Diomedes

Detail from an Athenian black-figure clay cup, about 520 BC, showing Herakles and one of Diomedes' mares. St. Petersburg, Hermitage Museum 9270.The Felix Gem. Oxford, Ashmolean Museum.Diomedes attacks sleeping Rhesos. Detail from Chalcidian amphora. Malibu. J.Paul Getty Museum 96.AE.1.

Diomedes (1) Greek hero in the Trojan War, who brought a contingent from Argos and Tiryns. He enjoyed a prominent period of success in battle there, described in Homer's Iliad (books 5 and 6). With Odysseus he stole the Palladion from Troy, and killed Rhesos and Dolon during a night attack. Later traditions associate him with stories of Greek colonization in South Italy.

Diomedes (2) A son of the god Ares, who owned horses accustomed to being fed with human flesh, a procedure which rendered them quite tame. Herakles' Eighth Labour was to bring them to Eurystheus. Fortuitously Diomedes was either killed in battle or else fed to his own steeds - after which Herakles brought the horses safely to Argos where he dedicated them to Hera.

Above left: Detail from an Athenian black-figure clay cup, about 520 BC, showing Herakles and one of Diomedes' mares. St. Petersburg, Hermitage Museum 9270. © State Hermitage Museum Licence Plate 11 UK 1007 135

Above middle: The Felix Gem. Oxford, Ashmolean Museum. © Ashmolean Museum

Above right: Diomedes attacks sleeping Rhesos. Detail from Chalcidian amphora. Malibu. J.Paul Getty Museum 96.AE.1. © J.Paul Getty Museum