Being the only son of Laomedon to survive a war against Heracles, he was ransomed by his sister Hesione, and he became the new king of Troy.
His first wife was Arisbe, daughter of Merops, king of Percote. They had a son, Aesacus, who was a gifted seer. Priam soon married Hecuba, daughter of Dymas. With Hecuba, he became father of Hector, Paris, Cassandra, Helenus and many other children (some say as many as fifty, by some other women as well as Hecuba).
Before Paris was born, Hecuba had a vision, and the seer interpreted that vision, saying that Paris would one-day causes the destruction of Troy. Priam had his second son by Hecuba, exposed in the wild.
During his early reign, Priam was ally of Mygdonians and fought against the Amazons. The Amazons later became his ally, when he purified Penthesileia for killing her sister in hunting trip. Penthesileia led the Amazons in the last year of the Trojan War, where she was killed at the hands of Achilles.
Years later, Paris returned to Troy and was recognised. Their parents had forgotten the warning by the seer (possibly Aesacus) and welcome him home.
When three goddesses asked Paris to judge and award the golden apple to the fairest goddess, he awarded the apple to goddess of love, Aphrodite. Aphrodite promised him the fairest woman in the world, Helen of Sparta. This would result in the outbreak of war between the Greeks and the Trojans.
Priam would have return Helen, when Greek embassy demanded the return of Helen to her husband MenelaŘs (Menelaus). But Paris prevailed upon his father to refuse. As a result the war lasted for ten years and all but one son would die in the war.
His son, Helenus, also a seer, would be the only son to survive the war. Hecuba and all his daughter became enslaved. Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, would kill the aged king (Priam) on the last day of the war.
Trojan leader of the Trojan army. Hector was the eldest son of Priam and Hecuba. He was Troy's greatest warrior. Hector was the brother of Paris, Helenus and Cassandra. He married Andromache, the daughter of EŰtion (Eetion), king of Thebes. Hector was the father of Astyanax (Scamandrius).
In the last year of war, with withdrawal of Achilles from battle because of his quarrel with Agamemnon, Hector's prowess in battle rose to great height, inspired by the gods, Zeus and Apollo. He challenged the Greeks to fight him in single combat. Many heroes volunteered, including Diomedes and Odysseus, but drawing lots, Ajax won the right to fight Hector. In a single combat against Ajax, he fought to a draw. Although, he was the best warrior on the Trojan sides, Ajax and Diomedes had bested him in their few meetings. The height of his heroism happened when he smashed the gates of the Greek field fortification around the camp. The second climax of his career was when he set one of the Greek ships on fire.
His rash bravery and over-confidence often clouded his judgement. Twice he didn't listen to the wise counsel from his brave friend, Polydamas, with disastrous results. Polydamas advised him to leave the horses behind, when they breached the Greek gate; he did not listened. After the Hector fired one of the ships, Patroclus in Achilles' armour brought reinforcement, which routed the Trojans and drove them back outside the Greek camp. Many of the Trojans trying to escape drove their chariots through the gate. In their hasty retreat they crashed into one another. Twenty-two Trojans died at the gates.
After the death of Achilles' companion, Patroclus, Polydamas advised Hector that the Trojans should not face the Greek forces in battle, with Achilles returning to battlefield. He also advised the commander not to faced Achilles in combat. Over-confident of his mixed successes from the previous day he ignored Polydamas' counsels. Many Trojan leaders fell to the vengeful Achilles that day and the Trojans were driven back to the city. Achilles later killed Hector in single combat.
Zeus preserved his body with ambrosia, to prevent decay and damage to his body, despite Achilles' attempt to drag his body behind his chariot. His aged father, Priam ransomed his body, for the funeral. The Iliad ended with with a tribute for the bravery of Hector at the funeral.
After the fall of Troy, the Greeks murdered his son Astyanax, while his wife (Andromache) became concubine of his killer's son, Neoptolemus. Neoptolemus killed his father, King Priam, during the fall of Troy.
