In Greek mythology, Assaracus (Ancient Greek: Ἀσσάρακος) was a king of Dardania; the kingdom established by Dardanus, and the kingdom that gave rise to the Trojan people.
Assaracus was the second son of Tros, making Assaracus grandson of Erichthonius, and great-grandson of Dardanus; Assaracus' mother was Callirhoe, the Naiad daughter of Scamander (or Acallaris, daughter of Eumedes).
Assaracus had one elder brother, Ilus, and a younger brother, Ganymede, as well as two lesser known sisters, Cleomestra and Cleopatra. During Tros’ rule of Dardania, Ganymede was famously abducted by Zeus, to become the cupbearer of the gods.
According to a less common version, Aesyetes and Cleomestra were also mentioned as parents of Assaracus. In this account, his brothers were Alcathous and Antenor. In some versions of the myth, Ganymedes was not a brother of Assaracus but also a son of Assaracus (Assaracus' other son being called Capys).
ASSARACUS AS A KING
As the second son of Tros, Assaracus was not scheduled to become the next king of Dardania, for this would be the inheritance of Ilus.
Ilus though, had built a new city away from the mountainous heartland of Dardania, a city named Ilion (Ilium - which also became known as Troy), and when Tros died, Ilus decided to remain in his new city, and instead decreed that Assaracus would become the new king of Dardania, whilst Ilus remained king of Ilion.
The House of Dardanus was now split in to two distinct family lines.
THE FAMILY LINE OF ASSARACUS
The direct family line of Ilus is important in Greek mythology, for after Ilus came King Laomedon, who was then succeeded by King Priam, as ruler of Ilion, or Troy, as the city of Ilus was by then known.
The family line of Assaracus was also important to the ancient Greeks, but was even more important for the Romans.
Assaracus would marry the Naiad Hieromneme, daughter of the Potamoi Simoeis (others say his wife was Clytodora, daughter of Laomedon); and Assaracus would become father to a son and heir, Capys. Capys would become father to Anchises, who himself was father of Aeneas, a mythological founder of Rome.
Now it would be assumed that Assaracus would be buried in Dardania, though Quintus Smyrnaeus, in Posthomerica, tells of him being buried in the city of Troy, next to the temple of Athena and the later palace of Priam.
Virgil, Aeneid 6.637-678
Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 4.75.3-5
Homer, Iliad 20.230-240
Ovid, Fasti 4.34
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.12.2
Tzetzes on Lycophron, 29
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Antiquitates Romanae 1.62.2
Oxyrhynchus Papyri, 1359 fr. 2 as cited in Hesiod, Ehoiai fr. 102
Ovid, Metamorphoses 11.756
Ovid, Fasti 4.123
Dictys Cretensis, Trojan War Chronicle 4.22
Hyginus, Fabulae 224
Quintus Smyrnaeus, The Fall of Troy 6.145 ff p. 266
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