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mythlec7-8 - Greek and Roman Mythology Lecture 7 1 House of...

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Greek and Roman Mythology Lecture 7 1) House of Atreus : afflicted with curse that brought generation after generation of evil ― father of Atreus was Pelops: Pelops son of Tantalus, who lived in eternal torment in Hades for his crimes, among which he was supposed to have served Pelops to the gods 2) Pelops ― came to Greece from Asia Minor as a suitor for the hand of Hippodamia, daughter of Oenomaus, king of Pisa in Elis ― Oenomaus would race suitors in chariots from Elis to Isthmus of Corinth ― if he won, he would kill suitor ― thirteen suitors failed before Pelops ― Pindar ( Olympian 1) makes Pelops pray to Poseidon for aid ― Poseidon gives him golden chariot and winged horses with which he defeats Oenomaus ― better-known story seen has Pelops bribe Oenomaus' charioteer, Myrtilus, to loosen linchpins, so killing Oenomaus ― Pelops wins, and drives off with Hippodamia ― scene pictured on pediment of Olympia temple to Zeus ― as he died, Oenomaus cursed Myrtilus, that he might die at the hands of Pelops ― Pelops had promised half-kingdom and night with bride to Myrtilus as payment for treachery — Myrtilus wants his turn with Hippodamia, attempts an assault — Pelops throws him off a cliff, and Myrtilus curses him and his descendants — Pelops drives as far as Ocean, is purified by Hephaestus of the blood-guilt — Pelops returns to Elis, and rules it and surrounding area — called Peloponnese (The Island of Pelops) 3) Thyestes and Atreus — sons of Pelops, quarreled over Mycenae — oracle had promises it to a son of Pelops — possessor of golden-fleeced ram should become king — Euripides ( Electra ) has Pan bring fleece to Atreus — Thyestes seduces Atreus' wife, and takes fleece – comes to assembly-place and announces that he is king – Atreus sent into exile — Atreus eventually returns and exiles Thyestes – invites latter back — promises amnesty and half the kingdom — sets up banquet, at which he serves Thyestes' own children — Thyestes leaves again, cursing Atreus 4) Agamemnon and Aegisthus — sons of Atreus and Thyestes — Aegisthus result of incest between Thyestes and daughter Pelopia (supposedly at behest of oracle) — continues vendetta by having adulterous affair with wife of Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, while Agamemnon off at Troy — Clytemnestra eager for vengeance because Agamemnon had sacrificed daughter Iphigeneia at Aulis before leaving for Troy in order to obtain favorable winds — on return of Agamemnon with Cassandra, Clytemnestra and Aegisthus kill both — either at banquet ( Odyssey 11) or in bath (Aeschylus) — in the Agamemnon , Cassandra has seen her fate (and that of Agamemnon) but is powerless to do anything about it
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Greek and Roman Mythology : Lectures 7-8 5) Orestes — son of Agamemnon, sets out to avenge father's death by killing mother — according to Aeschylus, he was exiled to Phocis while Aegisthus ruled with Clytemnestra — returns and kills both with encouragement of sister Electra —
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