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date: 04 February 2023



  • A. Schachter


Amphitryon, son of Alcaeus king of Tiryns. He and his fiancée *Alcmene (daughter of Electryon king of *Mycenae) were forced to flee to *Thebes (1) after he had accidentally killed Electryon. After helping the Thebans to rid themselves of the Teumessian fox, he set out to fight the Teleboans (who had killed eight of Alcmene's nine brothers), and defeated them. In his absence, *Zeus lay with Alcmene, who bore him *Heracles (Il. 14. 323–4); in the same accouchement she bore *Iphicles to Amphitryon.

Amphitryon led the Thebans successfully in war against the Euboeans (Paus. 9. 17. 3, 8. 15. 6; Plut., Amatoriae narrationes 3 (774c)), but was less fortunate against the *Minyans, fighting whom he died (Heracles subsequently freed the Thebans from their oppression). Amphitryon was buried at Thebes, jointly with *Iolaus (Schachter 1. 30–1; 2. 18, 64–5, see bibliog. below). He seems to have been a local Theban warrior hero (the tomb is attested from the 5th cent.), whose role was partially usurped by Heracles.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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