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troy of ılıad
the list of legendary deaths


Sarpedon, in Greek legend, is the son of Zeus, the king of the gods, and Laodameia, the daughter of Bellerophon.  He was the Lycian King which was at the southern coasts of asia-Minor. he came to Troy as an ally with his cousin Glaukos and Lycian troops. As recounted in Homer’s Iliad, Book XVI, Sarpedon fought with distinction on the side of the Trojans but was slain by the Greek warrior Patroclus. A struggle took place for the possession of his body. Finally until Apollo (who is also an Asia Minor origined God in Mythology just as her sister Artemis and mother Leto) rescued his dead body from the Greeks, washed and handed it over to Hypnos and Thanatos (Sleep and Death). later on he conveyed the body to be buried in Lycia. This episode is illustrated on many antiqueGreek vases & potteries. According to Apollodorus’s Library and Epitome, Book III, Sarpedon was the son of Zeus and Europa and the brother of King Minos of Crete.  He was expelled from Crete by Minos & he and his comrades sailed to the southern coasts of Asia Minor, where he finally became the king of the newly founded land Lycia. When dying it is stated that he asked his cousin Glaukos to combine all the Lycian warlords to get his avenge.

        Let Sleep and Death bear my son’s body.
        They are twin brothers and gentle,
        though Sarpedon has met Death in a hard way,
        a terrible way. Death has many faces.
        May Death at last be kind.

        Let them lift him carefully, for he goes now
        to Lycia, where live things grow.
        Let him be surrounded by life
        and kinsmen who will mourn him.
       This is the reward of death.
       Though they search all broad Lycia,
        they shall not find him again.

                             Iliad By Homer


Johann Heinrich Füssli, Sarpedon is brought back to Lycia by Sleep & Death (zurich Museum)

in Iliad, Homer describes Sarpedon as one of the most regarded & courageus warriors of Trojan war who was fighting alongside Aeneas, Hector & Glaukos like brothers in arms.
the most famous tale in Iliad, states that the two cousins sarpedon & Glaukos lead a two-pronged attack against the enemy camp, endangering the ships of the besieging Achaeans.
Sarpedon was destined to die at the hands of Patroclus as it had been prophesised.  Finally just as what the prophecy says, they come face to face in a one-on-one fight  when Patroclus wore  the armour of Achilles to defend the Achaean camp.
Zeus had the power to save his son Sarpedon from his destiny, but his wife Hera & other gods and goddesses, pointed out that many of their own children were fighting and dying at Troy. Zeus tried to be fair & didn't interfere. As a result of this Sarpedon was killed by Patroclus. The scene of the death of Sarpedon is described by Homer with the phrases below.;

The towering chiefs to fiercer fight advance,
And first Sarpedon whirled his mighty lance,
Which o'er the warrior's shoulder took its course,
And spent in empty air its dying force.
Not so Patroclus' never-erring dart;
Aimed at his breast, it pierced the mortal part,
Where the strong fibres bind the solid heart.
Then, as the mountain oak, or poplar tall,
Or pine, fit mast for some great admiral,
Nods to the axe, till with a groaning sound
It sinks, and spreads its honours on the ground;
Thus fell the king; and, laid on earth supine,
Before his chariot stretched his form divine:
He grasped the dust distained with streaming gore,
And, pale in death, lay groaning on the shore.
So lies a bull beneath the lion's paws,
While the grim savage grinds with foaming jaws
The trembling limbs, and sucks the smoking blood;
Deep groans, and hollow roars, rebellow through the wood

Iliad 305


Jean Simon Berthelemy - Apollo and Sarpe

Jean Simon Berthelemy - Apollo and Sarpedon. In the painting above, the artist depicts Sarpedon's dead body which was saved from Greeks warriors by God Apollo with the order of Zeus, cleaned and sent to lycia for funeral. 

After being wounded hard by Petroklus, Sarpedon gives his last order to his cousin Glaukas before he dies as written in Iliad with the translated form. He asks Glaukos to combine all the Lycian leaders & warlords to get his avenge.

Then to the leader of the Lycian band
The dying chief addressed his last command:
⁠"Glaucus, be bold; thy task be first to dare
The glorious dangers of destructive war'',

To lead my troops, to combat at their head,
Incite the living, and supply the dead.
Tell them, I charged them with my latest breath
Not unrevenged to bear Sarpedon's death.
What grief, what shame, must Glaucus undergo,
If these spoiled arms adorn a Grecian foe!
Then as a friend, and as a warrior, fight;
Defend my body, conquer in my right;
That, taught by great examples, all may try
Like thee to vanquish, or like me to die."

Iliad  306

Euphronios (Sarpedon) Krater.jpg

The Euphronios (Sarpedon) krater as shown above is a red-figure calyx krater made in Athens circa 515 BC, İt was signed by the ancient artists Euxitheos as potter and Euphronios as painter. It was bought by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1972. After some conflicts about the ownership of the krater In 2006, the Metropolitan restored ownership of the krater to Italy. Because the krater is generally believed to have been discovered in December 1971 by an illegall digging on the private land in the Greppe Sant’Angelo area of the Etruscan cemetery of Cerveteri.

The Euphronios (Sarpedon) krater is a red-figure calyx krater made in Athens circa 515 BC, 46 cm high and 55 cm in diameter. It is decorated on the front with a scene depicting the death of Sarpedon, who is attended by Hypnos and Thanatos (Sleep & death) with the god Hermes looking on. The krater is accepted as the most important ancient finding depicting the death of sappedon as it was described by Homer.

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