The Shade of Andromache: Laodike of Sardis between Homer and Polybios

Monica D'Agostini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When reading the long fragment of Polybios 8.15.1-21.11, about Antiochos III’s siege of Sardis, it is impossible not to be amazed by the favourable attitude of the historian towards Laodike, the wife of the Seleukid usurper Achaios. Contrary to what might be expected from an historian who tends to be markedly indifferent towards women, Polybios gives us more information about Laodike than about any other Seleukid woman. Achaios’ Laodike is an exemplar of the loyal and brave wife and her portrait has clear epic echoes. As Polybios was no newcomer to associating Homeric topoi with unexpected situations and portrayals, it is indeed possible to detect in the words of Polybios on Achaios and Laodike a clear reference to the well-known Homeric couple, Hektor and Andromache.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-60
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Ellenismo
  • Hellenistic Age
  • Homer
  • Omero
  • Polibio
  • Polybius
  • Seleucid
  • Seleucidi


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