Priamus in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
（*Pri/amos), the famous king of Troy, at the time of the
Trojan war. He was a son of Laomedon and Strymo or Placia.
His original name is said to have been Podarces, i. e. "the
swift-footed," which was changed into Priamus, "the
ransomed" (from πρίαμαι), because he was the only surviving
son of Laomedon and was ransomed by his sister Hesione,
after he had fallen into the hands of Heracles (Apollod.
2.6.4, 3.12.3). He is said to have been first married to
Arisbe, the daughter of Merops, by whom he became the father
of Aesacus; but afterwards he gave up Arisbe to Hyrtacus,
and married Hecabe (Hecuba), by whom he had the following
children : Hector, Alexander or Paris, Deiphobus, Helenus,
Pammon, Polites, Antiphus, Hipponous, Polydorus, Troilus,
Creusa, Laodice, Polyxena, and Cassandra. By other women he
had a great many children besides (Apollod. 3.12.5).
According to the Homeric tradition, he was the father of
fifty sons, nineteen of whom were children of Hecabe, to
whom others add an equal number of daughters (IIom. Il.
24.495, &c.,with the note of Eustath.; comp. Hyg. Fab. 90;
Theocr. 15.139; Cic. Tusc. 1.35). Previous to the outbreak
of the war of the Greeks against his kingdom, he is said to
have supported the Phrygians in their war against the
Amazons (Hom. Il. 3.184). When the Greeks landed on the
Trojan coast Priam was already advanced in years, and took
no active part in the war (24.487, 500). Only once did he
venture upon the field of battle, to conclude the agreement
respecting the single combat between Paris and Menelaus
(3.250, &c.). After the death of his son Hector, Priam,
accompanied by Hermes, went to the tent of Achilles to
ransom Hector's body for burial, and obtained it (24.470).
His death is not mentioned by Homer, but later poets have
filled up this gap in the legend. When the Greeks entered
the city of Troy, the aged king, it is said, put on his
armour, and was on the point of rushing into the crowd of
the enemy, but he was prevailed on by Hecabe to take refuge
with herself and her daughters, as a suppliant at the altar
of Zeus Herceius. While he was tarrying in the temple, his
son Polites, pursued by Pyrrhus, rushed into the temple, and
expired at the feet of his father, whereupon Priam aimed at
Pyrrhus, but was killed by him. (Verg. A. 2.512, &c.; Eur.
Tro. 17; Paus. 2.24.5, 4.17.3.) His body remained unburied.
(Verg. A. 2.558; Seneca Troades 50, &c.; Q. Smyrn. 13.240,
Another Priam is mentioned by Virgil (Aen. 5.564), as a son
of Polites, and is accordingly a grandson of kiln Priam. - A
Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology,
William Smith, Ed.