When Neoptolemus married Hermione, daughter of Helen and MenelaŘs, he set Andromache and Helenus freed, and allowed the two to marry.
The second son of Priam and Hecuba, Paris was also called Alexander.
Hecuba had a disturbing nightmare in which she gave birth to son who will burn the city down. The seer Aesacus, Priam's son by Arisbe, told king that this son would cause the destruction to Troy. Priam was left exposed in the wilderness, but he was suckled by she-bear. The farmer, AgelaŘs (Agelaus) raised him as a shepherd in his farm. He grew up into handsome and strong young man. When the king held games, Paris entered and won every competition that caused even Priam's sons jealous, that they wanted to attack the shepherd, but Cassandra recognised him as her brother. Paris was then married to a nymph Oenone, daughter of the river-god Cebren, where the young couple lived in Mount Ida.
Oenone's happiness was short-lived, when Hermes arrived with three goddesses and asked him to judge them and decided who was the fairest among them. Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite, who promised him Helen of Sparta, as his wife. Causing the enmity of two powerful goddesses to the Trojans. Oenone tried to plead with Paris to stay with her. Failing to persuade her husband from leaving her, she told him when he come back to her, and she would wait for him and heal him of any wound he probably will receive from the coming war.
But Helen was wedded to MenelaŘs (Menelaus), a king with many powerful allies. As Paris guested in Sparta, during his MenelaŘs' absence, Aphrodite caused Helen to fall in love with Paris and ran away with him, thereby causing the Trojan War.
In the war, Paris was the best archer in the Trojan forces, though his records were unimpressive; he managed to wound Diomedes. After ten years of war, many Trojan would have gladly return Helen to the MenelaŘs, but each time, Paris refused, with his father support. During the single combat between Paris and MenelaŘs, Aphrodite spirited him away when his life was in danger. Paris only claim to glory was killing Achilles, the arrow guided by Apollo to pierce his only weakness, his heel.
Death of Paris
Paris himself was killed by poisoned arrow from Philoctetes. Dying, Paris returned to his first wife, Oenoe, in Mount Ida, because she had promised to heal his wound when he left her for Helen. But after ten years of waiting for his return, she refused to heal her husband. Paris returned to Troy to die. Oenone instantly regretting her decision, hurried to Paris with drug to rid of the Hydra's venom. But she arrived too late. In her remorse and because of her love for Paris, she either hung herself or threw herself into Paris' burning pyre. No one else mourned for him.
After his death, Helen was forced to marry her brother-in-law, De´phobus, who was killed by Helen's first husband at the fall of Troy. Helen returned to Sparta with MenelaŘs.
Trojan prince and leader. He was the son of Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. Hesiod says that Aphrodite gave birth to Aeneas at the peaks of Ida. Aeneas was of the Trojan royal line of Dardania. Aeneas was brought up in Mount Ida by nymphs who lived there. He married CreŘsa (Creusa), daughter of Priam and Hecuba, and became father of Ascanius (IŘlus). Since Anchises was crippled by thunderbolt, Aeneas ruled in his father's place in Dardania.
Aeneas may have being a companion of Paris, when Paris went to Sparta. Aeneas, at first, did not join the war, until Achilles drove him out of Mount Ida.
When Aeneas joined the war, he was second only to Hector, as the best Trojan warrior. Aeneas was also second-in-command of the Trojan forces.
Diomedes seriously wounded Aeneas, before stealing Aeneas' immortal horses, which were originally belonged to Tros. Aphrodite failed to rescue her son, because Diomedes wounded her and drove her off the battlefield. Apollo, however, spirited Aeneas away, before Diomedes could kill him.
Although, Poseidon favoured the Greek forces right throughout the war, nevertheless, the sea god rescued Aeneas from Achilles, for it was foretold that he would rule the Trojan lines.
