In Greek mythology, Deiphobus (Δηίφοβος) was a son of Priam and Hecuba. He was a prince of Troy, and the greatest of Priam's sons after Hector and Paris. Deiphobus killed four men in the Trojan War.[1]

In the Trojan War, described in the Iliad, he along with his brother Helenus led a group of soldiers at the siege of the newly-constructed Argive wall and killed many, also wounding the hero Achean Meriones. As Hector was fleeing Achilles, Athena took the shape of Deiphobus and goaded Hector to make a stand and fight. Hector, thinking it was his brother, listened and threw his spear at Achilles. When the spear missed, Hector turned around to ask his brother for another spear, but Deiphobus had vanished. It was then Hector knew the gods had deceived and forsaken him, and he met his fate at the hand of Achilles.

Some accounts hold that it was Deiphobus and Paris who ambushed and killed Achilles while luring him to their sister Polyxena. After the death of Paris, Deiphobus was given Helen as a bride for his deeds in the war, beating out the bid of his other brother, Helenus. Some accounts say the marriage was by force. When the Trojan Horse was in the city, Deiphobus accompanied Helen as she walked around the horse, calling out the names of the Greeks within in the voices of their wives, because she did not want to look like she was helping them. Menelaus and Odysseus had to hold the men inside back from responding. During the sack of Troy, Deiphobus was slain by either Odysseus or Menelaus, and his body was mutilated. Some accounts say it was Helen who killed him, or that she celebrated his death. Most accounts seem to indicate that unlike her other two husbands, Helen didn't love Deiphobus, and decided she would rather return to Menelaus.

See: Iliad books XII, XIV, XXII.

In Virgil's Aeneid, Deiphobus appears in the Underworld to Aeneas. He tells Aeneas the story of his death, which entails Helen's betrayal in signaling Menelaus to Deiphobus's bedchamber. He was mutilated in the sack of Troy. While with Aeneas, he begs the gods for revenge against the Greeks where as Hades had killed him.


  1. Hyginus, Fabulae 115.

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