Menestheus (Greek: Μενεσθεύς), the son of Peteus, son of Orneus, son of Erechtheus, and either Polyxene or Mnesimache,[1] was a legendary King of Athens during the Trojan War. He was set up as king by the Dioscuri when Theseus travelled to the underworld and exiled him from the city after his return.[2][3][4]

Menestheus was one of the suitors of Helen of Troy,[5] and when the Trojan War started he brought "fifty black ships" to Troy.[6][7] In the Iliad it is noted that no one could arrange chariots and shield-bearing warriors in battle orders better than Menestheus, and that only Nestor could vie with him in that respect.[8] Yet further he is characterized as not valiant. When Agamemnon was reviewing his troops he found Menestheus in the back rows seemingly avoiding action.[9] Later when Sarpedon attacked the portion of the Greek wall that he was in charge of, Menestheus shivered and had to call on Telamonian Aias and Teucer for aid.[10] Menestheus was one of the warriors in the Trojan Horse.[11][12] After Troy was sacked, he sailed to Mimas, then to Melos where he became king.[13]

When Menestheus died, Athens passed back to the family of Theseus.[14]

The name Menestheus may also refer to:


  1. Tzetzes, Homeric Allegories, Prologue, 554 - 555
  2. Plutarch, Theseus, 32. 1 ff
  3. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1. 17. 5
  4. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, Epitome of Book 4, 1. 23
  5. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 10. 8
  6. Homer, Iliad, 2. 557
  7. Hyginus, Fabulae, 97
  8. Iliad, 2. 552 ff
  9. Il. 4. 327
  10. Il. 12. 331 ff
  11. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1. 23. 8
  12. Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy, 12. 314
  13. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, Epitome of Book 4, 6. 15b = Tzetzes on Lycophron, 911
  14. Plutarch, Theseus, 35. 5
  15. Virgil, Aeneid, 10. 129
  16. Statius, Thebaid, 6. 661
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Menestheus. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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