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In Greek mythology, Philoctetes was the son of King Peoas of Meliboea in Thessaly.

Philoctetes was Heracles' friend and, because he lit Heracles' funeral pyre (or Iolaus did) when no one else would, he received Heracles' bow and arrows.

He sailed with seven ships full of men to the Trojan War, where he was planning on fighting for the Greeks. They stopped on Chryse for supplies and Philoctetes was bitten by a snake. The wound festered and smelled horrible; Odysseus advised and the Atreidae ordered Philoctetes to stay on Lemnos. Medon took control Philoctetes' men. He was there on Lemnos, alone, for ten years.

Later though Helenus, son of King Priam of Troy, was tortured until he revealed that one of the conditions of the Greeks winning the Trojan War was that they had the bow and arrows of Heracles. Odysseus and Neoptolemus retrieved Philoctetes from Lemnos. Philoctetes' wound was healed by Machaon or Asclepius. Philoctetes then killed Paris.

After the war, he went to Italy and founded Brutti.

The legend of Philoctetes was, in part, the inspiration for Robert Silverberg's science fiction novel The Man in the Maze. Alternative: Philocthetes