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ERIPHYLE 100.00%
In Greek mythology, sister of Adrastus and wife of Amphiaraus. (See ADRASTUS.) Bribed with a necklace by Polynices, she prevailed on her husband to take part in the war of the Seven Chiefs against Thebes, in which he met his death. (See AMPHIARAUS.) In revenge for this she was slain by her son Alcmaeon. (See ALCMAeON.)
of Argos, the son of Oicles and Hypermnestra, great-grandson of the seer, Melampus. In Homer he is a favourite of Zeus and Apollo, alike distinguished as a seer and a hero, who takes part in the Calydonian boar-hunt, in the voyage of the Argonauts, and the expedition of the Seven against Thebes. Reconciled to Adrastus after a quarrel, and wedded to his sister Eriphyle, he agrees that any future differences between them shall be settled by her. She, bribed by Polyneices with the fatal necklace of his ancestress Harmonia, insists on her husband joining the war against Thebes, though he foresees that it will end fatally for him, and in departing charges his youthful sons Alcmaeon and Amphilochus (q.v.) to avenge his coming death. His wise warnings are unheeded by the other princes; his justice and prudence even bring him into open strife with the savage Tydeus; yet in the fatal closing contest he loyally avenges his death on the Theban Melanippus. In the flight, just as the spear of Periclymenus is descending on him, Zeus interposed to save the pious prophet and make him immortal by cleaving the earth open with his thunderbolt, and bidding it swallow up Amphiaraus, together with his trusty charioteer Baton, like himself a descendant of Melampus. From that time forth Amphiaraus was worshipped in various places as an oracular god, especially at Oropus on the frontier of Attica and Boeotia, where he had a temple and a famous oracle for the interpretation of dreams, and where games were celebrated in honour of him.
OICLES 86.62%
Son of Antiphates, grandson of Melampus, father of Amphiaraus. He fell as a companion of Heracles in the battle against Laomedon of Troy.
A Theban, who mortally wounded Tydeus in the fight of the Seven against Thebes, and was himself slain by Amphiaraus. (Cp. TYDEUS.)
A Theban, son of Poseidon and Chloris, daughter of the seer Tiresias. In the war of the Seven against Thebes he slew Parthenopaeus, and was in pursuit of Amphiaraus at the moment when the latter sank into the earth.
MOPSUS 54.46%
Son of the Cretan seer Rhacius and of Manto (q.v.), and founder, with Amphilochus, son of Amphiaraus, of the celebrated oracle (q.v.) at Mallus in Cilicia. Mopsus and Amphilochus killed each other in a combat for the possession of the sanctuary.
A surname given to Opheltes, the infant son of Lycurgus king of Nemea, who was killed by a snake during the march of the Seven against Thebes (q.v.). It was given him by the seer Amphiaraus, who foresaw the destruction awaiting himself and his confederates; and by it the child was invoked at the Nemean Games originally founded in memory of him.
Son of king Lycurgus of Nemea. He was killed by a serpent at the time of the expedition of the Seven against Thebes (q.v.), owing to the negligence of his nurse Hypsipyle (q.v.), who laid the boy on the grass while she showed the thirsty heroes the way to a spring of water. It was in his memory that the Nemean games were originally celebrated, and he was worshipped there under the name Archemorus (q.v.), given him by the seer Amphiaraus.
Son of Amphiaraus and Eriphyle, Alcmaeon's brother. He was a seer, and according to some took part in the war of the Epigoni and the murder of his mother. He was said to have founded the Amphilochian Argos (near Neokhori) in Acarnania. Later legend represents him as taking part in the Trojan War, and on the fall of Troy going to Cilicia with Mopsus (q.v.), and there founding a famous oracle at Mallus. At last the two killed each other while fighting for the possession of it.
Grandson of Bias, son of Talaus and Lysimache. In a quarrel between the three houses reigning in Argos, the Biantidae, Melampodidae, and Proetidae, he is driven out by Amphiaraus, who also killed his father, flees to his mother's father, king Polybus of Sicyon, and inherits his kingdom. But, reconciled to Amphiaraus, to whom he gives his sister Eriphyle, he returns and rules over Argos. During one stormy night a great scuffle is heard outside the palace: two fugitives, Polyneices son of OEdipus of Thebes, and Tydeus son of OEneus of Calydon (one wrapped in a lion's hide, the other in a boar-skin), have sought refuge in the front-court, and are fighting for a night's lodging. Adrastus, coming forth, recognises the fulfilment of an oracle which had bidden him marry his daughters to a lion and a boar. He gives Argeia to Polyneices and Deipyle to Tydeus, promising to conduct those princes home and reinstate them in their rights. Thus began under his lead the far-famed and fatal expedition of the Seven against Thebes (q.v.). He alone escapes destruction by the help of his divine winged steed Areion. Ten years after, with the sons of the slain, the Epigoni (q.v.), and his own son Aegialeus, he again marches upon Thebes, takes and destroys the town, but loses his son, and dies of grief on his way home at Megara, where, as well as at Sicyon and Athens, he was worshipped as a hero.
