Wednesday 13 May 2015


   In Greek mythology, Aegisthus was described as the son of Thyestes and his daughter. Pelopia

                                 Thyestes had been fighting with his brother, Atreus, for the throne of Mycenae for some time, as well as having an affair with Atreus' wife, Aerope. Atreus then learned of Thyestes' and Aerope's adultery and plotted revenge. He killed Thyestes' sons and cooked them, save their hands and heads. He served Thyestes his own sons and then taunted him with their hands and heads.  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. Thyestes raped Pelopia after she performed a sacrifice, hiding his identity from her.But while  Thyestes stole her virginity, Pelopia 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. 
                            According to other version, when Aegisthus was born, his mother abandoned him, ashamed of his origin, and he was raised by shepherds and suckled by a goat, hence his name Aegisthus.  Atreus, not knowing the baby's origin, took Aegisthus in and 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.
                                               During this period Agamemnon and his brother, Menelaus, took refuge with Tyndareus, King of Sparta. There they respectively married Tyndareus' daughters Clytemnestra and Helen. Agamemnon and Clytemnestra had four children: one son, Orestes, and three daughters, Iphigenia, Electra3 and Chrysothemis. Menelaus succeeded Tyndareus in Sparta, while Agamemnon, with his brother's assistance, drove out Aegisthus and Thyestes to recover his father's kingdom. He extended his dominion by conquest and became the most powerful prince in Greece.

                               Later, when Trojan War began, Agamemnon left Mycenae for the Trojan War, Aegisthus returned to Mycenae. Agamemnon had left Clytemnestra with a minstrel (singer), to guard his wife during his absence. As long as the minstrel (singer) was present, Clytemnestra resisted Aegisthus. Aegisthus tricked minstrel (singer), took him to a deserted island, and leave him to be the prey of birds. Aegisthus seduced Clytaemnestra and made her his mistress. When Agamemnon return from Trojan war, after the ten-years, Clytemnestra and Aegisthus murdered Agamemnon. 
Cassandra and Aegisthus plotting to kill Agamemnon

                 According to some versions, Clytemnestra is driven to murder Agamemnon partly to avenge the death of her daughter Iphigeneia, whom Agamemnon had sacrificed for the sake of success in the war, partly because of her adulterous love for Aegisthus and partly as an agent for the curse on Agamemnon’s family, the House of Atreus. 
                                           Aegisthus and Clytaemnestra, also killed his prisoner and concubine Cassandra. In some versions, Cassandra's sons by Agamemnon, the babes Teledamus  and Pelops , were killed by Aegisthus.     After the murders, Aegisthus replaced Agamemnon as king and ruled for seven years with Clytemnestra as his queen. Aegisthus and Clytemnestra had three children: a son Aletes, and daughters Erigone1 and Helen2According to some version,  when Aegisthus was drunk, he used to jump on Agamemnon's grave, shouting insults against the dead king and his children.
                          After seven years of reign, Agamemnon's son Orestes, following the instructions he received in the Oracle at Delphi, returned to Mycenae, with the help of his sister Electra3 and his friend Pylades, avenged his father by killing both Aegisthus and his own mother. In some versions,  the royal guard, had recognized the son of Agamemnon, did not intervene but instead applauded the usurper's murderer.
Orestes slaying Aegisthus and Clytemnestra

                                          In some versions, when Aegisthus was trapped, Orestes led him to the place in the palace where Aegisthus had murdered Agamemnon, killing him on that same spot.   



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