She was the daughter of King Dymas of Phrygia and the Naiad Euagora. Other alternatives are also given by various sources around who her parents were. Hecuba made a few appearances in the Homeric epic Iliad, which accounts the events of the Trojan War. Following her son Hector's advice, she offered a gown from Alexander's treasure to the goddess Athena, praying for help. She also tried to stop Hector from duelling with Achilles; her pleads were not heard, though, and Hector met his doom during that fight.
In another text, she was mentioned as being the mother of Troilus, after consorting with the god Apollo. A prophecy said that if Troilus would become twenty years old, then Troy would not fall; however, he was slain by Achilles, thus dooming the fate of the city as well.