Antenor (mythology)

In Greek mythology, Antenor (Ancient Greek: Ἀντήνωρ Antḗnōr) was a counselor to King Priam of Troy during the events of the Trojan War.


Antenor was variously named as the son of the Dardanian noble Aesyetes by Cleomestra[1] or of Hicetaon.[2] He was the husband of Theano,[3] daughter of Cisseus of Thrace, who bore him at least one daughter, Crino, and numerous sons, including Archelochus, Acamas, Glaucus, Helicaon, Laodocus, Coön, Polybus, Agenor, Iphidamas, Laodamas, Demoleon, Eurymachus, Hippolochus, Medon, Thersilochus, and Antheus (most of whom perished during the Trojan War).[4] He was also the father of a son, Pedaeus, by an unknown woman. According to numerous scholars, Antenor was actually related to Priam.[5]

Comparative table of Antenor's family
Relation Names Sources
Homer Virgil Apollodorus Pausanias Dictys Tzetzes Eustathius
Parentage Aesyetes and Cleomestra
Spouse Theano
Children Crino


Antenor was one of the wisest of the Trojan elders and counsellors.[6] In the Homeric account of the Trojan War, Antenor advised the Trojans to return Helen to her husband and otherwise proved sympathetic to a negotiated peace with the Greeks.[7] In later developments of the myths, particularly per Dares and Dictys,[6] Antenor was made an open traitor, unsealing the city gates to the enemy. As payment, his house—marked by a panther skin over the door—was spared during the sack of the city.[7]

His subsequent fate varied across the authors. He was said to have rebuilt a city on the site of Troy; to have settled at Cyrene;[7] or to have founded Patavium (modern Padua),[8][9] Korčula,[citation needed] or other cities in eastern Italy.[7]

In literatureEdit

  • Antenor appears briefly in Homer's Iliad. In Book 3 he is present when Helen identifies for Priam each of the Greek warriors from the wall of Troy; when she describes Odysseus, Antenor confirmed her account, alluded to how he entertained Odysseus and Menelaus and got to know both.

    On this Antenor said, "Madam, you have spoken truly. Ulysses once came here as envoy about yourself, and Menelaus with him. I received them in my own house, and therefore know both of them by sight and conversation. When they stood up in presence of the assembled Trojans, Menelaus was the broader shouldered, but when both were seated Ulysses had the more royal presence. After a time they delivered their message, and the speech of Menelaus ran trippingly on the tongue; he did not say much, for he was a man of few words, but he spoke very clearly and to the point, though he was the younger man of the two; Ulysses, on the other hand, when he rose to speak, was at first silent and kept his eyes fixed upon the ground. There was no play nor graceful movement of his sceptre; he kept it straight and stiff like a man unpractised in oratory- one might have taken him for a mere churl or simpleton; but when he raised his voice, and the words came driving from his deep chest like winter snow before the wind, then there was none to touch him, and no man thought further of what he looked like."

    In the same book, he accompanied Priam to the front line and bore witness of the King's speech before the duel between Menelaus and his son, Paris. In Book 7, as mentioned above, he advises the Trojans to give Helen back, but Paris refuses to yield.
  • Antenor is mentioned in Vergil's Aeneid in book 1, line 243, when Venus tells Jupiter that Antenor had escaped from the fall of Troy and founded Patavium, modern Padua.
  • In Dares Phrygius' de excidio Trojae historia , Antenor betrays Troy to the Greeks.
  • In Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, Antenor appears as a minor, non-speaking, character who has been taken prisoner by the Greeks but is returned by them in exchange for Criseyde.
  • The circle Antenora is named after him in the poem Inferno in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. It is located in Hell's Circle of Treachery which is reserved for traitors of cities, countries, and political parties.
  • Antenor appears as a character in William Shakespeare's play Troilus and Cressida, set during the Trojan War.


The minor planet 2207 Antenor, discovered in 1977 by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh, is named after him.[10]


  1. ^ Dictys Cretensis, Trojan War Chronicle 4.22
  2. ^ Eustathius on Homer, p. 349; scholia on Iliad, 3. 201
  3. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca Epitome 3.34 ff see Greek version: "Ἀρχέλοχος καὶ Ἀκάμας Ἀντήνορος καὶ Θεανοῦς, Δαρδανίων ἡγούμενοι" is translated as "Archelochus and Acamas, sons of Antenor and Theano, leaders of the Dardanians"
  4. ^ Parada & Förlag 1997.
  5. ^ Lemprière 1822, p. 85.
  6. ^ a b EB 1911.
  7. ^ a b c d EB 1878.
  8. ^ Virgil, Aeneid, Book I, l. 242.
  9. ^ Livy. History of Rome, Vol. I, Ch. I.
  10. ^ Schmadel 2003, p. 293.


  • Baynes, T. S., ed. (1878), "Antenor (1.)" , Encyclopædia Britannica, 2 (9th ed.), New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, p. 102
  • Cheetham, Erica (1985), The Prophecies of Nostradamus, Perigee Books (a division of Putnam Pub. Group), p. 76, ISBN 0399511210
  • Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911), "Antenor" , Encyclopædia Britannica, 2 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press, pp. 92–93
  • Lemprière, John (1822), "Antēnor", A Classical Dictionary: Containing a Copious Account of All Proper Names Mentioned in Ancient Authors, with the Value of Coins, Weights, and Measures Used Among the Greeks and Romans, and a Chronological Table, J. Crissy, p. 86
  • Parada, Carlos; Förlag, Maicar (1997), Antenor, Greek Mythology Link (Carlos Parada), retrieved 8 January 2017.[unreliable source?]
  • Proust, Marcel, The Guermantes Way, Remembrance of Things Past, 3 (Pleiade ed.), p. 225.[full citation needed]
  • Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003), Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.), New York: Springer Verlag, p. 293, ISBN 3-540-00238-3