The New Student's Reference Work/Laöcoön

Laöcoön (lắ-ŏk′ṓ-ŏn), according to classic story a priest of Apollo, afterward of Poseidon, in Troy, married against the will of Apollo and warned the Trojans against the admission of the wooden horse. For these reasons he and his two sons were killed by two serpents that rose from the sea. The subject was made the theme of many Greek poems, and was treated by Vergil in his Æneid. One of the most famous ancient sculptures in existence represents the group. It was discovered at Rome in 1506, and was purchased by Pope Julius II. Afterward it was carried off by Napoleon in 1796, but was recovered in 1814. See Lessing's Laöcoön.