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Memnon the Ally of Troy

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Uploaded
Jun 26, 2014 | 1:31 PM EDT
Category
Illustration
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510 x 800 px
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297.5 kb
Tags
mythology
african
greek
nubian

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Author Comments

In Greek mythology, Memnon was a king of “Aethiopia” (ancient Kush or Nubia in what is now Sudan) who allied with the Trojans in their Homeric conflict against the Greeks. Although a skilled warrior whom the Trojans hoped would be their savior, Memnon was characterized by a nobility which won him the favor of the Greek gods. In one episode an elderly Greek king named Nestor challenged Memnon to a fight to avenge his son, but Memnon turned him down out of respect for his age. Ironically this strength of character would lead to Memnon’s undoing, for the demigod Achilles ultimately slew him on Nestor’s behalf.

I based Memnon’s look here on a real king of Nubia named Nedjeh, who ruled between 1650 and 1550 BC. Artistic sources depict him as an archer with a bowling pin-shaped hedjet crown related to those worn by early Egyptian Pharaohs.