In Greek mythology, Pelops, the king of Pisa in the Peloponnesus, was described as the son of Tantalus and Dione2 or Eurynassa. Pelops's father, Tantalus, offended the gods by killing Pelops and serving him to them, in order to test their power of observation. The gods became aware of the menu, so they did not touch the offering; only Demeter, distraught by the loss of her daughter, Persephone (Abduction of Persephone), absentmindedly ate part of the Pelops's shoulder. Clotho, one of the three Fates, ordered by Zeus, brought the boy to life again, rebuilding his shoulder with one wrought of ivory made by Hephaestus and presented by Demeter. The revived Pelops grew to be an extraordinarily handsome youth.
|Poseidon and Pelops
The Pelops then became the lover of Poseidon (sea god ), who took him to Mount Olympus to teach him to use chariots. Later, Zeus threw Pelops out of Olympus due to his anger at Tantalus. Having grown to manhood, Pelops wanted to marry Hippodamia. King Oenomaus, her father, fearful of a prophecy that claimed he would be killed by his son-in-law or had an incestuous love for his daughter, had killed thirteen or eighteen suitors of Hippodamia after defeating them in a chariot race and affixed their heads to the wooden columns of his palace.Pelops came to ask for Hippodamia's hand and prepared to race Oenomaus.
|Pelops asking Poseidon for help
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. In an episode that was added to the simple heroic chariot race, Pelops, still unsure of himself or Hippodamia, convinced Oenomaus' charioteer, Myrtilus, a son of Hermes, to help him win. Myrtilus was convinced by Pelops or Hippodamia promising him half of Oenomaus' kingdom and the first night in bed with Hippodamia. The night before the race, while Myrtilus was putting Oenomaus' 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.
|Pelops and Hippodamia after winning race
When Myrtilus came seeking his reward or When Myrtilus attempted to rape Hippodamia, Pelops killed Myrtilus (by throwing him off a cliff into the sea). As Myrtilus died, he cursed Pelops. This was the source of the curse that haunted future generation of Hippodamia's and Pelops' children.