As seen in The Penthesileiad
Prince of PhylacePodarces was a prince of Phylace who fought for the Achaeans against Troy. Podarces and his brother, Protesilaus, were both suitors to Helen, and thus bound by oaths to defend the marriage vows between Helen and her eventual husband, Menalaus. When Helen eloped with Paris to Troy, these two sons of Iphiclus and Diomedeia took their kingdom's army to war. Protesilaus was the first casualty of the war, a kill attributed to Hector, leaving Pocarces in sole command of their kingdom's forces.
FamilyPodarces is the son of King Iphiclus and Queen Diomedeia of Phylace. Podarces became Crown Prince and leader of the Phylacian forces in Troy upon the death of his brother, Protesilaus, whom he idolized.
PersonalityHardened by his brother's loss, Podarces developed a nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic. He has not allowed himself to fully process his brother's loss although, as the war's first casualty, Protesilaus has a place of honor among the Achaean troops, who provide Podarces with continuing reminders of the incident.
Fighting StyleIn battle, Podarces takes his brother's example and leads from the front, insisting on being the first of his force to face the enemy. His battlecry is "Into the waves!"
Military RolePodarces reports to Agamemnon and is bound to service by the Oath of Tyndareus. He is the commander of 40 ships and about 2,000 Phylacian troops. As a prince and an officer, Podarces has the luxury of being driven into battle by his charioteer, Menippus, who is also his lieutenant and favorite among the Phylacians. Other warriors under his command include broad-shouldered Molion, wise Persinous, stout Elissus, mighty Antitheus, manly Lernus, swift Hippalmus, far-throwing Haemonides, strong Elasippus, brave Laogonus. At least one non-Phylacian, troublesome Sinon, has been placed under his command in the hope that Podarces's discipline will have a positive effect.
In the Mythoversal PenthesileiadPodarces first appears in "The Life That's Been Erased" in The Penthesileiad , arriving with the rest of Agamemnon's embassy to Achilles at the tomb of Patroclus. Podarces makes his embassy appeal during "The Embassy at the Tomb" in The Penthesileiad , drawing comparisons between Achilles's sadness over the loss of his companion to Podarces's own loss of his elder brother.
In the Epic CycleIn Iliad II, in the Catalogue of Ships, Podarces is listed as the commander of 40 ships after the death of his elder brother. In Iliad XIII, Podarces fights to repel the Trojan attack alongside Medon, a brother to Ajax the Less, who was exiled from Locris to Phylace after killing a kinsman. Podarces appears in Book I of the Posthomerica of Quintus of Smyrna, a 4th-ish Century retelling of a story from the long-lost 8th Century BCE Aethiopis of Arctinus Milesius.
Podarces is killed in battle by Penthesileia. At the end of the battle, he is singled out for special honors and is buried apart from the other war dead.