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This page is about the mythological figure; for other uses, see Hecuba (disambiguation)

Hecuba (/ˈhɛkjʊbə/; also Hecabe, Hécube; Ancient Greek: Ἑκάβη Hekábē, pronounced [hekábɛ͜ɛ]) was a queen in Greek mythology, the wife of King Priam of Troy during the Trojan War,[1] with whom she had 19 children. These children included several major characters of Homer's Iliad such as the warriors Hector and Paris and the prophetess Cassandra.

Parents[edit]

Ancient sources vary as to the parentage of Hecuba.[2] According to Homer, Hecuba was the daughter of King Dymas of Phrygia,[3] but Euripides[4] and Virgil[5] write of her as the daughter of the Thracian king Cisseus. The mythographers Pseudo-Apollodorus and Hyginus leave open the question which of the two was her father, with Pseudo-Apollodorus adding a third alternate option: Hecuba's parents could as well be the river god Sangarius and Metope.[6][7] Some versions from non-extant works are summarized by a scholiast on Euripides' Hecuba:[8] according to those, she was a daughter of Dymas or Sangarius by the Naiad Euagora, or by Glaucippe the daughter of Xanthus (Scamander?); the possibility of her being a daughter of Cisseus is also discussed. A scholiast on Homer relates that Hecuba's parents were either Dymas and the nymph Eunoe or Cisseus and Telecleia;[9] the latter option would make her a full sister of Theano, which is also noted by the scholiast on Euripides cited above.

According to Suetonius in The Twelve Caesars, the emperor Tiberius liked to annoy scholars with obscure questions, and one of his favorites was "Who was Hecuba's mother?"[10]

Hecuba in the Iliad[edit]

The death of Hector on a Roman sarcophagus, c. 200 AD

Hecuba appears six times in the Iliad. In Book 6.326–96, she meets Hector upon his return to the polis and offers him the libation cup, instructing him to offer it to Zeus and to drink of it himself. Taking Hector's advice, she chooses a gown taken from Alexander's treasure to give as an offering to the goddess and leads the Trojan women to the temple of Athena to pray for help. In Book 22, she pleads with Hector not to fight Achilles, for fear of "never get[ting] to mourn you laid out on a bier."[11] In Book 24.201–16, she is stricken with anxiety upon hearing of Priam's plan to retrieve Hector's body from Achilles' hut. Further along in the same episode, at 24.287–98, she offers Priam the libation cup and instructs him to pray to Zeus so that he may receive a favourable omen upon setting out towards the Achaean camp. Unlike in the first episode in which Hector refuses her offer of the cup, Priam accepts and is rewarded with the requested omen. Finally, she laments Hector's death in a well-known speech at 24.748–59.

Hecuba in other classical works[edit]

The Bibliotheca (Library) of Pseudo-Apollodorus states that Hecuba had a son named Troilus with the god Apollo. An oracle prophesied that Troy would not be defeated if Troilus reached the age of twenty alive, but he was killed by Achilles.

Hecuba is a main character in two plays by Euripides: The Trojan Women and Hecuba. The Trojan Women describes the aftermath of the fall of Troy, including Hecuba's enslavement by Odysseus. Hecuba also takes place just after the fall of Troy. Polydorus, the youngest son of Priam and Hecuba, is sent to King Polymestor for safekeeping, but when Troy falls, Polymestor murders Polydorus. Hecuba learns of this, and when Polymestor comes to the fallen city, Hecuba, by trickery, blinds him and kills his two sons.

A third story says that when she was given to Odysseus as a slave, she snarled and cursed at him, so the gods turned her into a dog, allowing her to escape.

In another tradition, Hecuba went mad upon seeing the corpses of her children Polydorus and Polyxena. Dante described this episode, which he derived from Italian sources:

Inferno XXX: 13–20

Hecuba's children with Priam[edit]

See also List of King Priam's children

Hecuba is frequently referenced in classical literature, and in many medieval, Renaissance, and modern works. Among the works which are about Hecuba are:

Hecuba is mentioned in:

The name Hecuba or Hecubah appears occasionally:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition: "Hecuba"
  2. ^ Frazer's note 21 on Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 3. 12. 5. In: Apollodorus, The Library, with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921.
  3. ^ Iliad, 16. 715
  4. ^ Euripides, Hecuba, 3
  5. ^ Virgil, Aeneid 7. 320; 10. 705,
  6. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 3. 12. 5
  7. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 91, 111, 249
  8. ^ Scholia on Euripides, Hecuba, 3
  9. ^ Scholia on Iliad, 16. 718, referring to Pherecydes and Athenion for the two versions respectively
  10. ^ Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, Chapter 2 (Tiberius), paragraph 72
  11. ^ Homer, The Iliad. Book 22, line 86

References[edit]

Primary sources[edit]

Secondary sources[edit]

  • Tsotakou-Karveli. Lexicon of Greek Mythology. Athens: Sokoli, 1990.

