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Tisiphone drives Athamas and Ino insane. Illustration from the 17th century

Athamas ( Greek  Ἀθάμας ) is in Greek mythology the king of Boeotia and the founder of the city of Halos in Thessaly .

He is the son of Aiolus and Enarete . He has six brothers - Kretheus , Sisyphus , Salmoneus , Deion , Magnes and Perieres - and five sisters - Kanake , Alkyone , Peisidike , Kalyke and Perimede .

With his first wife Nephele (not to be confused with Nephele , the cloud) he has two children: Phrixos and Helle . With his second wife Ino he has the children Learchos and Melikertes . Out of hatred of her two stepchildren, Ino first manipulates the harvest, then the messenger who is sent to the oracle of Delphi to inquire about the reason for the bad harvests. On her instruction, the messenger reports that the gods can only be made merciful by sacrificing Phrixus to Zeus . However, Phrixos and Helle are kidnapped and saved by his mother in time.

Hera later places a curse on Athamas, so that he kills his son Learchus in a delusional state. Ino and Melikertes flee and throw themselves into the sea.

Athamas has to leave Boeotia, but after a long wandering settles down and marries Themisto , the daughter of Hypseus . With her he had the sons Leukon , Erythrios , Schoineus , Ptoos , Sphingios and Orchomenos .

Both Aeschylus and Sophocles and Euripides of Athamas saga devoted several tragedies, none of which is completely preserved.


Web links

Commons : Athamas  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Libraries of Apollodorus 1, 7, 3.
  2. Libraries of Apollodorus 1, 9, 1-3.
  3. ^ Hyginus Mythographus Fabulae 1–5.