EPIGONI 40.33%
The descendants of the seven princes who marched against Thebes: Aegialeus, son of Adrastus; Alcmaeon, son of Amphiaraus; Diomedes, son of Tydeus; Promachus, son of Parthenopaeus; Sthenelus, son of Capaneus; Thersander, son of Polynices; Euryalus, son of Mecisteus. To avenge the slain, they marched against Thebes, under the leadership of Adrastus, ten years after the first Theban war (see ADRASTUS). Unlike their ancestors, they started with the happiest auspices. The oracle of Amphiaraus at Thebes promises them victory, and a happy return to all, that is, except Aegialeus the son of Adrastus, the only warrior who escaped in the previous war. In the decisive battle at Glisas, Aegialeus falls by the hand of Laodamas, son of Eteocles, and leader of the Thebans. Laodamas is himself slain by Alemaeon. Part of the defeated Thebans, by the advice of Teiresias, fly before the city is taken, and settle in the territory of Hestiaeotis in Thessaly, or among the Illyrian Encheli, where the government is in the hands of descendants of Cadmus (see CADMUS). The victors having conquered and destroyed the city, send the best part of the booty, according to their vow, to the Delphic oracle. Thersander and his family are henceforth the rulers of Thebes.
Son of Polynices and Argeia, husband of Demonassa the daughter of Amphiaraus, and king of Thebes after the taking of that city by the Epigoni (q.v.). According to post-Homeric traditions he took part in the expedition against Troy, but was killed on first landing by Telephus. In Vergil ["Thessandrus," Aen. ii 261], on the other hand, he is one of the heroes of the wooden horse. His son and successor was Tisamenus. His grandson, Autesion, at the bidding of the oracle, went over to the Dorians who had settled in Lacedaemon ; and his greatgrandson Theras founded a colony in the island of Calliste, which from that time was called Thera. It was from him that Theron, the tyrant of Agrigentum in Sicily, traced his descent.
Son of Amythaon (see Ae0LUS, 1) and of Eidomene; brother of Bias, the oldest Greek seer, and ancestor of the family of seers called Melampodidae. The brothers went with their uncle Neleus froin Thessaly to Pylus in Messenia, where they dwelt in the country. Melampus owed his gift of soothsaying to some serpents, which he had saved from death and reared, and who in return cleansed his ears with their tongues when he slept; on awaking he understood the voices of birds and thus learnt what was secret. When Neleus would only give Bias his beautiful daughter Pero on condition that he first brought him the oxen of Iphiclus of Phylace in Thessaly, which were guarded by a watchful dog, Melampus offered to fetch the oxen for his brother, though he knew beforehand that he would be imprisoned for a year. He is caught in the act of stealing them, and kept in strict confinement. From the talk of the worms in the woodwork of the roof he gathers that the house will soon fall to pieces. He thereupon demands to be taken to another prison ; this is scarcely done, when the house breaks down. When, on account of this, Phylacus, father of Iphiclus, perceives his prophetic gifts, he promises him the oxen, if by his art he will find out some way of curing his son's childlessness. Melampus offers a bull to Zeus, cuts it in pieces, and invites the birds to the meal. From these he hears that a certain vulture, that had not come, knew how it could be effected. This vulture is made to appear, and relates, that the defect in Iphiclus was the result of a sudden fright at seeing a bloody knife, with which his father had been castrating some goats; he had dug the knife into a tree, which had grown round about it; if he took some of the rust scraped off it, for ten days, he would be cured. Melampus finds the knife, cures Iphiclus, obtains the oxen, and Bias receives Pero for his wife. Afterwards he went to Argos, because, according to Homer [Od. xv 225-240] Neleus had committed a serious offence against him in his absence, for which he had taken revenge; while, according to the usual account he had been asked by king Proetus to heal his daughter, stricken with madness for acting impiously towards Dionysus or Hera. He had stipulated that his reward should be a third of the kingdom for himself, another for Bias; besides which Iphianassa became his wife, and Lysippe that of Bias, both being daughters of Proetus. A descendant of his son Antiphates was Oicles, who was a companion of Heracles in the expedition against Troy, and was slain in battle by Laomedon; he again was ancestor of the seer and hero Amphiaraus. Descendants of his other son Mantius were Cleitus, whom Eos, the goddess of dawn, carried off on account of his beauty, and Polypheides, whom, after the death of Amphiaraus, Apollo made the best of seers. The son of Polypheides was the seer Theoclymenus, who, flying from Argos on account of committing a murder, met Telemachus at Pylus, was led by him to Ithaca, and announced to Penelope the presence in Ithaca of Odysseus, and to the suitors their approaching death. The seer Polyidus (q.v.) was also said to be a great-grandson of Melampus. At Argos Melampus was held to be the first priest of Dionysus, and originator of mysterious customs at festivals and at ceremonies of expiation.
