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date: 09 December 2022



  • Jenny March


Atreus, in mythology, son of *Pelops and *Hippodamia and brother of Thyestes. In *Homer there is harmony between the brothers (Il. 2. 100–8), but from late epic on (Alcmaeonis in schol. Eur. Or. 995) they had shared an implacable feud. Atreus married *Aerope, but she committed adultery with Thyestes and secretly gave him the golden lamb which carried with it claim to the kingship. *Zeus, however, expressed disapproval by reversing the course of the sun (Eur. El. 699–746; Apollod. Epit. 2. 10–12). Atreus banished Thyestes; but later, when he learnt of Aerope's adultery, he pretended a reconciliation with his brother and at a feast served up to him the flesh of the latter's own sons. At the end of the meal Atreus showed his brother the heads and hands of his sons, then once more banished him (Aesch. Ag. 1590 ff.; Apollod. Epit.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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