Briefly describe the heroism shown by Sarpedon as an ally of the Trojans.

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noahvox2 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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The Lycian warrior Sarpedon was a son of Zeus and in the Trojan War he was an ally of the Trojans. Sarpedon has a significant appearance in Book 5 of Homer's Iliad, where he spurs Hector on to action and then later kills Tlepolemus, who was a son of Heracles (Hercules). In the process of killing Tlepolemus, Sarpedon himself was wounded because "two long spears flew from their hands together" (Iliad 5.657).

We also find Sarpedon playing a significant role in Iliad 12, as the Trojans make an assault on the Greek camp. It is Sarpedon who first makes a massive hole in the wall of the Greek fortifications, before he is driven back by Ajax and Teucer.

Sarpedon's final appearance in the Iliad occurs in Book 16, as Sarpedon is killed in battle by Patroclus. Because Sarpedon was a son of Zeus, Zeus briefly considers rescuing his son from death, but Hera persuades him not to do this. Zeus agrees not to go against what is fated to happen and thus Sarpedon dies.

A beautiful vase painting exists showing Sleep and Death, under the direction of Hermes, carrying Sarpedon off of the battlefield (see the theoi.com link).

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