Aeneas was the only one of two Trojan leaders to escape the fall of Troy; the other being Antenor (who was also a Dardanian). Aeneas tried to escape with his family. Aeneas had to carry his crippled father on his back while holding to his son's hand. CreŘsa got separated from Aeneas and was killed.
There are several tales of his adventure after Troy. One told of him been captured by Neoptolemus and became his slave (Little Iliad).
When Aeneas witnessed a serpent killed a Trojan seer named Laocoon and his sons, Aeneas knew Troy would soon fall, so Aeneas deserted Troy. Taking his family and his followers, Aeneas returned home to Mount Ida (Sack of Ilium).
And another tale says that Aeneas ruled Troy after the Greeks left, as Poseidon had foretold in the Iliad.
Apollodorus' Epitome says that Aeneas escaped from the city, carrying his father. The Greeks allowed him to escape because of his piety.
However, the most famous account about Aeneas after the fall of Troy can be found in the Roman epic poem, known as the Aene´d (Aeneid), told by Virgil (Vergil), in which he settled near the present day Rome. Go to the Tales of Rome for detail about the Aeneid.
The Aene´d was sort of the combination of epics in Greek mythology, such as his journey to Italy was told like the Argonautica and the Odyssey, in the first half. While the setting in the second half of the Aeneid, had a plot more like the Iliad, during the Trojan War.
Aeneas and his followers tried to find a new home. After a long and perilous sea voyage, they arrived in Italy. Aeneas decided to settle in Latium, where Latinus, king of Latium, welcomed him. Latinus was in favour of Aeneas marrying his daughter Lavinia.
Due to hatred of Juno (Hera), who had hated all Trojans since the Judgement of Paris, the goddess stirred up trouble among the Italians. Juno caused Amata, wife of Latinus, to hated Aeneas, refusing to allow the hero marry her daughter.
Juno also stirred other Latin tribes, including Turnus, leader of the Rutulians, who was a suitor of Lavinia. Most of the Latin tribes declared war on the Trojans, and rallied under the leadership of Turnus. The Greek hero Diomedes, who settled in southern Italy, refused to take part in another war against the Trojans. He urged the warring Latins to make peace with Aeneas.
As the Trojans tried to hold back their enemies, Aeneas sought allies around central Italy. The Etruscans sided with the Trojans. An aged king of Pallanteum (within present-day Rome), named Evander also offered aid to Aeneas. Evander send some men, under leadership of his son Pallas.
Many leaders on both sides fell in the war. Among the dead was Pallas, killed by Turnus. Aeneas avenged Pallas, killing Turnus in single combat. The war ended with Turnus' death.
See Aene´d for more about Aeneas' adventure.
After the war in Italy, Aeneas married Lavinia. They probably had a son, named Silvius. Some say that Aeneas founded the city of Alba Longa, others say that it was his son Ascanius. His descendant, Romulus was to become founder of the city of Rome and also become its first king.
According to the poet Ovid, Venus (Aphrodite) persuaded Jupiter (Zeus) to make her son immortal. Juno had finally gave up her enmity towards the Trojans and come to term with Aeneas; Zeus' consort did not object to her step-daughter's request. At the end of his life, Venus took her son to live her in Olympus.
Achilles was the he son of Peleus and the Nere´d Thetis. Ligyron was the name given to Achilles at birth.
While still an infant, Thetis tried to make her son immortal. One account, say that she anointed Achilles in ambrosia before laying him in a fire, burning away his mortal parts of his body, making him invulnerable from ordinary weapons. When Peleus discovered her with their son, he cried out in alarm, leaving Achilles invulnerable except for his heels. Annoyed with her husband's interferences, Thetis left her husband and son, and returned home to the sea.
A different account, say that Thetis dipped him in Styx, the river of the Underworld, holding him by his feet. His heels were the only vulnerable parts of his body, which was covered by Thetis' hands. This is obviously where the term - Achilles' heel - originated.