OEdipus, king of Thebes, had pronounced a curse upon his sons Eteocles and Polynices, that they should die at one another's hand. In order to make the fulfilment of the curse impossible, by separating himself from his brother, Polynices left Thebes while his father was still alive, and at Argos married Argeia, the daughter of Adrastus (q.v.). On the death of his father he was recalled, and offered by Eteocles, who was the elder of the two, 1 the choice between the kingdom and the treasures of OEdipus; but, on account of a quarrel that arose over the division, he departed a second time and induced his father-in-law to undertake a war against his native city. According to another legend, the brothers deprived their father of the kingdom, and agreed to rule alternately, and to quit the city for a year at a time. Polynices, as the younger, first went into voluntary banishment; but when, after the expiration of a year, Eteocles denied him his right, and drove him out by violence, he fled to Argos, where Adrastus made him his son-in-law, and undertook to restore him with an armed force. Adrastus was the leader of the army; besides Polynices and Tydeus of Calydon, the other son-in-law of the king, there also took part in the expedition the king's brothers Hippomedon and Parthenopoeus (q.v.), Capaneus, a descendant of Proetus, and Amphiaraus (q.v.), the latter against his will, and foreseeing his own death. The Atridae were invited to join in the expedition, but were withheld by evil omens from Zeus. When the Seven reached Nemea on their march, a fresh warning befell them. Hypsipyle, the nurse of Opheltes, the son of king Lycurgus, laid her charge down on the grass in order to lead the thirsty warriors to a spring, during her absence the child was killed by a snake. They gave him solemn burial, and instituted the Nemean games in his honour; but Amphiaraus interpreted the occurrence as an omen of his own fate, and accordingly gave the boy the name of Archemoros (i.e. leader to death). When they arrived at the river Asopus in Boeotia, they sent Tydeus (q.v.) to Thebes, in the hope of coming to terms. He was refused a hearing, and the Thebans laid an ambush for him on his return. The Seven now advanced to the walls of the city, and posted themselves with their troops one at each of its seven gates. Against them were posted seven chosen Thebans (among them Melanippus and Periclymenus). Menoeceus (q.v.) devoted himself to death to insure the victory for the Thebans. In the battle at the sanctuary of the Ismenian Apollo they were driven right back to their gates; the giant Capaneus had already climbed the wall by a scaling ladder, and was presumptuously boasting that even the lightning of Zeus should not drive him back, when the flaming bolt of the god smote him down, and dashed him to atoms. The beautiful Parthenopaesus also fell, with his skull shattered by a rock that was hurled at him. Adrastus desisted from the assault, and the armies, which had suffered severely, agreed that the originators of the quarrel, Eteocles and Polynices, should fight out their difference in single combat. Both brothers fell, and a fresh battle arose over their bodies. In this, all of the assailants met their death, except Adrastus, who was saved by the speed of his black-maned charger. According to the older legends, his eloquence persuaded the Thebans to give the fallen due burial. When the bodies of the hostile brothers were placed on the pyre, the flames, which were meant to destroy them together, parted into two portions. According to the version of the story invented by the Attic tragedians, the Thebans refused to bury their foes, but at the prayer of Adrastus were compelled to do so by Theseus; according to another version, he conquered the Thebans and buried the dead bodies at Eleusis in Attica (AeEschylus, Septem contra Thelbas). For the burial of Polynices, see ANTIGONE; further see EPIGONI. 1 This is the common tradition, followed by Euripides (Phoem. 71). Sophocles, however, exceptionally makes Polynices the elder brother (Ed. Col. 375, 1294, 1422).
