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Rhesus (Ῥῆσος., Rhêsos) was a Thracian king who fought on the side of Trojans in the Iliad. A son of king Eïoneus in Thrace, and an ally of the Trojans in their war with the Greeks he possessed horses white as snow and swift as the wind, which were carried off by night by Odysseus and Diomedes, the latter of whom murdered Rhesus himself in his sleep (Hom. Il. x. 435, 495, &c.; Virg. Acn. i. 469, with Serv. note). In later writers Rhesus is described as a son Euterpe one of the muses and the river god Strymon, and he was raised by fountain nymphs. Rhesus arrived late to Troy, because his country was attacked by Scythia, right after he received word that the Greeks had attacked Illium. He was killed in his tent, and his famous steeds were stolen by Diomedes and Odysseus. The event is portrayed in book 10 of Homer's the Iliad and in the play Rhesus.

His name (a Thracian anthroponym) probably derives from PIE *reg-, 'to rule', showing a satem-sound change.

Rhesus play (attributed to Euripides)


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