Pelops and Hippodameia (page 542)

Ch. 15: The Line of Tantalos

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Sophokles, Oinomaos fr 474 R – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta vol. 4, pp. 383-84, ed. S. L. Radt. Göttingen 1977. 

Sophokles, Oinomaos fr 473a R – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta vol. 4, p. 383, ed. S. L. Radt. Göttingen 1977. 

S: El 505-15 – Sophokles, Elektra

what disaster you have brought upon this land! For ever since Myrtilus sank to rest beneath the waves, [510] hurled to utter destruction from his golden chariot in disgraceful outrage, from that time to this, outrage and its many sorrows [515] were never yet gone from this house.  Greek Text

♠ Or 988-96 – Euripides, Orestes

They saw infatuate ruin, the chase of winged steeds, when Pelops in four-horse chariot [990] drove over the sea, hurling the body of murdered Myrtilus into the ocean swell, after his race near Geraestus’ strand, foam-flecked from the tossing sea. [995] From this came a woeful curse upon my house.   Greek Text

Hellanikos 4F19 FGrHDie Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, pp. 110-11, ed. F. Jacoby. 2 nd ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

AR 1.752-58 – Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautika

And therein were fashioned two chariots, racing, and the one in front Pelops was guiding, as he shook the reins, and with him was Hippodameia at his side, and in pursuit Myrtilus urged his steeds, and with him Oenomaus had grasped his couched spear, but fell as the axle swerved and broke in the nave, while he was eager to pierce the back of Pelops.  Greek Text

DS 4.73.1-6 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

Now that we have examined these matters we shall endeavour to set forth the facts concerning Pelops and Tantalus and Oenomaüs, but to do so we must revert to earlier times and give in summary the whole story from the beginning. The account runs like this: In the city of Pisa in the Peloponnesus Ares lay with Harpinê, the daughter of Asopus, [2] and begat Oenomaüs, who, in turn, begat a daughter, an only child, and named her Hippodameia. And once when he consulted an oracle about the end of his life the god replied to him that he should die whenever his daughter Hippodameia should marry. Consequently, we are told, he proceeded cautiously regarding the marriage of his daughter and decided to see that she was kept a virgin, assuming that only in this way could he escape from the danger which her marriage would entail. [3] And so, since there were many suitors for the girl’s hand, he proposed a contest for any who wished to marry her, the conditions being that the defeated suitor must die, but whoever should win would have the girl in marriage. The contest he set was a chariot-race from Pisa to the altar of Poseidon on the Isthmus of Corinth, and the starting of the horses he arranged as follows: [4] Oenomaüs was to be sacrificing a ram to Zeus, when the suitor should set out, driving a chariot drawn by four horses; then, when the sacrifice had been completed, Oenomaüs was to begin the race and make after the suitor, having a spear and Myrtilus as his driver, and if he should succeed in overtaking the chariot which he was pursuing he was to smite the suitor with the spear and slay him. By employing this method he kept overtaking the suitors as they appeared, his horses being swift, and was slaying them in great numbers. [5] But when Pelops, the son of Tantalus, came to Pisa and looked upon Hippodameia, he set his heart upon marrying her, and by corrupting Myrtilus, the charioteer of Oenomaüs, and thus securing his co-operation toward winning the victory, he was the first to arrive at the altar of Poseidon on the Isthmus. [6] And Oenomaüs, believing that the oracle had been fulfilled, was so disheartened by grief that he removed himself from life. In this way, then, Pelops got Hippodameia for his wife and succeeded to the sovereignty of Pisa, and increasing steadily in power by reason of his courage and his wisdom, he won over to himself the larger number of those who dwelt in the Peloponnesus and called the land after his own name “Peloponnesus.”  Greek Text

ApE 2.4-9 – Apollodoro, Epitome

Now Oenomaus, the king of Pisa, had a daughter Hippodamia, and whether it was that he loved her, as some say, or that he was warned by an oracle that he must die by the man that married her, no man got her to wife; for her father could not persuade her to cohabit with him, and her suitors were put by him to death. [5] For he had arms and horses given him by Ares, and he offered as a prize to the suitors the hand of his daughter, and each suitor was bound to take up Hippodamia on his own chariot and flee as far as the Isthmus of Corinth, and Oenomaus straightway pursued him, in full armour, and if he overtook him he slew him; but if the suitor were not overtaken, he was to have Hippodamia to wife. And in this way he slew many suitors, some say twelve; and he cut off the heads of the suitors and nailed them to his house. [6] So Pelops also came a-wooing; and when Hippodamia saw his beauty, she conceived a passion for him, and persuaded Myrtilus, son of Hermes, to help him; for Myrtilus was charioteer to Oenomaus. [7] Accordingly Myrtilus, being in love with her and wishing to gratify her, did not insert the linchpins in the boxes of the wheels, and thus caused Oenomaus to lose the race and to be entangled in the reins and dragged to death; but according to some, he was killed by Pelops. And in dying he cursed Myrtilus, whose treachery he had discovered, praying that he might perish by the hand of Pelops. [8] Pelops, therefore, got Hippodamia; and on his journey, in which he was accompanied by Myrtilus, he came to a certain place, and withdrew a little to fetch water for his wife, who was athirst; and in the meantime Myrtilus tried to rape her. But when Pelops learned that from her, he threw Myrtilus into the sea, called after him the Myrtoan Sea, at Cape Geraestus; and Myrtilus, as he was being thrown, uttered curses against the house of Pelops. [9] When Pelops had reached the Ocean and been cleansed by Hephaestus, he returned to Pisa in Elis and succeeded to the kingdom of Oenomaus, but not till he had subjugated what was formerly called Apia and Pelasgiotis, which he called Peloponnesus after himself.  Greek Text

Σ Or 990 – Scholia to Euripides, Orestes Scholia in Euripidem, 1, pp. 196-97, ed. E. Schwartz. Berlin 1887.

Greek Text

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Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, April 2024.

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