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Pylades

In Greek mythology, Pylades is the son of King Strophius of Phocis and a great friend of Orestes.

After Orestes killed his mother, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus, he was persecuted by the Erinyes. In order to escape the persecutions of the Erinyes, he was ordered by Apollo to go to Tauris[?], carry off the statue of Artemis which had fallen from heaven, and bring it to Athens. He repairs to Tauris with Pylades and the pair are at once imprisoned by the people, among whom the custom is to sacrifice all strangers to Artemis. The priestess of Artemis, whose duty it is to perform the sacrifice, is Orestes' sister Iphigeneia. She offers to release Orestes if he will carry home a letter from her to Greece; he refuses to go, but bids Pylades take the letter while he himself will stay and be slain. After a conflict of mutual affection, Pylades at last yields, but the letter brings about a recognition between brother and sister, and all three escape together, carrying with them the image of Artemis. After his return to Greece, Orestes took possession of his fatherís kingdom of Mycenae, to which were added Argos and Laconia. He is said to have died of the bite of a snake in Arcadia. His body was conveyed to Sparta for burial (where he was the object of a cult), or, according to an Italian legend, to Aricia[?], whence it was removed to Rome (Servius[?] on Aeneid, ii. 116)



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