Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
The beautiful son of Tithonus and of Eos; king of the Aethiopians. His brother Emathion had ousted him from the throne, but Heracles, on his expedition for obtaining the apples of the Hesperides, murdered the usurper, and reinstated Memnon. After Hector's death he went to help his uncle Priam, and killed Antilochus, the son of Nestor and friend of Achilles. When the latter had slain him, Eos entreated Zeus to grant her son the boon of immortality. The Greeks originally thought that one of the two Aethiopias mentioned in Homer was the realm of Memnon, which is situated near sunrise and the dwelling place of Eos, and hence regarded him as the builder of the royal castle at Susa. It was not till later that his kingdom was identified with the Egyptian Aethiopia, and that he was connected with the colossal statue of Amenophis near Thebes. This "column of Memnon" is still standing. After its partial destruction by an earthquake in B.C. 27, the musical sound, which it gave forth when touched by the first rays of the sun, was explained as Memnon's greeting to his mother, the Goddess of Dawn. The tomb of Memnon was shown at various places. It was told of the one at Abydus on the Hellespont, that the companions of Memnon, who had been changed into birds (the Memnonides) on account of their excessive grief for their king, came there every year to fight and to lament at his grave. The clew-drops of the early morning were called the tears of Eos, which she shed anew every morning in sorrow for her beloved son.
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