Monday, 11 May 2015


                     In Greek mythology, Thyestes was described as the son of  Pelops and his wife, Hippodamia1, and and father of Pelopia and Aegisthus.
                                      Thyestes and his brother, Atreus, were exiled by their father (Pelops for having murdered their half-brother, Chrysippus, in their desire for the throne of Olympia. They took refuge in Mycenae, where they ascended the throne upon the absence of King Eurystheus, who was fighting the Heracleidae. Eurystheus had meant for their lordship to be temporary, and it became permanent because of his death in conflict.
                                               Atreus, Thyestes' brother became the king of Mycenae, 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. But Atreus' wife, Aerope, had secret love affair with Thyestes, gave golden lamp to Thyestes. 
                                    Thyestes, then convinced Atreus to agree that whoever had the lamb should be king. Thyestes produced the lamb and claimed the throne.
                             But Zeus sent Hermes to instruct Atreus to make a new agreement with Thyestes by which Atreus should be king if the sun should go backwards. And when Thyestes  agreed to this impossibility, the sun set in the east, as nothing was impossible for Zeus, the king of gods.
                 Atreus again became the king, but Atreus couldn't let it go at that. He was still very angry at his wife and Thyestes. So he pretended to be friendly and invited Thyestes to come over for a special dinner according to family tradition,  (one resembling the dinner that his grandfather Tantalus had once offered to the gods).  Atreus  slaughtered two or three of Thyestes's sons, and cutting them limb from limb, boiled them and served them up to Thyestes, except the extremities, which he showed to Thyestes, once the latter had eaten what he thought to be a delicious meal. Thyestes was forced into exile for eating the flesh of a human. 

                                                                               Thyestes  visited the Oracle of Delphi, asking how he could have vengeance on his brother, and the Oracle answered that he must lie with his daughter Pelopia  and beget a son who would avenge him. Later, when Thyestes  came to Sicyon, he found that they were sacrificing to goddess Athena by night, and fearing to profane the rites, he hid in a grove. Pelopia, who happened to lead the dancing groups during the sacrifice, slipped and stained her clothes with the blood of the slain victim, and when she went to a nearby stream to wash off the blood, she was raped by her own father who suddenly came out of the grove. But while he stole her virginity, she stole his sword.
                                                              Soon after that, Atreus came to Sicyon in search of his brother, met Pelopia in the court, and believing that she was Thesprotus's daughter, asked the king that she be given to him in marriage. The king granted Atreus' wish, 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.
                                                     After many years, Thyestes was captured by Agamemnon and Menelaus at Delphi and brought to Atreus, who ordered Aegisthus to kill him.   Aegisthus came to the prison to carry out Atreus' order, but he appeared in front of the prisoner wearing the sword that Thyestes had lost when he ravished his own daughter Pelopia. When Thyestes asked him where he had got it, Aegisthus replied that his mother Pelopia had given it to him. They then summoned Pelopia, who declared that she had stolen it from the unknown man who had raped her by night, the same who was Aegisthus' father. This is how father and son learned who they were, but Pelopia, realising who the father of her son was, snatched the sword and plunged it in her breast. Aegisthus then killed Atreus and restored the kingdom to Thyestes.
                             While Thyestes ruled Mycenae, the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon and Menelaus, were exiled to Sparta. There, King Tyndareus accepted them as the royalty that they were. Shortly after, he helped the brothers return to Mycenae to overthrow Thyestes, forcing him to live in Cytheria. As a token of good will and allegiance, King Tyndareus offered his daughters to Agamemnon and Menelaus as wives, Clytemnestra and Helen respectively.


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