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AGAMEMNON, a Homeric hero, son of Atreus, and Aerope, grandson of Pelops, great-grandson of Tantalus and brother of Menelaus. After the murder of Atreus (q.v.), Agamem non and Menelaus took refuge with Tyndareus, king of Sparta, whose daughters, Clytaemnestra and Helen, they respectively married. By Clytaemnestra, Agamemnon had three daughters, Iphigeneia (Iphianassa), Electra (Laodice), Chrysothemis, and a son, Orestes. Menelaus succeeded Tyndareus, and Agamemnon, with his brother's assistance, drove out Aegisthus and Thyestes, and recovered his father's kingdom. He extended his dominion by conquest, and became the most powerful prince in Greece. When Paris (Alexander), son of Priam, had carried off his brother's wife, he went round to the princes of the country and called upon them to unite in a war of revenge against the jans. He himself furnished 1 oo ships, and was chosen mander-in-chief of the combined forces. The fleet, numbering 1,200 ships, assembled at the port of Aulis in Boeotia, but was prevented from sailing by calms or contrary winds. chas announced that the wrath of Artemis could only be peased by the sacrifice of geneia (q.v.) . The fleet then set sail.

Little is heard of Agamemnon until his quarrel with Achilles (q.v.). After the capture of Troy, Cassandra, the daughter of Priam, fell to his lot in the distribution of the prizes of war. On his return, after a stormy voyage, he landed in Argolis. Aegisthus, who in the interval had seduced his wife Clytaemnestra, treacher ously slew him with her help, Cassandra also perishing. The murder of Agamemnon was avenged by his son Orestes (q.v.). Agamemnon is quite possibly a more or less historical character, overlord of the Mycenaean or Achaean States of the Greek main land. In Hellenistic times, at Sparta, he was worshipped under the title of Zeus Agamemnon. His tomb was pointed out among the ruins of Mycenae and at Amyclae.


See articles in Pauly-Wissowa's Realencyklopadie, Bibliography. See articles in Pauly-Wissowa's Realencyklopadie, and Roscher's Lexikon der Mythologie; L. R. Farnell, Greek Hero Cults, p. 321.

qv, menelaus and clytaemnestra