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Clytemnestra - The Greek wife of Agamemnon

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Vase, by Eumenides Painter showing Clytemnestra trying to awaken the Erinyes, at the Louvre.

Apulian red-figure bell-krater, from 380–370 B.C., by the Eumenides Painter, showing Clytemnestra trying to awaken the Erinyes, at the Louvre.

Public Domain. Courtesy of Bibi Saint-Pol at Wikipedia Commons.

Parents:

Clytemnestra was the daughter of Leda (mother of Helen of Troy) and Tyndareus.

Husband:

Clytemnestra was also the wife of King Agamemnon of Mycenae (from the House of Atreus), the leader of the Greek forces in the Trojan War.

Children of Clytemnestra:

One of the children of Clytemnestra was Iphigenia whom Agamemnon sacrificed to Artemis at Aulis. Clytemnestra had brought her daughter to Agamemnon thinking Iphigenia was going to marry Achilles. Orestes was the son of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon.

Clytemnestra's Revenge:

Clytemnestra ruled while her husband was away. When Agamemnon returned (after having murdered Iphigenia), with Cassandra as concubine in tow, Clytemnestra (or her lover Aegisthus) killed Agamemnon.

Death of Clytemnestra:

Orestes killed Clytemnestra to get revenge for Clytemnestra's murder of Agamemnon.

Ancient Sources:

  • Aeschylus, Oresteia: Agamemnon, Libation-Bearers, Eumenides
  • Euripides, Iphigenia at Aulis, Electra, Orestes.
  • Sophocles, Electra.
  • Alternate Spelling:

    Klytemnestra Clytaemnestra Klytaimnestra

    Pronunciation:

    kleye-tem-nest'-ra • (noun)

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