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==The historicity of the Ethiopian Hero==
Like many mythical heroes, the character of Memnon may have been based on a historical hero. This is a phenomenon that has occurred many times in the past and across all cultures. Some academics believe that the Ethiopian hero was based on a Pharaoh. It is possible that the fabled hero was inspired by one of the Nubian monarchs who conquered Egypt <ref> Griffith, R. D. The origin of Memnon. Classical Antiquity, 17(2) (1998). 212-234</ref>. They established the Kushite dynasty and ruled a vast empire that included much of modern Egypt, North and South Sudan (744–656 BC). Some academics argue that the figure of Memnon is based on the great Egyptian king Amenhotep III (1381-1355 BC), often known as the Magnificent, because of his achievements. This was the view of the Egyptian historian Manetho. However some believe that the hero was based on the
might ruler Seti I (1294-1279 BC)<ref> Griffith, R. Drew. "The origin of Memnon." Classical Antiquity 17, no. 2 (1998): 212-234</ref>Memnon's death is related at length in the lost epic Aethiopis, composed after The Iliad circa the 7th century B.C. When the Romans, under Augustus, added Egypt to their Empire, they believed that the statues of Amenhotep, were actually representations of Memnon. One of the statues was the famous Colossi of Memnon. This supposedly made sounds when it was struck by the first light of the rising sun and was one of the wonders of the Classical World<ref> Bowersock, Glen Warren. "The miracle of Memnon." The Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 21, no. 1/4 (1984): 21-32</ref>. Another possibility is that the character was based on an unknown African king, whose name has not been recorded by history, but the Greeks were made aware of his achievements by tales, spread by merchants and travelers.
[[File:Memnon two.jpg|200px|thumb|left| Memnon fighting Achilles]]
==Origin of Memnon==
Memnon was the son of Tithonus, a prince of Troy, and his father was King Laomedon. Troy was a large city and capital of a powerful kingdom in what is today modern Turkey. His mother was the goddess Eos, who was a daughter of the Titan Hyperion <ref> Hesiod, Theogony 984</ref>. Eos was the goddess of the Dawn and she fell in love with Tithonus. She had been cursed by Aphrodite, with an insatiable sexual desire, and easily fell in love. Eos took Tithonus with her to an area east of Ethiopia. This should not be confused with the modern Republic of that name. Ethiopia in Classical Geography was a name given to the vast tract of lands south of Egypt. Eos gave birth to Memnon and later his brother Emathion. However, Eos, because of Aphrodite's curse had many other lovers and as a result, Memnon had many half-siblings including Phaeton. There are several sources that reference the African hero. Tragically, there are only fragments of an epic poem, the Aethiopis, that was written in the 7th or 6th century BC, which based on his life and death, which have survived. If this poem had survived the story of Memnon would be better known and he would be as famous as his great rival Achilles.