Alkmaion and Eriphyle (page 526, with art)

Chapter 14: Thebes

Previous Page  Table of Contents  Next Page

 Asklepiades 12F29 FGrH Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 174, ed. F. Jacoby. 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Berlin, Pergamon Museum, VI 4841.  Tyrrhenian amphora.  Death of Eriphyle.

ApB 3.7.5-6 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

After the capture of Thebes, when Alcmaeon learned that his mother Eriphyle had been bribed to his undoing also, he was more incensed than ever, and in accordance with an oracle given to him by Apollo he killed his mother. Some say that he killed her in conjunction with his brother Amphilochus, others that he did it alone. But Alcmaeon was visited by the Fury of his mother’s murder, and going mad he first repaired to Oicles in Arcadia, and thence to Phegeus at Psophis. And having been purified by him he married Arsinoe, daughter of Phegeus, and gave her the necklace and the robe. But afterwards the ground became barren on his account, and the god bade him in an oracle to depart to Achelous and to stand another trial on the river bank. Greek Text

Paus 8.24.8-10 – Pausanias, Description of Greece

They are called “maidens” by the natives. Alcmaeon, after killing his mother, fled from Argos and came to Psophis, which was still called Phegia after Phegeus, and married Alphesiboea, the daughter of Phegeus. Among the presents that he naturally gave her was the necklace. While he lived among the Arcadians his disease did not grow any better, so he had recourse to the oracle at Delphi. The Pythian priestess informed him that the only land into which the avenging spirit of Eriphyle would not follow him was the newest land, one brought up to light by the sea after the pollution of his mother’s death. On discovering the alluvial deposit of the Achelous he settled there, and took to wife Callirhoe, said by the Acarnanians to have been the daughter of Achelous. Greek Text

Thouk 2.102.5-6 – Thoukydides, Historiae

It is reported that Apollo by his oracle did assign this place for an habitation to Alcmaeon the son of Amphiareus, at such time as he wandered up and down for the killing of his mother, telling him ‘that he should never be free from the terrors that haunted him till he had found out and seated himself in such a land as when he slew his mother, the sun had never seen nor was then land because all other lands were polluted by him.’ Hereupon being at a nonplus, as they say, with much ado he observed this ground congested by the river Achelöus and thought there was enough cast up to serve his turn already since the time of the slaughter of his mother, after which it was now a long time that he had been a wanderer. Therefore, seating himself in the places about the Oeniades, he reigned there and named the country after the name of his son Acarnas. Thus goes the report, as we have heard it concerning Alcmaeon. Greek Text

Previous Page  Table of Contents  Next Page

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, University of Georgia, March 2020

 629 total views,  1 views today