Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Agamemnon, the epic hero who succeeded his father, Atreus, as king of Argolis. During the usurpation of Thyestes and AEgisthus he took refuge with his brother, Menelaus, at the court of Tyndareus, king of Sparta, and there married the princess Clytemnestra, Menelaus taking to wife her sister Helen. When the latter was carried off by Paris, Agamemnon took the command of the expedition against Troy. On reaching Aulis, the chief killed a deer sacred to Artemis, and, as a punishment, the fleet was detained by contrary winds until, at the bidding of Calchas, he sacrificed his daughter Iphigeneia to appease the offended goddess. However, the victim was not really slain, for Artemis substituted a stag, and carried the girl off to be her priestess at Tauri. The feud between the king and Achilles began with a slight quarrel at Lemnus or Tenedos, and reached its height when the former, being compelled to give up the captive maiden Chryseis, by way of compensation seized Briseis, who had been allotted to Achilles. Then followed the quarrel that forms the subject of the Iliad. Whilst Achilles sulked in his tent, Agamemnon fought gallantly, though in vain, and was wounded. Agamemnon is always referred to in the Iliad as the "king of men," and is presented as a proud, haughty, but brave and courageous chieftain. After the capture of Troy, the king returned to Mycenae, taking Cassandra, the daughter of Priam, as part of his spoils. On his arrival he was murdered by his wife and her paramour, AEgisthus. The fate which hung over the house of Agamemnon formed the subject of the great trilogy of AEschylus, the Agamemnon, the Choephori, and the Eumenides. According to Homer (Od. iv. 512 - 537; xi. 385 - 461), hired assassins slew him at a banquet, and Clytemnestra herself killed Cassandra. AEschylus describes AEgisthus as striking the fatal blow when his rival was in a bath, the wife assisting in the deed. Orestes presently, under the influence of the curse of Atreus, slew his mother, Clytemnestra, thus avenging his father, but bringing on himself the pursuit of the Furies. The tomb of Agamemnon was in later times pointed out at Mycenae (Pausanias, ii. Id, 5), while the recent excavations made under the direction of Dr. Schliemann at Mycenae are thought to have led to the actual discovery of the tomb itself.