In Greek mythology, Antenor (Ancient Greek: Ἀντήνωρ) was a counselor to King Priam of Troy during the events of the Trojan War.

It is commonly said that Antenor was of Dardanian royal blood, a son of Aesyetes and Cleomestra, and a man who could trace his lineage up to King Dardanus; thus Antenor would be a distant relative of King Priam.

He was the husband of Theano (the priestess of Athena’s temple in Troy), daughter of Cisseus of Thrace, who bore him at least one daughter, Crino, and numerous sons, including Archelochus, Acamas, Glaucus, Helicaon, Laodocus, Coön, Polybus, Agenor, Iphidamas, Laodamas, Demoleon, Eurymachus, Hippolochus, Medon, Thersilochus, and Antheus (most of whom perished during the Trojan War).

He was also the father of a son, Pedaeus, by an unknown woman. According to numerous scholars, Antenor was actually related to Priam.

In Greek mythology, Antenor’s role was primarily one of advisor, for he was named as one of the Elders of Troy, and councillor of King Priam.

Thus, Antenor was in Troy when Paris returned from his journey to Sparta, where he had taken both Helen, the wife of Menelaus, and the king’s treasure. Antenor saw immediately the folly of Paris’ actions, but neither Paris nor King Priam would make the situation right.

Antenor is one of the earliest advocates of returning Helen, and the stolen Spartan treasure, to Menelaus; and indeed when Menelaus and Odysseus came to the city to request the return of the items stolen, it was in the house of Antenor that they stayed.

The words of Menelaus and Odysseus, even with the backing of Antenor, could not sway the Trojan council, and Antenor was in the end forced to intercede when it was suggested that the two Achaeans should be killed, going against all thoughts of what were correct in ancient diplomacy.

Antenor did manage to ensure that Menelaus and Odysseus were allowed to leave Troy unmolested.

As the Trojan War continued, so Antenor persisted in his assertions that Helen and the Spartan treasure should be returned. As well as the wise words of Antenor, two sons of Antenor, Archelochus and Acamas, would lead Dardanian troops, under the overall leadership of Aeneas, during the war, and the other sons of Antenor would also fight.

​During the Trojan War Antenor suffered great personal loss for many of his sons were killed during the war; Acamas, was killed by Meriones or Philoctetes; Agenor and Polybus, were killed by Neoptolemus; Archelous and Laodamas, were killed by Ajax the Great; Coon and Iphidamas, were killed by Agamemnon; Demoleon, was killed by Achilles; and Pedaeus, was killed by Meges.

Thus, only Eurymachus, Glaucus, Helicaon, Laodocus and Crino, survived to the end of the Trojan War.

The Trojan War of course came to an end when the Wooden Horse was wheeled inside, allowing for the Achaean heroes hidden within to Sack Troy.

The house of Antenor though was spared during the sacking, for above its door hung a leopard skin, and the Achaeans were told that due to his previous attempts to restore Helen, Antenor and his family were to be free from harm.

During the Sack of Troy though, both Glaucus and Helicaon, sons of Antenor were lucky to survive, for it was the intervention of Odysseus, who prevented both being killed by the Achaeans.

Some later writers would claim that Antenor, and his family, were not saved for his previous hospitality or wise words, but because he was a traitor, even claiming that he was bribed to open the gates of Troy.

​These tales are in the minority though, for it was normally said that it was heroes from within the Wooden Horse, who opened the gates of Troy, and held them open, to allow the other Achaeans to gain access to the city.

In the aftermath of the Sacking of Troy, Antenor, and his sons, were amongst the few surviving men within the city; for Aeneas and his men had now departed from the citadel. Antenor took it upon himself to bury as many as he could; this even included Polyxena, who was sacrificed by the Achaeans.

Troy, after the departure of the Achaeans, was uninhabitable, and so Antenor would be forced to leave.

Antenor and his family would join up with the Eneti, who were now leaderless, after Pylaemenes was killed by Menelaus. Antenor would thus lead the Eneti to Italy, where the new city of Patavium (Padua) was established.

What is more, his subsequent fate varied across the authors. He was said to have rebuilt a city on the site of Troy; to have settled at Cyrene; or to have founded Patavium (modern Padua), Korčula, or other cities in eastern Italy.

Finally, the minor planet 2207 Antenor, discovered in 1977 by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh, is named after him.

In literature

Antenor appears briefly in Homer's Iliad. In Book 3 he is present when Helen identifies for Priam each of the Greek warriors from the wall of Troy; when she describes Odysseus, Antenor criticizes her, saying how he entertained Odysseus and Menelaus and got to know both. In Book 7, as mentioned above, he advises the Trojans to give Helen back, but Paris refuses to yield.

Antenor is mentioned in Vergil's Aeneid in book 1, line 243, when Venus tells Jupiter that Antenor had escaped from the fall of Troy and founded Patavium, modern Padua.

In Dares Phrygius' de excidio Trojae historia , Antenor betrays Troy to the Greeks.

In Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, Antenor appears as a minor, non-speaking, character who has been taken prisoner by the Greeks but is returned by them in exchange for Criseyde.

The circle Antenora is named after him in the poem Inferno in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. It is located in Hell's Circle of Treachery which is reserved for traitors of cities, countries, and political parties.


Cheetham, Erica (1985), The Prophecies of Nostradamus, Perigee Books (a division of Putnam Pub. Group), p. 76,

Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911), "Antenor" , Encyclopædia Britannica, 2 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press, pp. 92–93

Lemprière, John (1822), "Antēnor", A Classical Dictionary: Containing a Copious Account of All Proper Names Mentioned in Ancient Authors, with the Value of Coins, Weights, and Measures Used Among the Greeks and Romans, and a Chronological Table, J. Crissy, p. 86

Parada, Carlos; Förlag, Maicar (1997), Antenor, Greek Mythology Link (Carlos Parada), retrieved 8 January 2017.

Proust, Marcel, The Guermantes Way, Remembrance of Things Past, 3 (Pleiade ed.), p. 225.

Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003), Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.), New York: Springer Verlag, p. 293,


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