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date: 30 November 2022

Alcmaeon(1)locked

, Greek mythical hero, son of Amphiarus and Eriphyle

Alcmaeon(1)locked

, Greek mythical hero, son of Amphiarus and Eriphyle
  • Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood

Extract

Alcmaeon (1), the son of *Amphiaraus and Eriphyle, who killed his mother in revenge for his father's death. Bribed by Polynices with the necklace of Harmonia, Eriphyle gave a judgement in favour of *Adrastus against her husband when adjudicating between them as to whether Amphiaraus should join the expedition of the *Seven against Thebes despite his prophetic knowledge that all the participants except Adrastus would die. Amphiaraus ordered Alcmaeon to avenge him with death; alternatively, the *Delphic oracle advised him to kill his mother. In some variants Eriphyle endangered also Alcmaeon's life, by persuading him to participate in the expedition of the *Epigoni, having been bribed by Polynices' son with Harmonia's peplos. After murdering his mother Alcmaeon became mad and wandered about pursued by the *Erinyes. In one version the oracle advised him to settle in a land that had not existed when he had killed his mother; he settled in a place silted up by *Acheloüs, and the land was named *Acarnania after Alcmaeon's son *Acarnan.

Subjects

  • Greek Myth and Religion

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