Poliporthis was the young son of Odysseus and Penelope. He was born while Odysseus was away, so his father saw him for the first time only on his return. What Odysseus had been engaged in, of course, was the war against the Trojans, and this had involved the sacking of a number of cities.

Poliporthis, thus, has a name that commemorates this, since it means 'sacker of cities', from polis, 'city' and porthesis, 'sacking' (from portheo, 'to destroy', 'ravage').