Achilles was brought up and trained by his father and the wise centaur, Cheiron. His name was changed from Ligyron to Achilles. He learned how to hunt and fight. He was so swift, that he could run down wild animal.
When the Greeks began gathering the leaders to fight in the war in Troy, Thetis knew from a prophecy that her son has two possible destinies. One was a peaceful and long life, but without the fame and glory. The other was the most glorious, become the one of the greatest Greek heroes, but only to be fated to die young.
Thetis tried to prevent her son from going to Troy, by disguising Achilles as a girl and hiding him in the court of Lycomedes at the island of Scyrus. During his stay in Scyrus, one of the king's daughters, De´daemeia (Deidaemeia) bore him a son, Neoptolemus.
The Greeks having been told by the seer, that Troy would not fall without the aid of Achilles. One of the Greek captains, Odysseus, penetrated his disguise, by placing spear and shield among the gifts to the king's daughters. When the Greeks blew their trumpets as if the island were been attack, Achilles snatched the weapons, thereby revealing his identity. Once discovered however, Achilles willingly joined the Greeks.
In the Trojan War, Achilles was regarded as the handsomest, the swiftest, the strongest and the bravest of the Greeks who fought in the Trojan War. He led the Myrmidons with fifty ships from Phthia, Alus, Alope, and Trachis. Achilles wore immortal armour belonging to his father, a wedding gift from the gods. He was also armed with a spear made by Cheiron, from a tree in Mount Pelion. Peleus also gave his two immortal horses to his son (Xanthus and Batus.
Before arriving in Troy, Achilles was warned by his mother, not to kill Tenes, son of Apollo and king of Tenedos. If he were to kill Tenes, the god would surely avenge his son's death. But landing on the island of Tenedos, Achilles forgotten her warning that resulted in the king's death. Achilles killed many of Trojan leaders (including many of Priam's sons) as well as their allies. The most notable were Cycnus, son of Poseidon in the earlier year of war. In the last year of the war, he killed Hector, the Amazon Penthesileia and the Aethiopian prince Memnon, son of Eos and Tithonus.
Achilles became involved in a bitter quarrel with his commander-in-chief, Agamemnon, over the concubines, causing the young hero to withdraw from the fighting. When the Agamemnon send Nestor, Odysseus and Ajax, to entreat him to return the fighting, his pride and bitterness made him to stubbornly refuse. His pride, however, caused him to lose his beloved companion (and lover?), Patroclus. He returned to combat, avenging his friend by killing the Trojan champion, Hector. (See the Iliad.)
Achilles' own death came very quickly after killing Memnon. As he pursued the retreating Trojans back to the city gate, Paris shot an arrow at Achilles; the god Apollo had guided the arrow to one of his heel. Dying, Achilles managed to kill with his spear one last Trojan. Fierce fighting erupted around his body. His cousin Ajax managed to carry his body away while Odysseus held the Trojans at bay.
During the funeral games of Achilles, his armour resulted in bitter dispute between two comrades ľ Ajax and Odysseus ľ both heroes claiming to be the bravest warrior next to Achilles. The armour was awarded to Odysseus, resulting in Ajax's death. (See Death of Achilles.)
When Odysseus captured Helenus, the Trojan seer foretold that Achilles' son need to fight at Troy, in order for the city to fall. Odysseus brought Neoptolemus to Troy. Odysseus gave his Achilles' armour to Neoptolemus.
There are few other different accounts of his death. One of them, involved Achilles falling in love with Priam's daughter, Polyxena. The Trojans promised him to arrange a secret meeting with the girl, alone that night. Achilles was ambushed and killed by Paris and De´phobus (Deiphobus).
Odysseus later met Achilles' shade in the Underworld, in the Odyssey. While a different account say that he lived in White Island (also known as the Isles of the Blessed), married to the sorceress Medea.
King of Ithaca. The Romans identified Odysseus as Ulysses. Odysseus was the hero of the epic poetry called the Odyssey.
