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Ciconians (Cicones)

Location of the Ciconians' homeland

The Ciconians or Cicones, who lived on the southwestern coast of Thrace, sided with Troy against the Achaean invaders during the Trojan War. On this occasion they were led by Euphemus 2 (son of Troezenus, son of Ceas), who may therefore be counted among the TROJAN LEADERS. Another Ciconian leader during the Trojan War was Mentes 1, in whose shape Apollo adressed Hector 1, encouraging him to fight for the arms of the dead Patroclus 1. The fate of these two leaders has not been reported.

After the sack of Troy, Odysseus, on his homeward way, came with his twelve ships to the land of the Cicones, where he pillaged the city of Ismarus, not sparing anyone except a priest of Apollo called Maron 1, son of Evanthes 1. This Evanthes 1, who reigned in Marioneia, is said to be the son of Oenopion 1 (son of Ariadne, either by Theseus or by Dionysus 2), the one who blinded Orion.

In the land of the Ciconians, the Achaeans gave themselves to plunder and murder, and when they had taken women and treasures, Odysseus said to his men that they ought to be off, but as his soldiers enjoyed the Ciconian wine and food, they kept drinking and butchering animals by the shore, refusing to leave. Meanwhile, the Ciconians received reinforcements from their up-country neighbors, who were well trained at fighting from chariots or on foot. When they had grouped, they attacked the Achaeans by the ships and, after fighting for a whole day, they broke their ranks. This is why the Achaeans put to sea and fled, having suffered what may be considered as "heavy losses" since more than seventy men belonging to Odysseus' army were killed.

Related sections Map of Greece, Odysseus  

Apd.Ep.3.34, 7.2; Hom.Il.2.846, 17.73; Hom.Od.9.39, 9.47, 9.59, 9.66, 9.165, 23.310; Hyg.Fab.125; Ov.Met.6.710, 10.2, 11.3.