Diomedes

Diomedes was the King of Argos and one of the most respected leaders in the Trojan War. His famous exploits include the wounding of Aphrodite, the slaughter of Rhesus and his Thracians and seizure of the Trojan Palladium; the sacred image of the goddess Pallas Athena that protected Troy.

Parents: Tydeus and Deipyle

Roman copy of a statue of Diomedes by Kresilas from c. 430 BC. Glyptothek, Munich.

The Trojan War

Diomedes is known primarily for his participation in the Trojan War. He entered the war with a fleet of 80 ships, third only to the contributions of Agamemnon (100 ) and Nestor (90).

Second only to Achilles, Diomedes is considered to be the mightiest and the most skilled warrior among the Greeks. He and Odysseus were the only Greek heroes who participated in covert military operations that demanded discipline, bravery, courage, cunning, and resourcefulness.

The Combat of Diomedes, by Jacques-Louis David, 1776.

Diomedes received the most direct divine help and protection. He was the favourite warrior of Athena. He was also the only hero except Heracles, son of Zeus, that attacked and even wounded the Olympian Gods.

Athena counseling Diomedes shortly before he enters the battle. Schlossbrücke, Berlin.

Italy

After the war, Diomedes returned home to find that his wife had been unfaithful, a punishment from Aphrodite, and that his claim to the throne of Argos was disputed. Fleeing for his life, he sailed to Italy and founded Argyripa, later Arpi, in Apulia, eventually making peace with the Trojans. He founded ten or more Italian cities. After his death, Diomedes was worshipped as a divine being under various names in Italy as well as Greece.