Tyndareus

Last updated
Tyndareus
King of Sparta
Dioskouroi Painter - RVAp 4-186 - Dioskouroi with Tyndareus and Leda - draped youths - London BM 1856-1226-19 - 07.jpg
Vase depicting the Dioskuri (either side) with Tyndareus (white beard) and Leda
Legendary King of Sparta
Predecessor Hippocoon
Successor Menelaus
Born Greece
Died Greece
Buried Therapne, Sparta
Wife Leda
Issue Castor
Clytemnestra
Timandra
Phoebe
Philonoe
Helen of Troy [1] (stepdaughter)
Pollux (stepson)
Father Oebalus or Perieres
Mother Gorgophone

In Greek mythology, Tyndareus ( /tɪnˈdɛriəs/ ; Ancient Greek: Τυνδάρεος, Tundáreos; Attic: Τυνδάρεως, Tundáreōs; [tyndáreɔːs] ) was a Spartan king.

Contents

Family

Tyndareus was the son of Oebalus (or Perieres [2] ) and Gorgophone [3] (or Bateia). He married the Aetolian princess, Leda, by whom he became the father of Castor, Clytemnestra, Timandra, [4] Phoebe and Philonoe, and the stepfather of Helen of Troy and Pollux. [5]

Mythology

Early years

Tyndareus had a brother named Hippocoon, who seized power and exiled Tyndareus. He was reinstated by Heracles, who killed Hippocoon and his sons. Tyndareus’ other brother was Icarius, the father of Penelope.

Tyndareus’ wife Leda was seduced by Zeus, who disguised himself as a swan. She laid two eggs, each producing two children; Castor and Pollux, and Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra.

When Thyestes seized control in Mycenae, two exiled princes, Agamemnon and Menelaus came to Sparta, where they were received as guests and lived for a number of years. The princes eventually married Tyndareus' daughters, Clytemnestra and Helen respectively.

Curse of the goddess

According to Stesichorus, while sacrificing to the gods Tyndareus forgot to honor Aphrodite and thus the goddess was angered and made his daughters twice and thrice wed and deserters of their husbands. [6] As Hesiod also says:

And laughter-loving Aphrodite felt jealous when she looked on them and cast them into evil report. Then Timandra deserted Echemus and went and came to Phyleus, dear to the deathless gods; and even so Clytaemnestra deserted god-like Agamemnon and lay with Aegisthus and chose a worse mate; and even so Helen dishonoured the couch of golden-haired Menelaus.

Helen and the Trojan War

Tyndareus' stepdaughter Helen of Troy Antonio Canova-Helen of Troy-Victoria and Albert Museum.jpg
Tyndareus’ stepdaughter Helen of Troy

Helen was the most beautiful woman in the world, and when it was time for her to marry, many Greek kings and princes came to seek her hand or sent emissaries to do so on their behalf. Among the contenders were Odysseus, Ajax the Great, Diomedes, Idomeneus, and both Menelaus and Agamemnon. All but Odysseus brought many and rich gifts with them. Helen's favourite was Menelaus who, according to some sources, did not come in person but was represented by his brother Agamemnon, who chose to support his brother's case, and himself married Helen's half-sister Clytemnestra instead. [7]

Illustration of Odysseus advising Tyndareus Odysseus advises king Tyndareus concerning Helen's suitors.jpg
Illustration of Odysseus advising Tyndareus

Tyndareus would accept none of the gifts, nor would he send any of the suitors away for fear of offending them and giving grounds for a quarrel. Odysseus promised to solve the problem in a satisfactory manner if Tyndareus would support him in his courting of Penelope, the daughter of Icarius. [8] Tyndareus readily agreed and Odysseus proposed that, before the decision was made, all the suitors should swear a most solemn oath to defend the chosen husband against whoever should quarrel with the chosen one. This stratagem succeeded and Helen and Menelaus were married. Eventually, Tyndareus resigned in favour of his son-in-law and Menelaus became king.

Some years later, Paris, a Trojan prince came to Sparta to marry Helen, whom he had been promised by Aphrodite. Helen left with him – either willingly because she had fallen in love with him, or because he kidnapped her, depending on the source – leaving behind Menelaus and Hermione, their nine-year-old daughter. Menelaus attempted to retrieve Helen by calling on all her former suitors to fulfil their oaths, leading to the Trojan War. [9]

Afterwards

According to Euripides's Orestes , Tyndareus was still alive at the time of Menelaus’ return, [10] and was trying to secure the death penalty for his grandson Orestes due to the latter's murder of his own mother who was also Tyndareus’ daughter, Clytemnestra, but according to other accounts he had died prior to the Trojan War. [11] In some versions of the myth, Tyndareus was one of the dead men resurrected by Asclepius to live again. [12] [13]

Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Sparta
(first reign)
Succeeded by
Preceded by King of Sparta
(second reign)
Succeeded by

