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Hecuba (hĕkˈyŏbə) [key], in Greek mythology, chief wife of Priam, king of Troy. Hecuba bore to Priam 19 children, including Paris, Hector, Troilus, Cassandra, and others who were prominent in the Trojan War. To save Polydorus, her youngest son, from the Greeks, Hecuba sent him to Polymnestor, king of Thrace. After the sack of Troy she was allotted to Odysseus, who on his way home stopped at Thrace. Learning there that Polymnestor had murdered Polydorus, Hecuba, in revenge, blinded the king and killed his children. She is an important character in Euripides' plays Hecuba and The Trojan Women.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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