Hamlet.

In the Prose Edda, Snorri Sturluson claimed that Priam was the ancestor of a race that migrated to Scandinavia and served as a basis for the Aesir.

[edit] In Popular culture

Peter O'Toole plays Priam in the 2004 movie Troy as a good king and father, who is killed by Agamemnon in the gardens of Troy during the sacking towards the movie'sПриам da:Priamos de:Priamos es:Príamo eo:Priamo fr:Priam it:Priamo he:פריאמוס la:Priamus lt:Priamas hu:Priamosz nl:Priamus ja:プリアモス no:Priamos pl:Priam pt:Príamo ru:Приам simple:Priam sk:Priamos fi:Priamos sv:Priamos tr:Priamos


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