Diomedes: Leader in the Trojan War

Diomedes and Odysseus With the Horses of the Thracian King Rhesus

The Greek hero Diomedes, at one time a suitor of Helen of Troy, was one of the most valued leaders of the Achaeans (Greeks) in the Trojan War, providing perhaps as many as 80 ships. The king of Argos, he was also a great warrior, killing and wounding many of the Trojans and their allies, during the Trojan War, including Aphrodite who intervened to keep him from killing her son Aeneas. Diomedes, with the help of Athena, also wounded Ares.

Diomedes and Odysseus

Diomedes was also involved in some of Odysseus' shenanigans, possibly including the killing of Palamedes, the Greek who had tricked Odysseus into going to war and may have invented the alphabet. He was among the Achaean men tucked inside the belly of the great wooden horse the Greeks presented to the Trojans, ostensibly as a gift to the goddess.

Diomedes and Thebes

Earlier in his life, Diomedes had taken part in the second generation expedition against Thebes, making him one of the epigoni. His parents were the Aeolian Tydeus, son of the Calydonian king Oeneus, and Deipyle. Diomedes was married to Aegialia when he left for Troy. Egged on by Aphrodite who had a grudge against him for the wrist injury she had sustained defending Aeneas, Aegialia was faithless and kept Diomedes from re-entering the city of Argos. So, after the Trojan War, Diomedes sailed to Libya where he was imprisoned by King Lycus. The king's daughter Callirrhoe released him. Then Diomedes -- like Theseus vis a vis Ariadne before him -- sailed away. Like Dido when Aeneas sailed away, Callirrhoe then committed suicide.

Mysterious Death of Diomedes

There are various accounts of how Diomedes died. One has Athena turning Diomedes into a god. In another, he dies from treachery. In still another, Diomedes dies of old age. He may have encountered Aeneas again in Italy.

Family of Diomedes

Diomedes' grandfather was Adrastus, king of Argos, whom Diomedes succeeded on the throne. His father, Tydeus, had participated in the seven against Thebes expedition. Heracles was a paternal uncle.

Another Diomedes

There is another Diomedes, also connected with Heracles, the one with the man-eating mares whom Heracles dealt with in his eighth labor.

Elsewhere on the Web

Carlos Parada's page on Diomedes, his parentage, mates, offspring, legends, sources, and the men Diomedes killed in the Trojan War.
Carlos Parada's page on the Epigoni.
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Gill, N.S. "Diomedes: Leader in the Trojan War." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/diomedes-116696. Gill, N.S. (2023, April 5). Diomedes: Leader in the Trojan War. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/diomedes-116696 Gill, N.S. "Diomedes: Leader in the Trojan War." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/diomedes-116696 (accessed June 10, 2023).