PENTHESILEIA (Penthesilea) was an Amazon queen who led her troops to Troy in support of King Priamos during the Trojan War. Some say she was a mercenary seeking gold, others that she had accidentally killed her sister and sought redemption. In the battles which ensued Penthesileia slew the Greek Makhaon (Machaon) but was in turn felled by Akhilleus (Achilles). When the hero lifted her helm he fell in love and agreed to return her body unharmed to the Trojans for proper burial. The brutish Thersites mocked him for the mercy and, some say, gouged out Penthesileia's eye with a spear. For this Akhilleus slew him.
Penthesileia's name means "mourned by the people" from the Greek words penthos and laôs.
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