Notes

  1. Virgil, Aeneid. Book VI. For an English translation see the Perseus Project.
  2. John Tzetzes on Lycophron, 511
  3. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.21.7
  4. Hesiod, Catalogue of Women fr. 23(a)7–9; Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 10. 6
  5. Apollodorus, 3.10.6.
  6. Scholiast on Euripides, Orestes 249; Hesiod, Catalogue of Women Fragment 67. Translated by Evelyn-White, H G. Loeb Classical Library Volume 57. London: William Heinemann, 1914.
  7. Hesiod, Catalogs of Women and Eoiae. For an English translation see the Medieval and Classical Literature Library.
  8. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.10.9.
  9. Herodotus, Histories, A. D. Godley (translator), Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1920; ISBN   0-674-99133-8. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
  10. Vienna Papyrus G2315, from Hermopolis
  11. Euripides, Helen, in The Complete Greek Drama, edited by Whitney J. Oates and Eugene O'Neill, Jr. in two volumes. 1. Helen, translated by E. P. Coleridge. New York. Random House. 1938.
  12. John Tzetzes. Chiliades, 10.49 line 720
  13. This account might explain the inconsistency between the death of Tyndareus according to various versions of the story.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Agamemnon</span> Figure from Greek mythology

In Greek mythology, Agamemnon was a king of Mycenae who commanded the Achaeans during the Trojan War. He was the son of King Atreus and Queen Aerope, the brother of Menelaus, the husband of Clytemnestra, and the father of Iphigenia, Iphianassa, Electra, Laodike, Orestes and Chrysothemis. Legends make him the king of Mycenae or Argos, thought to be different names for the same area. Agamemnon was killed upon his return from Troy by Clytemnestra, or in an older version of the story, by Clytemnestra's lover Aegisthus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trojan War</span> Legendary war in Greek mythology

The Trojan War was a legendary conflict in Greek mythology that took place around the 12th or 13th century BCE. The war was waged by the Achaeans (Greeks) against the city of Troy after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology, and it has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably Homer's Iliad. The core of the Iliad describes a period of four days and two nights in the tenth year of the decade-long siege of Troy; the Odyssey describes the journey home of Odysseus, one of the war's heroes. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, and for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Menelaus</span> King of Sparta, husband of Helen of Troy

In Greek mythology, Menelaus was a Greek king of Mycenaean (pre-Dorian) Sparta. According to the Iliad, the Trojan war began as a result of Menelaus’s wife, Helen, fleeing to Troy with the Trojan prince Paris. Menelaus was a central figure in the Trojan War, leading the Spartan contingent of the Greek army, under his elder brother Agamemnon, king of Mycenae. Prominent in both the Iliad and Odyssey, Menelaus was also popular in Greek vase painting and Greek tragedy, the latter more as a hero of the Trojan War than as a member of the doomed House of Atreus.

In Greek mythology, Strophius was the name of the following personages:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aerope</span>

In Greek mythology, Aerope was a Cretan princess as the daughter of Catreus, king of Crete. She was the sister to Clymene, Apemosyne and Althaemenes. Aerope's father Catreus gave her to Nauplius, to be drowned, or sold abroad, but Nauplius spared her, and she became the wife of Atreus, or Pleisthenes, and by most accounts the mother of Agamemnon and Menelaus. While the wife of Atreus, she became the lover of his brother Thyestes, and gave Thyestes the golden lamb, by which he became the king of Mycenae.

In Greek mythology, Pleisthenes or Plisthenes, is the name of several members of the house of Tantalus, the most important being a son of Atreus, said to be the father of Agamemnon and Menelaus. Although these two brothers are usually considered to be the sons of Atreus himself, according to some accounts, Pleisthenes was their father, but he died, and Agamemnon and Menelaus were adopted by their grandfather Atreus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Helenus of Troy</span> Mythical Trojan prince and seer

In Greek mythology, Helenus was a gentle and clever seer. He was also a Trojan prince as the son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy, and the twin brother of the prophetess Cassandra. He was also called Scamandrios, and was a lover of Apollo.

The name Astyoche or Astyocheia was attributed to the following individuals in Greek mythology:

Laodamas refers to five different people in Greek mythology.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hermione (mythology)</span> Daughter of Menelaus and Helen of Troy

In Greek antiquity, Hermione was the daughter of Menelaus, king of Sparta, and his wife, Helen of Troy. Prior to the Trojan War, Hermione had been betrothed by Tyndareus, her grandfather, to her cousin Orestes, son of her uncle, Agamemnon. She was just nine years old when Paris, son of the Trojan king Priam, arrived to abduct her mother, Helen.

Actor is a very common name in Greek mythology. Here is a selection of characters that share this name :

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Palamedes (mythology)</span> Euboean prince and son of Nauplius

Palamedes was a Euboean prince, son of King Nauplius in Greek mythology. He joined the rest of the Greeks in the expedition against Troy. He was associated with the invention of dice, numbers, and letters.

In Greek mythology, Timandra was a Spartan princess and later on, queen of Arcadia.

Anaxibia is the name of six characters in Greek mythology.

In Greek mythology, Demoleon was a Trojan warrior, son of Antenor and Theano. His father was a counselor to King Priam and his mother was a priestess of Athena.

In Greek mythology, the name Laodocus or Leodocus (Λεωδόκος) may refer to:

In Greek mythology, Thersilochus may refer to three different figures:

In Greek mythology, Perieres was the 'overbold' king of Messene, an ancient polis in southern Peloponnese.

In Greek mythology, Icarius was a Spartan king and a champion runner.

In Greek mythology, Tritogeneia may refer to the following:

References