Facts About Agamemnon

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In Greek mythology, Agamemnon was the King of Mycenae. After his father Atreus was murdered, Agamemnon and his brother Menelaus took refuge with the King of Sparta. Both brothers married daughters of the King, Clytemnestra and Helen, respectively. In Greek mythology, gods and goddesses play a crucial role in the politics of mortals.

Fact 1.  The Trojan War began with Paris, the son of the King of Troy, abducting Helen, the wife of Menelaus. Agamemnon is most famous for assisting his brother Menelaus in recovering his sister-in-law Helen from the clutches of the King of Troy and his son, Paris.

Fact 2.   Agamemnon was the leader of the expedition that went to Troy to retrieve Helen, his brother’s wife.

Fact 3.   Agamemnon provided 100 ships and was commander-in-chief of the combined forces. Achilles was called in to support Agamemnon’s army.

Fact 4.  When setting sail from the navy base Aulis, Agamemnon is known to have sacrificed his own daughter Iphigenia to appease the goddess Artemis.

Fact 5. Agamemnon is the first play of a trilogy Oresteia, written by the playwright Aeschylus around 458 B.C.E.

Fact 6. A basic belief in Greek mythology is fatalism, and one should not try anything exceeding one’s capabilities but face fate with pride and dignity. Agamemnon had tried to change his pre-determined fate and was punished by the god of retribution, Nemesis.

Fact 7. When Agamemnon returned home, Clytemnestra killed him with the help of her lover Aegisthus.

Fact 8.  Orestes, Agamemnon’s son, avenged the murder of his father by killing his mother with the help of his sister, Electra.

Fact 9. In 1873, Heinrich Schliemann made a remarkably startling discovery from his 1871-1873 excavation of Troy.  Schliemann’s archaeological discovery included house walls, a tombstone, and terra-cotta artefacts postulating that Homer’s works could be based on facts.

Fact 10. Agamemnon is a popular character in  Greek, Roman, English, and French literature.  Besides The Iliad and The Odyssey, many other Greek playwrights have written on the life of Agamemnon.  Roman authors such as Ovid and Seneca, William Shakespeare, and Jean Racine have written about Agamemnon.  Poet T .S. Elliot and Eugene O’Neill have also written about Agamemnon.

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