Odysseus was the son of LaŰrtes (Laertes) and Anticleia, daughter of the thief Autolycus and Mestra. Other writers say that Sisyphus was his father, who had ravished Anticleia, in revenge for Autolycus stealing his cattles. LaŰrtes raised Odysseus as if he was his own son. At birth, it was Autolycus named the infant ľ Odysseus.
Though, he was not suitor of Helen, he advised TyndareŘs (Tyndareus), king of Sparta, to make Helen's suitors to swear an oath, to provide aid to any husband she chooses. Odysseus, himself was a suitor of Penelope, daughter of Icarius and cousin of Helen. He won Penelope hand by winning the footrace. Penelope bore him a son, Telemachus.
In the war against Troy, Odysseus brought men and provided twelve ships for the war efforts, from Ithaca and Cephallenia.
Odysseus was perhaps the most untypical and complex hero in Greek mythology. Odysseus was a great fighter and superb athlete. Odysseus was undoubtedly brave, yet Homer also emphasized that he was also shrewdest and most prudent of the leader in Troy. In the Odyssey, he was shown as an extremely resourceful hero.
He was the most eloquent of the Greek leaders. When they arrived at Troy Odysseus and MenelaŘs (Menelaus) were sent to Troy to demand for Helen return, Priam admired skill in oratory. Day after the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon, most were despaired of Achilles withdrawal, it was Odysseus eloquent speech that inspired the Greeks to stay and fight. Agamemnon sent Nestor, Ajax and Odysseus as embassy to Achilles; Odysseus was unsuccessful in persuading Achilles to return to combat. Before return to fighting, Odysseus also failed to persuade Achilles not to fast before facing Trojans. Zeus, himself, also believed in Odysseus' speech, that Achilles could lose facing a well-fed Hector. Anyway, Athena secretly fed Achilles ambrosia.
Although unsuccessful in a few of his speeches, his failure was not the result of poor oratory, rather that other leader speak, they spoke with emotion, with their pride always clouding their judgement. When Odysseus speak, he remained objective and relied on common sense, rather than his ego or honour. But many critics and writers also accused him of being Machiavellian and manipulative. Particularly in Sophocles' plays Ajax and Philoctetes.
Odysseus was often portrayed with less favourable light by later writers and critics. They often showed Odysseus to be greedy, of glutton and cowardice behaviour.
When the Agamemnon and Menelaus were gathering men, they found that one of the prophecies was that Troy could not be taken, without Odysseus' participation. Odysseus also knew of the prophecy but also knew that if he went to Troy, he would not be able to return home for at least twenty years, losing all his ships and men.
He tried to feign madness by plowing the field with an ox and ass, sowing salt instead of seeds. One of Agamemnon's lieutenants, Palamedes, son of Nauplius, who was just as cunning as Odysseus, knew that Odysseus was feigning to be mad. Palamedes snatch Odysseus' infant son, Telemachus, from Penelope and put the infant in front of the path of the plow. To avoid the horses trampling upon his son, Odysseus was forced to turn his horses aside, thereby revealing that he was not mad at all. Odysseus had little choice but set out for Troy, but he had never forgiven Palamedes.
When the Greeks arrived at Troy, Odysseus implicated Palemedes that he was traitor, accepting gold from the Trojans. Finding the gold buried near Palamedes' tent, the Greek leaders believing Odysseus' stories, had Palamedes stoned as a traitor. Whether Homer even knew of this story remained uncertain.
Homer portrayal of Odysseus of a very and most cunning fighter in the war. He was one of the Greek leaders who volunteered to accept challenge of Hector, but was eliminated in the drawing of lots. With Diomedes they slipped out of their camp at night, captured and killed a Trojan spy, Dolon. They also entered Trojan camp and killed Troy's allied Rhesus, king of the Thracians, together with twelve men, and stole the king's immortal horses. In the morning, after Diomedes was wounded, he faced the Trojans alone. Odysseus killed many Trojans, until he himself was forced to retire when he was wounded in the side by spear.
