Friday, 8 May 2015

Atreus

   In Greek mythology, Atreus was described as the son of Pelops and his wife, Hippodamia1.  
Atreus

                      Atreus and his brother Thyestes murdered Chrysippus (son of Pelops and the nymph Axioche), who was their half-brother.They had been sent by their mother, Hippodamia, who feared Chrysippus would inherit Pelops's throne instead of her sons. Atreus and Thyestes, together with their mother, were banished by Pelops and took refuge in Mycenae. There Hippodamia hung herself.
                                       In some version, Alcathous,Atreus and Thyestes murdered Chrysippus. After the crime the three brothers fled, Alcathous went to Megara, and Atreus and Thyestes stopped at Mycenae.
                                       In any case, Atreus became king of Mycenae. Atreus vowed to sacrifice his best lamb to goddess Artemis. Upon searching his flock, however, Atreus discovered a golden lamb which he gave to his wife, Aerope, to hide from the goddess. Atreus and Aerope had had two sons, Agamemnon and Menelaus, and a daughter Anaxibia. Aerope had an extramarital affair with her husband brother,Thyestes, gave golden lamb to Thyestes. 
                   Thyestes then convinced Atreus to agree that whoever had the lamb should be king. Thyestes produced the lamb and claimed the throne. Atreus retook the throne using advice he received from Hermes. Thyestes agreed to give the kingdom back when the sun moved backwards in the sky, a feat that Zeus accomplished. Atreus retook the throne and banished Thyestes.
 Atreus then learned of Thyestes' and Aerope's adultery and plotted revenge. He killed Thyestes' sons and cooked them, save their hands and feet. He tricked Thyestes into eating the flesh of his own sons and then taunted him with their hands and feet. Thyestes was forced into exile for eating the flesh of a human. 

 Then Thyestes visited the Oracle of Delphi, asking how he could have vengeance on his brother, and the Oracle answered that he should have a son by his daughter, Pelopia, who would then kill Atreus. Pelopia, at the time was staying in Sicyon at the court of king Thesprotus,  came to the bank of a river to wash her clothes that had been stained with blood during a sacrificial rite, Thyestes, covering his face, attacked and raped her. She managed to pull out his sword and kept it so she could recognize her offender.
Atreus and Pelopia.....

                 Soon after that, Atreus came to Sicyon in search of his brother, Atreus thought that Pelopia was daughter of king Thesprotus. Atreus married Pelopia, and she afterward bore Aegisthus. Atreus believed this child to be his own, but Aegisthus was in fact the son of Thyestes.
                                In other version, when Aegisthus was  born, he was abandoned by his mother. He was suckled by a she-goat and survived. A shepherd found the infant Aegisthus and gave him to Atreus, who raised him as his own son.
                      Later, Thyestes was captured by Agamemnon and Menelaus at Delphi and brought to Atreus, who sent Aegisthus to kill him. Aegisthus happened to be carrying the sword that once belonged to Thyestes and was later given to him by Pelopia. Thyestes recognized the sword and asked Aegisthus about it. Aegisthus called for Pelopia, who told him how the weapon had got to her. Upon recognizing Thyestes and the fact that he was the rapist, Pelopia stabbed herself with her father's sword.  While Atreus was sacrificing on the shore, Aegisthus slew him and restored his father to the throne, forcing Agamemnon and Menelaus to go into exile to the court of King Polyphides of Sicyon. But the Atrides returned after some years, Agamemnon reigning in Mycenae and Menelaus in Sparta, and Atreus was buried in Mycenae, along with the treasures that he and his children stored in underground chambers.


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