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Pelops

In Greek mythology, Pelops was a son of Tantalus and father of Pittheus, Plisthenes, Atreus and Thyestes. By Axioche, he was father of Chrysippus. He had another son, Copreus.

Tantalus, Pelops' father, cut Pelops into pieces and made his flesh into a stew, then served it to the gods. The gods were aware of the trickery and brought Pelops back to life with a single piece of his shoulder, which had been eaten by Dionysus, replaced with ivory. After his resurrection, Pelops was beautiful; Poseidon fell in love with him and gave him a gift of a winged chariot.

Pelops wanted to marry Hippodamia. King Oenamaus of Pisa or Olympia, her father, had pursued thirteen suitors of Hippodamia and killed them all after beating them in a chariot race. He did this because he loved her himself or, alternatively, because a prophecy claimed he would be killed by her son. Pelops (or alternatively, Hippodamia herself) convinced Myrtilus (by promising him half of Oenomaus kingdom), Oenomaus' charioteer to remove the linchpins attacking the wheels to the chariot. Oenomaus died. Pelops then killed Myrtilus because he didn't want to share the credit for winning the chariot race, or because Myrtilus had attemped to rape Hippodamia. As Myrtilus died, he cursed Pelops. This was the source of the curse that haunted future generation of Pelops' children, including Atreus, Thyestes, Agamemnon, Aegisthus, Menelaus and Orestes.

Pelops soon controlled the entire Peloponnesus and then took Oenomaus' kingdom in Pisa.

During the Trojan War, Pelops' bones were brought to Troy by the Greeks because an oracle claimed they would be able to win by doing so.

Ovid. Metamorphoses VI, 403-11; Apollodorus. Epitome II, 3-9; V, 10.



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