When Achilles was killed, Odysseus held the Trojans backs, while Ajax carried Achilles' body back to the Greek camp. During the funeral games, contest for armour of Achilles, was awarded to Odysseus as the hero who did the greatest services to the Greek causes in the war. This would result in the death of Ajax.
With the death Achilles and Ajax, Odysseus played even more active roles in the fall of Troy, climaxing with his stratagem of the Wooden Horse.
After the fall of Troy, it took him ten years to reach home. Homer's Odyssey tells this tale in full.
Upon his return to Ithaca, Odysseus and Telemachus had to destroy the Penelope's suitors who had infested his palace.
In Ithaca, his nurse was Eurycleia. Those who remained loyal to Odysseus and his family during his absence were Eumaeus, the swineherd, and Philoetius, the cowherd, who helped him in the battle against the Penelope's suitors. Others loyal to Dolius and Mentor.
The bow Odysseus used against the suitors, originally belong to Eurytus, the king of Oechalia. Iphitus, the son of Eurytus, gave the Eurytus' bow to Odysseus. (According to Homer, Eurytus was killed by Apollo, instead of Heracles, because he challenged the sun god into archery contest.) His arrows may have been smeared with poison. Argus was the name of his hunting dog, and was one of two who recognised Odysseus in his beggar disguise. See Heracles for more information about Eurytus.
Some years later, after returning home to Ithaca, Odysseus had to set out on a new journey, to appease Poseidon, as the dead Teiresias had foretold. Odysseus must find a land where the people never ate with salt, nor know what an oar was used for (mistaking it for a winnowing fan). Only then would Poseidon would make peace with the hero.
On Odysseus' return journey from a strange land, Odysseus came upon the land of Thesprotia, where Odysseus married the Callidice, the queen of Thesprotia. Odysseus led the Thesprotians in the war against the Brygi. When Callidice died, Odysseus returned to Ithaca, leaving their son, Polypoetes ruled Thesprotia.
During his stay with his lover, Circe, Odysseus had three sons - Agrius, Latinus and Telegonus. In one story, Telegonus one day went to search for his father, landing in Ithaca. Odysseus thought Telegonus was an intruder, and went out to drive the young man off his island. Telegonus unwittingly killed his father. As Teiresias had foretold, Odysseus' death had come from the sea.
Penelope and Telemachus knew that Telegonus would not have kill Odysseus had he known that the hero was his father. They forgave the young man and went with Telegonus, to Circe's home. On the island, Telegonus married Penelope, while Circe married Telemachus. Circe made both Penelope and Telemachus immortal.
The death of Odysseus signified the end of the Heroic Age.
According to Homer, Agamemnon and his brother MenelaŘs (Menalaus) were the son of Atreus and Aerope, the daughter of Catreus of Crete. The two sons of Atreus were known as the Atreides.
However, in the Catalogues of Women and Aeschylus' Oresteia, Atreus was the father of Pleisthenes. Pleisthenes married Cleolla, the daughter of Dias, and that he became the father of Agamemnon, MenelaŘs and Anaxibia. Therefore Atreus was the grandfather of Agamemnon and MenelaŘs. (Anaxibia had married Strophius and became the mother of Pylades.) The parentage Agamemnon and his brother caused confusion among the later writers.
Though, Apollodorus in his Library, sometimes listed Agamemnon and MenelaŘs as the sons of Atreus and Aerope, he also had listed them as the sons of Pleisthenes and Aerope. In this last case, Pleisthenes was listed as the son of Pelops, not of Atreus. (Are you confused, yet.)
Agamemnon became king of Mycenae, the most powerful kingdom during the war against Troy, while his brother, MenelaŘs, who married Helen, became king of Sparta.
