Hecuba (Hekabe) (moving far off) is in Greek mythology the second wife of King Priam of Troy, mother of 19 of his 50 sons and 12 of his daughters; daughter of Dymas of Phrygia and Evagora or Glaucippe, of the river god Cisseus, or of the river god Sangarius and Metope; sister of Asius. Among her children are Hector, Paris, Cassandra, Polydorus, and Polyxena. After the fall of Troy she was taken into captivity by the victorious Greeks.

She witnessed the death of her daughter Polyxena and discovered that her son Polydorus had been treacherously murdered by the Thracian king Polymnestor. Insane with sorrow, Hecuba beguiled Polymnestor into a secret place and tore out his eyes. While she was railing at the Greeks, she was transformed into a bitch. Hecuba appears in Euripides’ plays The Trojan Woman and Hecabe and Ovid’s Metamorphoses (book 13) and is frequently cited by Shakespeare in his plays.


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