Athenian Hero



Dardanus, usually said to be the son of Zeus and the Atlantid Electra (or of Zeus and a mortal woman), was the eponymous hero of the Dardanians in the Troad.

According to the familiar tradition, Dardanus originally came from Samothrace (though some sources claimed he was a native of Arcadia, Crete, Italy, or even the Troad). He left his home because of some misfortune—most likely the loss of his brother Iasion (though again, there are different versions).

He eventually came to the Troad, the future location of Troy, where he married the daughter of a local king. Dardanus eventually succeeded his father-in-law as ruler of the region, and the local people became known as Dardanians in his honor.

Dardanus was not only the eponym of the Dardanians but also the original ancestor of the Trojan kings. Later, when the Romans adopted the Trojan hero Aeneas as their ancestor, Dardanus was reimagined as a native of Italy and the first patriarch of Roman religion.[1]