Friday 20 March 2015


In Greek mythology, Oenomaus, the king of Pisa. was described as the son of  Ares, the god of war, and the naiad Harpina (daughter of the river god Phliasian Asopus) or Sterope1 (one of the Pleiades). According to some versions, Sterope1 (one of the Pleiades) was described as Oenomaus wife. In other version, Evarete  (the daughter of Acrisius and Eurydice) or Eurythoe (daughter of Danaus) was described as Oenomaus wife. Oenomaus had two daughter Hippodamia and Alcippe, and two son Leucippus and Dysponteus

                                                 Oenomaus was bound to refuse any idea of giving his daughter,Hippodamia,  in marriage, either because he himself was in love with her, or because an oracle had predicted his death at the hands of his daughter's husband. Oenomaus pretended to be willing to give his daughter in marriage, and offered as a prize to the suitors the hand of his daughter, and each suitor had to take up Hippodamia  on his own chariot and flee as far as the Isthmus of Corinth. Then Oenomaus pursued him and if he overtook him he killed him; and only if the suitor were not overtaken, he was given Hippodamia as wife.

                                        Oenomaus, with the arms and horses that Ares gave him, slew many suitors, cutting off their heads and nailing them to his house. And he used to sacrifice to Zeus whenever he engaged in a chariot-race with one of the suitors. As he killed them, the suitors were laid disrespectfully in a common grave.
Hippodamia, Oenomaus and Pelops

          Pelops, son of King Tantalus of Lydia, came to ask for Hippodamia's hand in marriage, but when he saw the nailed heads of his predecessors, he regretted having come, for the king's horses were known to be swifter than the wind. Worried about losing, Pelops went to the seaside and invoked Poseidon, his former lover.Reminding Poseidon of their love, he asked Poseidon for help. Smiling, Poseidon caused a chariot drawn by winged horses to appear. Still unsure of himself, Pelops
 thought that this four-horse race was impossible to win by fair means, he sought the confidence of the Oenomaus's charioteer Myrtilus, to whom he promised half of the kingdom if he should help him to win the race.  According to some versions, when Pelops appeared, Hippodamia fell immediately in love with him, and that it was she who persuaded Myrtilus to help this suitor. In any case,  Myrtilus, son of Hermes, expected to rule over half of the kingdom.  In some versions, Myrtilus was himself in love with Hippodamia and agreed to help Pelops to win the race for the first night in bed with Hippodamia. The night before the race, while Myrtilus was putting Oenomaus's chariot together, he replaced the bronze linchpins attaching the wheels to the chariot axle with fake ones made of beeswax.

The race began, and went on for a long time. But just as Oenomaus was catching up to Pelops and readying to kill him, the wheels flew off and the chariot broke apart. Myrtilus survived, but Oenomaus was dragged to death by his horses. In some version, Oenomaus killed by Pelops. When Myrtilus tried to claim his reward and have sex with Hippodamia, Pelops killed Myrtilus by throwing him off a cliff into the sea. As Myrtilus died, he cursed Pelops. This curse would haunt future generations of Pelops' family, including Atreus, Thyestes, Agamemnon, Aegisthus, Menelaus, Orestes and Chrysippus.


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