Agamemnon married Clytemnestra, Helen's half-sister, only after he killed her first husband, Tantalus or Broteas, the son of Thyestes, and their baby. Agamemnon seized her baby from Clytemnestra and dashed the infant's brains out. (This is definitely not way to start a relationship with your wife). This would have further tragic consequences.
Clytemnestra bore him Iphigeneia, Electra, Chrysothemis and Orestes. Some say that Iphigeneia was actually daughter of Helen and Theseus, and that Clytemnestra raised the girl as her own, since Helen was too young. (Homer only knew Iphigeneia and Electra by other names, as Iphianassa and Laodice.)
Iphigeneia in Aulis
With the outbreak of the Trojan War, Agamemnon became commander-in-chief of the Greek army, and led a hundred ships from Mycenae and Corinth, to Troy, while his brother, led eighty ships from Sparta.
According to some accounts (like Euripides' Iphigeneia in Aulis), the Greek fleet could not leave Aulis for Troy, unless Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter Iphigeneia to the goddess Artemis, whom he had offended. Strong wind kept ships at Aulis for months.
With his reputation as commander-in-chief at stake, he tricked his wife in bringing her daughter to Aulis, to marry Achilles. Achilles was offended that he was being used as bait, the hero would have defended Iphigeneia. The girl, however, agreed to allow herself to be sacrifice.
Before she was to be kill, Artemis spirited Iphigeneia away (possibly to Tauris, according to Euripdes, who wrote a play on Iphigeneia among the Taurians), and replaced the maiden with a deer. Favourable wind allowed the fleet to set sail.
According to the original story, Artemis did not rescue Iphigeneia; Iphigeneia had died under sacrificial knife.
At Troy, his quarrel with Achilles in the last year of war, resulted in many deaths of both Greeks and Trojans, especially Hector. (See the Iliad or the Trojan War)
Murder of Agamemnon
During Agamemnon's absence in the war, Clytemnestra was determined to get rid of her husband. When Agamemnon became responsible for the death of second child of Clytemnestra, his wife secretly took Aegisthus (Aigisthos), Agamemnon's cousin, as her lover. Together they plotted to murder her husband upon his return from Troy.
Unlike most of Greek leaders in the war, Agamemnon's ships return quickly and safely to Greece. Agamemnon returned to Mycenae with the Trojan prophetess Cassandra, daughter of Priam and Hecuba, as his concubine and mistress.
In Aeschylus' play, Agamemnon, when Agamemnon entered the palace with Clytemnestra, to sacrifice to the gods for his safe return, Cassandra realised that Agamemnon, as well as herself, would be murder that night. Yet, rather than flee, she resigned herself to her death and walked into the palace.
Aegisthus murdered Agamemnon, while Clytemnestra killed Cassandra. According to Pausanias, Aegisthus had also slaughtered the twins sons of Cassandra ľ Teledamus and Pelops. However, Pausanias was the only one to say that Agamemnon and Cassandra had children together.
Aegisthus would have murdered Orestes, Agamemnon's son by Clytemnestra, had Electra not secretly send her brother to their uncle in Phocis.
Husband of Helen of Sparta. MenelaŘs (Menelaus) was the son of Atreus and Aerope, daughter of Catreus. He was the brother of Agamemnon, who became the king of Mycenae.
MenelaŘs helped his brother to murder their uncle, Thyestes, who was Atreus' brother and enemy. Thyestes' son Aegisthus had murdered Atreus, and gave the kingdom to Thyestes. Thyestes' death was therefore an act of revenge, which was common for the descendants of Pelops.
With Agamemnon as king of Mycenae, MenelaŘs became one of the many suitors of Helen, daughter of Zeus and Leda, wife of Tyndareus. Some say that Helen's mother was the goddess Nemesis. When MenelaŘs was chosen as her husband, the other suitors were already sworn to protect his interests in regarding to Helen, against all enemies. Tyndareus abdicated in favour of MenelaŘs to rule Sparta, instead of choosing one of his sons. So Menelaus became the new king of Sparta. From Helen, he became the father of Hermione.
