Machaon (mythology)

In Greek mythology, Machaon (/məˈkən/; Ancient Greek: Μᾰχάων Makhāōn) was a son of Asclepius; and the older brother of Podalirius. He and his brother led an army from Tricca in the Trojan War on the side of the Greeks.[1]

Marble torso probably representing the son of Asclepius, Machaon. 2nd century B.C. Ancient Messene museum.


Machaon fathered Nicomachus and Gorgasus by Anticleia, daughter of Diocles of Pharae.[2] His other sons were Alexanor[3], Sphyrus[4] and Polemocrates[5].

According to Diogenes Laertius's Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, Hermippus, in his book On Aristotle, places Machaon as the son of Asclepius, father of Nicomachus, and ancestor of Aristotle.[6]


Both Machaon and Podalirius were highly valued surgeons and medics.[7] In the Iliad he was wounded and put out of action by Paris.[8] Machaon (or his brother) healed Philoctetes, Telephus and Menelaus, after he sustained an arrow at the hand of Pandarus, during the war. He was also supposed to possess herbs which were bestowed to his father Asclepius by Chiron, the centaur.[9]

He was killed by Eurypylus in the tenth year of the war.[10] He was buried in Gerenia in Messenia, where he was worshiped by the people.




  1. ^ Homer, Iliad 2.729–32.
  2. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 4.30.2
  3. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 2.11.5, 2.23.4 & 2.38.6
  4. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 2.23.4
  5. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 2.38.6
  6. ^ Diogenes Laertius (1925). "Lives of Eminent Philosophers 5.1. Aristotle". doi:10.4159/dlcl.diogenes_laertius-lives_eminent_philosophers_book_v_chapter_1_aristotle.1925. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Homer, Iliad 2.273
  8. ^ Homer, Iliad 11.506
  9. ^ Homer, Iliad 4.219
  10. ^ Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica 6.408
  11. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003) Dictionary of minor planet names, Springer - p.252