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hecuba — Please support Wikipedia.
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Hecuba "The Magic" [Official Video] HD

Hecuba: http://myspace.com/hecubahecuba itunes: http://tinyurl.com/itunes-hecuba Hecuba "The Magic" from the album Paradise on Manimal Vinyl 2009. Directed b...

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Hecuba "Tom and Jerry" live on Estonian National TV

Hecuba "Tom and Jerry" live on Estonian National TV.

HECUBA, Oct. 9, 2010

The performance of Euripides' HECUBA on October 9, 2010, at Randolph College, Lynchburg, Virginia. Translation by Jay Kardan and Laura-Gray Street Directed b...

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Shot entirely on iPhone 5 on automatic settings with no specialty apps or lenses, Hecuba "Modern" can be viewed on the same device it was made on. An exercis...

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Directed by: Michael bernadat Produced by: One O One www.oneoone.fr myspace.com/oneooneproduction.

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"Le tout pour le rien" By Troides Priamus Hecuba French metal group! Clip is available on www.troides.com and viewable on Mcm an Europe2 Tv in france!

6528 videos foundNext > 

116 news items

 
Chicago Tribune
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:15:00 -0700

Chicago Composers Orchestra: The group's fifth season gets underway with a "Baroque Pop" program of world and Midwest premieres, including "Hecuba" by the composers collective Oracle Hysterical, and works by Lawrence Axelrod and Phyllis Chen.
 
London Review of Books (subscription)
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 06:07:30 -0700

My favourite bit of Hamlet is where the Player in his speech about Hecuba comes over all craftsmanly and urges the gods to attack the goddess Fortune and 'Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel,/And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven.

San Antonio Express-News

San Antonio Express-News
Mon, 27 Oct 2014 22:03:45 -0700

SAN ANTONIO — Early on in the Sheldon Vexler Theatre's staging of “The Trojan Women,” someone asks, “What more is there to endure?” Quite a lot, as it happens. One woman is dragged in after being raped, and later is separated from her sister.

mySanAntonio.com (blog)

mySanAntonio.com (blog)
Sat, 25 Oct 2014 21:18:45 -0700

Christy Huffman-Coop heads the gifted cast, delivering a masterful performance as Hecuba, the one-time queen now facing a life of servitude and eternal grief over the deaths of her husband, sons and grandson, as well as the destruction of her beloved city.
 
UT The Daily Texan
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:15:00 -0700

Bret Finholt, as Poseidon, laments the loss of Troy, while Hecuba, played by Julia Bauer, sleeps. “The Trojan Women” opens Thursday and follows the story of Troy's women after the city falls to the Greeks. Photo Credit: Graeme Hamilton | Daily Texan ...

The River City News

The River City News
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:18:45 -0700

We know the names – Greek hero Achilles, Helen of Troy, her feckless lover Paris, his honorable brother and legendary fighter Hector, their parents King Priam and Queen Hecuba, who suffer mightily. Cromer brings their story to life. Cromer transforms ...
 
Jacksonville Daily Record
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 08:33:45 -0700

Judge Stephanie Ray of the 1st District Court of Appeal presented the keynote address titled “The Cut to Hecuba — A Judge's Perspective.” She was introduced by fellow 1st District Court of Appeal Judge Scott Makar. At the close of the meeting, the ...

donaukurier.de

donaukurier.de
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:15:00 -0700

Sein Theaterstück „Hamlet“ wird in der Inszenierung am GG allerdings zu „The Hecuba-Project“. Um sich auf dieses Stück vorzubereiten, war die Theatergruppe im Mai auch in die Münchner Sonderaustellung zum Thema „Hamlet – Tell my story“ gefahren.
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