In Greek mythology, Deidamia of Scyros (Ancient Greek: Δηϊδάμεια) was a princess of Scyros as the daughter of King Lycomedes.
Deidamia was one of King Lycomedes's seven daughters with whom Achilles was concealed. Some versions of this story state that Achilles was hidden in Lycomedes's court as one of the king's daughters, some say as a lady-in-waiting under the name "Pyrrha".
Specifically, Deidamia and her sisters would be joined in the royal court by a "female" guest, for it was to the court of King Lycomedes that Thetis brought her son Achilles, when she sought to hide him away. It was said that Thetis wished to prevent her son from fighting at Troy, for it had been prophesised that he would die if he did so.
King Lycomedes was fooled by the disguised Achilles, believing that his new female quest was the sister of Achilles, but Deidamia was not fooled, and saw through Achilles feminine attire.
Despite the fact that Achilles and Deidamia could have been as young as eight years old, the two soon became romantically involved to the point of intimacy; the two would become lovers, and were eventually married in secret. Deidamia would subsequently give birth to a son of Achilles, a boy named Pyrrha, but a son more famously known as Neoptolemus.
Achilles would eventually leave the court of King Lycomedes, for his presence was discovered by Odysseus and Diomedes, two Achaean heroes who were searching for Achilles, for Calchas had stated that Achilles must fight at Troy, in order that the Achaean would be victorious. Some tell of Deidamia trying to convince her husband not to leave, but to no avail.
It was commonly said that whilst Achilles departed for Aulis, Deidamia and Neoptolemus remained on Scyros; although one version of the story of Deidamia has her following Achilles to Troy, disguised as an Achaean soldier. In this case, a reversal of roles for now Deidamia was disguised as a man, when previously Achilles had been disguised as a girl. Deidamia following Achilles though, does not fit in with the stories of Achilles at Troy.
Deidamia would become a widow though, for just as had been foretold, Achilles led a short glorious life, dying upon the battlefield of Troy, killed by an arrow of Paris.
Eventually, Odysseus would return to Scyros for now it was foretold that Neoptolemus would have to fight at Troy, just as his father had done. As with Achilles, it was said that Deidamia attempted to convince Neoptolemus not to fight, but again to no avail.
It is more probable that at this point Deidamia also left Scyros, for Deidamia was in the company of her son shortly after the fall of Troy. Neoptolemus, after the fall of Troy, travelled to Epirus to establish a new kingdom for himself, and in his retinue was Helenus, the Trojan seer, to whom Neoptolemus would wed his mother, Deidamia.
Later on, Neoptolemus was eventually killed by Orestes when the son of Agamemnon went mad.
In some accounts, Achilles and Deidamia had another son, Oneiros, who was unwittingly killed by Orestes in Phocis while fighting with him over a place to pitch a tent.
Nothing more is said of Deidamia, and it is not certain whether Deidamia was still alive when Helenus married Andromache, the former wife of Hector, and concubine of Neoptolemus.
Deidamia in Greek Mythology
In Greek mythology, Deidamia was the name referring to the following women:
Deidamia, daughter of King Perieres of Messenia and the mother of Iphiclus, Althaea and Leda by King Thestius of Pleuron.
Deidamia of Scyros, a princess and daughter of King Lycomedes. She was the lover of Achilles and by him the mother of Neoptolemus.
Deidamia, daughter of the hero Bellerophon and Philonoe, daughter of the Lycian king, Iobates. She married King Evander of Lycia, son of the elder Sarpedon, and had by him a son, the younger Sarpedon, who was identified with the Sarpedon that fought at Troy. Under the name of Hippodamia or Laodamia she also said to coupled with either Zeus or Xanthus to bore Sarpedon.
Deidamia, other name of Hippodamia, the bride of Pirithous who was abducted by the Centaurs.
Dictys Cretensis, Trojan War Chronicle 4.15
Statius, Achilleid 296
Hyginus, Fabulae 96
Bion of Smyrna, Poems 2
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.13.8
Epic Cycle Fragments, The Cypria fr. 1 as cited in Proclus, Chrestomathia 1
Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 7.186 ff
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, Epitome of Book 4, 6.13
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, Epitome of Book 4, 5.11
Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History, 3 as cited in Photius, Bibliotheca 190
Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 201
Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 3. 13. 8
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 5. 79. 3
Pseudo-Clement, Recognitions 10.21
Homer, Iliad, 6. 197-205
Dictys Cretensis. Trojan War Chronicle, 2.11
Plutarch, Parallel lives: Theseus, 30. 3
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