Diomedes, The God

Pindar, Nemean 10.6-7

“And the fair-haired Grey-eyed goddess
Once made Diomedes an immortal god

Διομήδεα δ᾿ ἄμβροτον ξαν-
θά ποτε Γλαυκῶπις ἔθηκε θεόν·

Schol ad Pin. Nem 10.12a-12b

“And the fair-haired Grey-eyed goddess / Once made Diomedes an immortal god”: This is the Argive Diomedes who was immortalized because of his excellence. There is a sacred Island Diomedeia in the Adriatic where he is honored as a god. Ibykos records this.”

Διομήδεα δ’ ἄμβροτον ξανθά ποτε γλαυκῶπις ἔθηκε θεόν: καὶ οὗτος ᾿Αργεῖος, ὃς δι’ ἀρετὴν ἀπηθανατίσθη· καὶ ἔστι περὶ τὸν ᾿Αδρίαν Διομήδεια νῆσος ἱερὰ, ἐν ᾗ
τιμᾶται ὡς θεός. καὶ ῎Ιβυκος οὕτω (fr. 38)· ……..

“After marrying Hermione Diomedes was made a god with the Dioskouroi. For he shares their life. Polemon records this. Among the Argyrippoi he has a sacred place. And in Mentapontion as well he receives honor like a god. Among the Thourians as well, they put up statues of him as if he were a god.”

τὴν ῾Ερμιόνην γήμας ὁ Διομήδης ἀπηθανατίσθη σὺν τοῖς Διοσκούροις· καὶ γὰρ συνδιαιτᾶται αὐτοῖς. καὶ Πολέμων ἱστορεῖ (FHG III 122)· ἐν μὲν γὰρ ᾿Αργυρίπποις ἅγιόν ἐστιν αὐτοῦ ἱερόν· καὶ ἐν Μεταποντίῳ δὲ διὰ πολλῆς αὐτὸν αἴρεσθαι τιμῆς ὡς θεὸν, καὶ ἐν Θουρίοις εἰκόνας αὐτοῦ καθιδρύσθαι ὡς θεοῦ.

“Another explanation: Didn’t Athena also make Diomedes a god? For during the Theban War, Melanaippos, a Theban hero, wounded Tydeus. And Tydeus, enraged over the wound, sought Amphiaros to kill Melanippus and bring him his head. When the head was brought to him and his anger overcame his reason, he took a taste of the Melanippian meat, as Euripides writes in the Meleager: “he will arrive at man-eating pleasures / and tear into Melanippus’ head with blood-crusted jaws”

When Tydeus was wounded, Athena was planning on making him immortal, but she did not grant that gift because he ate human flesh. So, because he was not able to receive immortality, he thought it right for the goddess to transfer the gift to Diomedes. Diomedes is therefore honored as a god among the Thourians and Metapontians and there is no record of his death among the historians.”

ἄλλως. οὐχὶ δὲ καὶ τὸν Διομήδην ἡ ᾿Αθηνᾶ θεὸν ἐποίησε; κατὰ γὰρ τὸν Θηβαϊκὸν πόλεμον Μελάνιππος, ἦν δὲ οὗτος ἥρως Θηβαῖος, ἔτρωσε τὸν Τυδέα· ὁ δὲ πρὸς τὴν πληγὴν θυμήνας καθικέτευσε τὸν ᾿Αμφιάραον ἀνελεῖν τὸν Μελάνιππον καὶ προσαγαγεῖν αὐτοῦ τὴν κεφαλήν. προσαχθείσης δὲ αὐτῷ τῆς κεφαλῆς καὶ τῆς ὀργῆς νικησάσης τὸν δέοντα λογισμὸν, ἀπεγεύσατο τῶν Μελανιππείων κρεῶν, ὡς
καὶ Εὐριπίδης ἐν τῷ Μελεάγρῳ φησίν (fr. 537)·

εἰς ἀνδροβρώτους ἡδονὰς ἀφίξεται
κάρηνα πυρσαῖς γένυσι Μελανίππου σπάσας.

τετρωμένῳ οὖν τῷ Τυδεῖ ἡ ᾿Αθηνᾶ τὴν ἀθανασίαν παρήγαγε, καὶ οὐκ ἀπήλαυσε τῆς δωρεᾶς ἔτι διὰ τὴν τῶν ἀνθρωπείων κρεῶν βρῶσιν· εἶτα ὡς αὐτὸς οὐκ ἠδυνήθη τῆς ἀθανασίας τυχεῖν, ἠξίωσε τὴν θεὸν ἐπὶ τὸν Διομήδην τὸ δῶρον μεταθεῖναι. τιμᾶται γοῦν καὶ παρὰ Θουρίοις καὶ Μεταποντίοις ὡς θεὸς Διομήδης, καὶ οὐκ ἔστι παρὰ τοῖς ἱστορικοῖς εὑρέσθαι αὐτοῦ τὸν θάνατον.

Highly stylized painting with Domedes on the left in front of white horses. He is mostly nude with a crested helmet on. To the right is Aphrodite'Venus, holding her hand out towards him. This is likely a reference to Iliad book 6 where Diomedes wounds Aphrodite in the hand
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Vénus blessée par Diomède (1800) Kunstmuseum Basel Suisse

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