Eos is said to have taken Tithonus, from the royal house of Troy, to be her lover.[iii]
The mytheme of the goddess' mortal lover is an archaic one; when a role for Zeus was inserted, a bitter twist appeared: according to the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, when Eos asked Zeus to make Tithonus immortal, she forgot to ask that he be granted eternal youth.[iv][v] Tithonus indeed lived forever,
but when loathsome old age pressed full upon him, and he could not move nor lift his limbs, this seemed to her in her heart the best counsel: she laid him in a room and put to the shining doors. There he babbles endlessly, and no more has strength at all, such as once he had in his supple limbs.
In later tellings, he eventually became a cricket, eternally living, but begging for death to overcome him.[vi] In the Olympian system, the "queenly" and "golden-throned" Eos can no longer grant immortality to her lover as Selene had done, but must ask it of Zeus, as a boon.
Eos bore Tithonus two sons, Memnon and Emathion. In the Epic Cycle that revolved around the Trojan War Memnon, wearing armor made by Hephaestus, came to help the Trojans. A battle took place in which Memnon killed Antilochus and Achilles killed Memnon, but the God Zeus granted Memnon immortality at the request of Memnon's mother Eos (Dawn), while Achilles was killed by the god Apollo and Paris when he rushed towards the gates of Troy. According to the historian Diodorus Siculus, Tithonus, who had travelled east from Troy into Assyria and founded Susa, was bribed with a golden grapevine to send his son Memnon to fight at Troy.
Memnon is called "son of Dawn" by Hesiod. According to Quintus Smyrnaeus, Memnon came not from the east, but was raised by the Hesperides on the coast of Oceanus. This would make Memnon king of the west and son of the east, as his father Tithonus was a Trojan by birth; from the western Ocean Troy lies towards the dawn (the east), the true homeland of Memnon's father. His mother Eos was also the mother of the west wind Zephyrus, which according to Homer blows from the ocean to give cool air to humanity. The goddess Dawn and her father Hyperion (god of the sun) travel from the east to the west to bring light to the whole earth. Another poem mentioning Tithonus was written by the Greek lyric poet Sappho.[vii]
Eos (as Thesan) and Tithonus (as Tinthu or Tinthun) provided a pictorial motif inscribed or cast in low relief on the backs of Etruscan bronze hand-mirrors.[viii]