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HECUBA (Gr. 'E/cd/3?7), wife of Priam, daughter of the Phrygian king Dymas (or of Cisseus, or of the river-god Sangarius). According to Homer she was the mother of nineteen of Priam's fifty sons. When Troy was captured and Priam slain, she was made prisoner by the Greeks. Her fate is told in various ways, most of which connect her with the promontory Cynossema, on the Thracian shore of the Hellespont. According to Euripides (in the Hecuba), her youngest son Polydorus had been placed during the siege of Troy under the care of Polymestor, king of Thrace. When the Greeks reached the Thracian Chersonese on their way home Hecuba discovered that her son had been murdered, and in revenge put out the eyes of Polymestor and murdered his two sons. She was acquitted by Agamemnon; but, as Polymestor foretold, she was turned into a dog, and her grave became a mark for ships (Ovid, Metam. xiii. 399-575; Juvenal x. 271 and Mayor's note). According to another story, she fell to the lot of Odysseus, as a slave, and in despair threw herself into the Hellespont ; or, she used such insulting language towards her captors that they put her to death (Dictys Cretensis v. 13. 16). It is obvious from the tales of Hecuba's transformation and death that she is a form of some goddess to whom dogs were sacred; and the analogy with Scylla is striking.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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