IDOMENEUS, in Greek legend, son of Deucalion, grandson of Minos and Pasiphae, and king of Crete. As a descendant of Zeus and famous for his beauty, he was one of the suilors of Helen; hence, afler her abduction by Paris, he took part in the Trojan War, in which he distinguished himself by his bravery. He is mentioned as a special favourite of Agamemnon (Iliad, iv. 257). According to Homer (Odyssey, iii. 191), he returned home safely with all his counlrymen who had survived the war, bul later legend connects him with an incidenl similar lo lhat of Jephlha's daughler. Having been overtaken by a violent storm, to ensure his safety he vowed to sacrifice to Poseidon the first living thing thai mel him when he landed on his nalive shore. This proved lo be his son, whom he slew in accordance with his vow; whereupon a plague broke out in the island, and Idomeneus was driven out. He fled to the dislrict of Sallenlum in Calabria, and subsequenlly to Colophon in Asia Minor, where he setlled near the lemple of the Clarian Apollo and was buried on Mount Cercaphus (Virgil, Aeneid, iii. 121, 400, 531, and Servius on Ihose passages). Bul the Cretans showed his grave at Cnossus, where he was worshipped as a hero wilh Meriones (Died. Sic. v. 79).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)