So when Paris, prince of Troy, came to Sparta, MenelaŘs had warmly welcomed him, with no suspicion of Paris' intention. When MenelaŘs was absence, to attend his grandfather's funeral in Crete, Paris eloped with Helen and fled to Troy. When MenelaŘs discovered the treachery of his wife and guest, he called upon the other former suitors of Helen to help gain her return. A massive army and fleet was gathered for the war that will be fought in Troy. MenelaŘs brought 60 ships from Laconia and Sparta. His brother was appointed as commander-in-chief of the Greek forces.
MenelaŘs and Odysseus was unsuccessful emissary sent to Troy, where he demanded for the return of his wife. Priam remembered the visit where MenelaŘs was very direct, when he spoke in simple, but clear words, while Odysseus spoke in a voice that resembled a bard that hold his audience spellbound.
MenelaŘs had fought bravely in Troy, though he was not a great warrior. MenelaŘs was almost successful in defeating Paris in a duel, before Aphrodite had spirited Paris to safety. The Trojans would have given Helen back to MenelaŘs, but Athena disrupted the truce. The goddess Athena encouraged Pandarus, leader of Zeleia, to kill MenelaŘs with his arrow. Athena prevented MenelaŘs' death, so that the arrow had only slightly wounded MenelaŘs. Despite the shallowness of the wound, the truce was broken and fighting was renewed.
His most prominent opponent in the war was Euphorbus, son of the Dardanian Panthous, when MenelaŘs was defending the body of Patroclus, companion of Achilles. MenelaŘs was one of the Greek warriors to volunteer to fight Hector in a duel, but it was the Telamonian Ajax who won the right to single combat, by casting of the lot. He had also volunteered for night reconnaissance at the Trojan camp, but Odysseus and Diomedes were chosen.
When the Greeks had finally gained entry to Troy, MenelaŘs had killed De´phobus. De´phobus was the son of Priam and Hecuba; De´phobus had married Helen after the death of his brother Paris. MenelaŘs had also wanted to kill Helen, because of so many of his friends had died in the war, because of her beauty. However, MenelaŘs couldn't bring himself to harm Helen, when he saw her, because she was still beautiful.
Because the war had lasted ten long years, MenelaŘs refused to sacrifice to the gods for finally giving him victory, so the gods punished MenelaŘs. The gods sent unfavourable winds that drove his ship off course and was left stranded in Egypt with Helen, for seven years. Only five of his ships had survived the journey.
Finally an Egyptian nymph took pity on MenelaŘs, she advised him to capture the sea god Proteus, because the sea god had ability of foresight, as well as being shape-shifter. Proteus surrendered to MenelaŘs and told him that he was kept in Egypt, because he had not thanked the gods for the victory of Troy. So to appease the gods, MenelaŘs sacrificed to the gods.
On his return to Sparta and after a couple of years had passed, Telemachus visited him, seeking any information of his father, Odysseus, but MenelaŘs had no news to give to his friend's son.
During the last stage of the war, MenelaŘs had promised to let Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, to marry his daughter Hermione. So upon his returned, MenelaŘs had his daughter married to Neoptolemus. But when his nephew, Orestes, son of Agamemnon, had regained his sanity, Menelaus, Hermione and Orestes plotted to have his son-in-law murdered. Orestes murdered Neoptolemus and then married Hermione.
When MenelaŘs had died with no legitimate son, his nephew Orestes ruled in Sparta, as well as in Argos. Orestes' son, Tisamenus, was the last king to rule Sparta and Argos, before the arrival of the Dorians. See Orestes and Tisamenus in the Houses of Argolis.
Tisamenus lost both Argos and Sparta to the Heraclids. Temenus took Argos, while two sons of Aristodemus - Procles and Eurysthenes - shared Sparta. See Heraclids.