The House of Atreus
“The Troubles of the house of Atreus were attributed to the god Hermes, whose son Myrtilus was wronged by Pelops. Atreus and his brothers quarreled murderously over the the ownership of a golden ram given to Atreus by Hermes, and not until Orestes had been tried for the crime of matricide and helped in this trial by the goddess Athena was the curse on the family finally lifted. Atreus’ sons Agamemnon and Menelaus played a crucial part in the ten-year war between the Greeks and trojans, which began when Menelaus’ wife Helen left her husband for the young Trojan prince, Paris” (The Encyclopedia of World Mythology, Cotterel and Storm).
Oenomaus: King of Elis. Had a daughter:
Hippodaemia: Won the hand of Pelops by trickery.
Tantalus: Punished by Gods for trying to deceive them.
Pelops: Son of Tantalus. Pelops was a champion charioteer, who gave his name to the Peloponnese. Pelops children:
Thyestes: Seduced Aerope. Thyestes had a son:
Aegisthus: Became the lover of Clytemnestra (Agamemnon’s wife). He helped Clytemnestra kill Agamemnon upon his return from the Trojan war.
Chrysippus: Killed for the Golden Ram).
Atreus: Killed Thyestes’ children. Married Aerope, who Chryssipus killed for the Golden Ram. Atreus and Aerope had two children:
Agamemnon: King of Mycenae, commander in chief of the Greek forces in the Trojan War, attempted to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia, and was killed by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover for this. (See children listed below.)
Menelaus: King of Sparta, married to Helen, who ran away with the Trojan prince, Paris, thereby the catalyst of the Trojan War.
Tyndareos (King of Sparta) and Leda (birthed Helen and Plydeuces by Zeus): Gave birth to . . .
Clytemnestra: Queen of Mycenae. Took Aegisthus as a lover, who then helped her murder her husband, King Agamemnon, upon his return from the Trojan War. She had three children by Agamemnon:
Electra: Rescued Orestes from Aegisthus.
Orestes: Killed his mother. Was followed and tormented by the Erinyes. Finally tried in Athens for matricide.
Iphigenia: Offered by her father as a human sacrifice in order for him to gain a favorable wind to Troy. She was saved by Artemis and made an attendant. Iphigenia grew in power, subsequently worshipped as Hecate.