129. Hercules gives Hesione to Telamon

Once upon a time, Apollo saw king Laomedon’s land, where the thin sea divided Phrygia from Thrace. On the right was the promontory of Sigaeum, on the left arose the lofty Rhoetaeum, and at that place there was an old altar dedicated to mighty Jupiter. Close to that place, Laomedon was just starting to build the walls of the renowned Troy.

Apollo was convinced that the task demanded immense resources and surpassed the power of mortals. Hence, Apollo along with Neptune, the trident-bearing god of the deep, adopted mortal forms, approached Laomedon, offered to labor for an amount of gold, which Laomedon agreed, and they built the powerful wall. But Laomedon demonstrated how false his words were, by refusing all payment and thus, added perjury to his fake bargaining.

Neptune was enraged and punished the deceitful Laomedon, by causing all the surrounding waters of the sea, to rise high above the wall built through perfidy. The furious waves swept the fields, and the hard-earned possessions of its farmers were ruined. The shores, city, and every bit of land was flooded. The sorrowful land resembled a sea and the punishment was awful.

But as if this penalty was not enough, a sea-monster arose and the tormented citizens consulted an oracle, who told to sacrifice Hesione, the daughter of Laomedon, as food to the sea-monster. The royal maid Hesione was chained to a craggy rock jutting out on the sea, for the terrible sea-monster to devour.

Hercules, the son of Alcmene and Jupiter, arrived at that place and agreed to rescue Hesione, if Laomedon gave him the pair of divine horses, received as a compensation for Ganymedes. Laomedon agreed and Hercules delivered Hesione from all harm, but the perfidious Laomedon refused to keep his promise. In anger, Hercules conquered Troy. As a reward, he gave Hesione to Telamon, the son of Aeacus, for Telamon had fought for him.

Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time-II: 150 Greek Mythology Stories” by Rajen Jani

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