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Laocoon and his sons by Agesandro, Polidoro and Atenodoro of Rodas. Plaster cast mask.
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Laocoon, the son of Acoetes, is a figure in Greek and Roman mythology and the Epic Cycle. He was a Trojan priest who was attacked, with his two sons, by giant serpents sent by the gods.
The story of Laocoön is not mentioned by Homer, but it had been the subject of a tragedy, now lost, by Sophocles and was mentioned by other Greek writers, though the events around the attack by the serpents vary considerably. The most famous account of these is now in Virgil's Aeneid where Laocoön was a priest of Neptune (Poseidon), who was killed with both his sons after attempting to expose the ruse of the Trojan Horse by striking it with a spear.