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Greek Heroes» Agamemnon» Myths about Agamemnon » Agamemnon and Clytemnestra

Last Update: 28 Mar 2021

Agamemnon and Clytemnestra

There once came a day when Agamemnon's father, King Atreus, was dethroned and murdered by his brother, Aegisthus. Therefore Agamemnon and his brother Menelaus had to seek refuge with Tyndareus, the king of Sparta. In his palace, Agamemnon fell in love with the coveted Clytemnestra, the daughter of Tyndareus, and in order to get her as his wife, he killed her first husband and child. He then married Clytemnestra and Menelaus married Clytemnestra's half-sister Helen.

Agamemnon and Clytemnestra had four children, Iphigenia, Electra, Chrysothemis, and Orestes.

The sacrifice of Iphigenia

Before leaving for Troy, Agamemnon tried to appease the goddess Artemis so that the Greeks' sails would be calmer and they could arrive safely at Troy. For this reason, Agamemnon was asked by the prophet Calchas to sacrifice his eldest daughter Iphigenia to Artemis. Agamemnon eventually agreed and Iphigenia was taken to Aulis, an ancient Greek city in Boeotia, to be sacrificed. In the end, however, Artemis decided to save Iphigenia and carried her away, putting a stag in her place.

The Revenge of Clytemnestra

Clytemnestra never forgave Agamemnon for sacrificing her daughter, and at the time Agamemnon was fighting in the Trojan War, she was cheating on her husband with Agamemnon's cousin, Aegisthus. And when Agamemnon returned from Troy, bringing his lover Cassandra with him, Clytemnestra became even more enraged and she slew both Agamemnon and Cassandra with an axe. Aegisthus was Clytemnestra's accomplice, but was later killed in revenge by Clytemnestra's son, Orestes.

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