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date: 07 December 2022



  • Herbert Jennings Rose
  •  and Jenny March


Aegisthus, in mythology the son of Thyestes who survives to avenge the deaths of his brothers at the hands of *Atreus. In Aeschylus he is only a baby when Atreus kills the other boys, and perhaps for this reason survives (Ag. 1583–1606). A version apparently Sophoclean (see Dio Chrys. 66. 6; cf. Apollod. Epit. 2. 14; Hyg. Fab. 87 and 88. 3–4) makes him the incestuous offspring of Thyestes and his daughter Pelopia after the murder of the elder sons; an oracle had advised that a son thus born would avenge their deaths. In connection with this story, it was said that the baby Aegisthus (his name suggesting the word αἴξ, goat) was exposed and fed by a she-goat (Hyg. ibid. and 252). When he grew up he learnt the truth, and avenged the murder of his brothers by killing Atreus and later, with *Clytemnestra, *Agamemnon.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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