Queen Hecuba of Troy, also known simply as Hecuba, was one of The Damned which Dante must punish or absolve for "The Damned" achievement/trophy. She was encountered in the circle of Anger.


"Queen of Troy who watched as her city fell in battle. Her hapless wretched soul lies in the darkness of hell, besieged by the condemned who flog her at every turn."


Hecuba (Hekabe in Greek) was the wife of King Priam of Troy; she was described as having a beautiful, dark complexion, with a wise mind and righteous demeanor. By her husband, she was the mother of between 14 and 19 children, including the infamous Paris of Troy. Through an affair with the god Apollo, Hecuba had one son, Troilus.

When Paris was born, Hecuba dreamed about a fiery torch burning Troy to the ground. The dream was interpreted to mean that Paris would bring about Troy's destruction. As such Priam had the baby abandoned in the countryside, where he was raised by shepherds. Unfortunately, due to judging Aphrodite to be the most beautiful goddess of Olympus, Paris earned the undying hatred of Hera and Athena; their vengeful wrath would follow the prince and his reward from Aphrodite -- Paris's new bride, Helen -- back to Troy. When the couple arrived in his city, Priam gave Helen and Paris asylum. However, as Helen was the wife of the Spartan king Menelaus, he and his brother Agamemnon sailed from Greece with an army to bring her back by force if necessary. Despite repeatedly trying to find peaceful solutions to the conflict, Troy and the Greeks went to war for 10 years.

During the horrific night when Troy was finally sacked by the Greeks, Priam was slaughtered at his own altar, trying to protect his son Polites from Pyrrhus Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles. Hecuba's infant grandson Astyanax was flung off the city walls to his death, while the mother of the child, Hecuba's daughter-in-law Andromache, was taken as a slave by Pyrrhus. Hecuba's daughter Cassandra was dragged from Athena's temple and raped (Cassandra would later be enslaved and become the concubine of Agamemnon).

As the conflict dragged on, by the end of the Trojan War Hecuba would sadly lose nearly all of the children she had been blessed with, leaving her with no family of her own. The deaths of her most prominent children are as follows:

  • Hector, the eldest son and crown prince, known for his nobility, courage and loyalty. He was deceived by Athena and then brutally murdered by the Greek hero Achilles, as the horrified king and queen were forced to watch from the city walls.
  • Troilus, Hecuba's son by Apollo. It was prophesied that if Troilus died before his 20th birthday, Troy would be doomed to destruction. Unfortunately, his beauty attracted Achilles, who attempted to rape Troilus. When the young man defended himself from the assault, Achilles had Troilus brutally ripped limb from limb, the very day before Troilus turned 20.
  • Paris, the son who started the war. After avenging the death of Troilus by killing Achilles, Paris himself was mortally wounded by one of the Greeks. He died before help could arrive.
  • Deiphobus, brother of Paris. After Paris's death, Helen was forced to remain in Troy both by the Trojans and the goddess Aphrodite. Against her will, she was married off to Deiphobus. However, on the night the Greeks invaded the city, in retaliation Helen lured Deiphobus to his death by the Greek soldiers.
  • Creusa, the wife of Aeneas and mother of Ascanius (the mythological ancestor of the Julian dynasty of Rome). In attempting to escape the burning city with her husband, son and father-in-law, Creusa is crushed to death by a collapsing building.
  • Polydorus, the youngest child of Hecuba. In order to protect him as he was too young to fight, Hecuba sent Polydorus to his brother-in-law, King Polymestor of Thrace, away from Troy before the final sacking of the city. The boy was sent with gold and jewels as gifts, but the greedy Polymestor had Polydorus drowned in the sea and took the gifts for himself. Hecuba would later avenge the death of her child with permission from Agamemnon; luring Polymestor into a tent, Hecuba blinded him while the other Trojan women killed Polymestor's sons.
  • Laodike, daughter of Hecuba. When Troy was sacked, she prayed to the gods for deliverance from the danger. In response, she was swallowed up alive by the earth. One author, Pausanias, writes that she was actually enslaved, but let go unharmed because she had been married to one of the Greeks.
  • Polyxena, a maiden priestess. Despite her being a witness to Troilus's death, Achilles was favorably impressed by Polyxena and spared her life. She was later captured along with her mother and the other Trojan women, but the ghost of Achilles demanded Polyxena be sacrificed, both to grant the Greeks favorable winds for the journey home and to spare Polyxena the fate of a slave. Polyxena was reputed to be glad to die, despite her mother's anguish.

By the next morning, after the war, the Trojan queen and any remaining women were captured and taken as sex-slaves for the Achaeans; Hecuba herself was made a slave of Odysseus. One of her remaining sons, Helenus, was also enslaved, despite his cooperation with the Hellenes. The Trojan captives were then taken back to Greece as spoils of war.


"My children are avenged. Have I not cause for joy?"

"Oh, dreadful crime! Not one child left..."

"How did they die? Was any mercy shown to them?"

"Accursed monster! You hacked my childrens' limbs with your ruthless sword!"

"I was driven mad with sorrow. They say I barked like a dog. Ha! Ha! Ha!"

"Agamemnon, help me to punish this godless host!"

"In this tent are a host of Trojan women. They have promised me their aid!"

"I was once Queen, and now... I am a childless slave!"

"Polymestor, you'll never see the light of your children's faces again."

"I have been robbed of my children, my husband, my city..."

"It's safe to enter the tent, Polymestor. There are no men about."

"Strike, Trojan women! Pluck out his eyes!"

*Grabbed by Dante* "Have you come to fetch me to my doom?" (Variation 1)

*Grabbed by Dante* "Have you lost all sense of pity?" (Variation 1)

*Grabbed by Dante* "Would you not do the same for your family?" (Variation 2)

*Grabbed by Dante* "Let me rest with my children..." (Variation 2)

"No, please! I lost my chil-" *Slain by Dante*

*Absolved by Dante* "The temple of Heaven. Glorious..."


  • In Greek mythology, when Troy is finally captured, Hecuba is taken as a slave along with several other Trojan women. However, Hecuba frees herself and cursed the Greeks before throwing herself off a cliff. In other versions of the story, she goes insane with grief and begins acting like a ravenous, angry dog. This could explain her connection to the Circle of Anger.
Condemned Souls
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