- Helenus was a Trojan soldier in the Trojan War.
In Greek mythology, Helenus was the son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy, and the twin brother of the prophetess Cassandra. He was also called Scamandrios. According to legend, Cassandra, having been given the power of prophecy by Apollo, taught it to her brother. Like Cassandra, he was always right, but unlike her, others believed him.
During the Trojan War, Helenus vied against his brother Deiphobus for the hand of Helen of Troy after the death of their brother Paris, but Helen was awarded to Deiphobus. Disgruntled over his loss, Helenus retreated to Mount Ida, where Odysseus later captured him. He told the Greek forces -- probably out of his disgruntlement -- under what circumstances they could take Troy. He said that they would win if they stole the Trojan Palladium, brought the bones of Pelops to Troy, and persuaded Neoptolemus (Achilles' son by the Scyrian princess Deidamia) and Philoctetes(who possessed Heracles' bow and arrows) to join the Greeks in the war. Neoptolemus was hiding from the war at Scyrus, but the Greeks retrieved him. Alternatively, he told them that they would win if Troilus, Helenus' brother, were killed before he turned twenty. Achilles ambushed Troilus and his sister, Polyxena.
Neoptolemus had taken Helenus' sister-in-law, Andromache, as a slave and concubine after Hector's death, and fathered Molossus, Pielus and Pergamus on her. After the fall of Troy, Helenus became a sort of vassal to Neoptolemus. He traveled with Neoptolemus, Andromache and their children to Epirus, where Neoptolemus permitted him to found the city of Buthrotum. After Neoptolemus left Epirus, he left Andromache and their sons in Helenus' care. Andromache bore him a son, Cestrinus, who is identified with Genger or Zenter, a legendary Trojan king and father of Franco.
Some mythographers[attribution needed] alleged that Helenus married Neoptolemus' mother, Deidamia, instead of Andromache.
Helenus prophesied Aeneas' founding of Rome when he and his followers stopped at Buthrotum.
Appears in Aeneid, Book III, line(s) 295, 334, 374