TYDEUS 22.16%
Son of CEneus of Calydon and Periboea; father of Diomedes. Being obliged to fly from his home, owing to the murder of his paternal uncle Melas, and of his sons, he took refuge with Adrastus (q.v.) at Argos, and married his daughter Deipyle. Though small of stature, he possessed a bold spirit and great strength, together with the special favour of Athene. As one of the Seven against Thebes, he was sent to Thebes before the commencement of hostilities in the hope of coming to terms with the Theban chiefs. He found them banqueting with their king Eteocles. On their refusal to listen to him, he called them out to combat, and defeated them one after the other. On his return, the Thebans, in revenge, laid an ambuscade, consisting of fifty youths, under two leaders; but with the help of Athene he slew them all, and only suffered one of the leaders, Maeon, son of Haemon, to escape. In the disastrous conflict under the walls of Thebes, he was fatally wounded by the Theban Melanippus, when Athene, with the permission of Zeus, appeared to grant him life and immortality. Then his old antagonist, Amphiaraus, laid before him the head of Melanippus, whom he had just slain; and Tydeus, in savage fury, cleft open his skull and sucked out the brain of his enemy. Outraged by this horrible deed, the goddess recoiled from his presence and delivered him over to death. The corpse was buried by Maeon out of gratitude for having been spared by Tydeus.
of Argos. Son of Amphiaraus (q.v.) and Eriphyle. As his father, in departing on the expedition of the Seven against Thebes, has bound him and his brother Amphilochus, then mere boys, to avenge him on their faithless mother, Alcmaeon refuses to take part in the second expedition, that of the Epigoni (q.v.), till he has first fulfilled that filial duty; nevertheless his mother, bribed by Thersander with the garment of Harmonia, persuades him to go. The real leader at the siege of Thebes, he slays the Theban king, Laodamas, and is the first to enter the conquered city. On returning home, he, at the bidding of the Delphian Apollo, avenges his father by slaying his mother, with, or according to some accounts, without, his brother's help; but immediately, like Orestes; he is set upon by the Erinyes, and wanders distracted, seeking purification and a new home. Phegeus, of the Arcadian Psophis, half purifies him of his guilt, and gives him his daughter Arsinoe or Alphesiboea to wife, to whom he presents the jewels of Harmonia, which he has brought from Argos. But soon the crops fail in the land, and he falls into his distemper again, till, after many wanderings, he arrives at the mouth of the Achelous, and there, in an island that has floated up, he finds the country promised by the god, which had not existed at the time of his dying mother's curse, and so he is completely cured. He marries Achelous' daughter, Callirrhoe, by whom he has two sons, Acarnan and Amphoterus. Unable to withstand his wife's entreaties that she may have Harmonia's necklace and robe, he goes to Phegeus in Arcadia, and begs those treasures of him, pretending that he will dedicate them at Delphi for the perfect healing of his madness. He obtains them; but Phegeus, on learning the truth, sets his sons to waylay him on his road, and rob him of his treasure and his life; and then Alcmaeon's two sons avenge their father's death on these murderers. Alcmaeon, like his father, received divine honours after death; he had a sanctuary at Thebes, and at Psophis a consecrated tomb.
Son of (Eneus of Calydon and of Althaea, husband of Cleopatra (see, IDAS), one of the most celebrated heroes of Greek legend. He took part in the enterprise of the Argonauts and brought about the celebrated chase of the Calydonian boar (see OENEUS), to which he invited the most renowned heroes of the time, Admetus, Amphiaraus, Jason, Idas, Lynceus, Castor and Pollux, Nestor, Theseus and Pirithous, Peleus, Telamon, and others. Many lost their lives, till at last Meleager slew the monster. However, Artemis thereupon stirred up furious strife between the Calydonians and the Curetes (who dwelt at Pleuron) about the head and skin of the boar, the prize of victory. The Calydonians were victorious, as long as Meleager fought at their head; but when he slew the brother of his mother, she uttered a terrible curse on him, and he retired sullenly from the fray. The Curetes immediately forced the Calydonians to retreat, and were already beginning to climb the walls of Calydon, when, at the height of their distress, he yielded to the prayers of his wife and again joined in the fight to ward of destruction from the city; but he did not return alive, for the Erinys had accomplished the curse of his mother. According to a later legend, the Moerae appeared to his mother on the seventh day after his birth, and announced to her that her son would have to die when a log of wood on the hearth was consumed by the flame; whereupon Althaea immediately snatched the log from the fire and concealed it in a chest. At the Calydonian Hunt Meleager fell in love with Atalante (q.v.), and gave her (who had inflicted the first wound) the prize, the skin of the animal which he had killed. He slew the brothers of his mother, the sons of Thestius, when they were lying in wait for the virgin to rob her of the boar's hide. Overcome by pain at the death of her brothers, Althaea sets fire to the log, and Meleager dies a sudden death. His mother and wife hang themselves; his sisters weep so bitterly for Meleager, that Artemis for pity changes them into gninea-hens, (Gr. meleagrides). Legends relate that even in the nether world Meleager retained his dauntless courage; for when Heracles descended to Hades, all the shades fled before him except Meleager and Medusa.
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