In Greek mythology
, a son of Aesimus (son of Autolycus
), or of the crafty Sisyphus
, was a Greek warrior during the Trojan War
. He pretended to have deserted the Greeks and, as a Trojan captive, told the Trojans that the giant wooden horse the Greeks had left behind was intended as a gift to the gods to ensure their safe voyage home. He told them that the horse was made so big that the Trojans would not be able to move it into their city, because if they did they would be invincible to later Achean (Greek) invasion. His story convinced the Trojans because it included the former details as well as an explanation that he was left behind to die by the doing of Odysseus who was his enemy. The Trojans brought the Trojan Horse
into their city against the advice of Cassandra
(given the gift of prophecy by Apollo, but condemned to never be believed for not returning his love) and Laocoön
(because two serpents came out of the water and strangled him and his sons, which the trojans saw as a punishment for attacking the horse with a spear). Inside the giant wooden horse were Greek soldiers, who, as night fell, disembarked from the horse and opened the gates of Troy, thus sealing the fate of Troy. See Virgil
This scene is not in the Iliad but the Odyssey and the Aeneid, and in the Aeneid is central to the perspective Virgil builds (in support of the actual Roman sentiment) of the Greeks as cunning, deceitful, and treacherous.
In the Divine Comedy Dante sees Sinon in the eighth circle of Hell where, along with other perjurers, he is condemned to suffer a burning fever for all eternity. William Shakespeare referred to Sinon on several occasions in his work, using him as a symbol of treachery.