Andromache (battle of men) In Greek mythology, wife of Hector and daughter of King Eetion of Cilician Thebes. In Homer’s Iliad she is considered one of the most moving characters, especially in her parting scene from Hector and when she mourns his death. In later, non-Homeric myth Achilles kills Andromache’s father and seven brothers. When Troy is taken, her one son, Astyanax (or Scamander), is hurled from the walls to his death. As part of the spoils after the Trojan War, Andromache was given as the prize to Greek hero Neoptolemus, who first took her to Epirus, then surrendered her to Hector’s brother Helenus. After Helenus’s death Andromache returned to Asia with Pergamus, her son by Neoptolemus, and there she died.

In the myth as told by Euripides in his play Andromache and by Vergil in The Aeneid (book 3), Hermione, the wife of Neoptolemus, hated Andromache because she knew her husband cared for the woman. The theme of Racine’s play Andromaque is the jealousy of Hermione. The neoclassical French painter David painted Andromache Mourning Hector. There are more than 20 operas based on Andromache’s tale, among them one by Martin y Soler (1754– 1806) and one by Paisiello (1741–1816), both called Andromaca.


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante

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