Atreus (āˈtrēəs) [key], in Greek mythology, the son of Pelops and the father of Agamemnon and Menelaus. He vied with his brother Thyestes for the throne of Mycenae. When Thyestes seduced Atreus' wife, Aerope, in order to attain the golden ram whose possession signified kingship, Atreus, in retaliation, murdered the sons of Thyestes and served them to him at a feast. Thyestes thereupon laid a curse upon the house of Atreus. Thyestes' son Aegisthus, who was not involved in the mass murder, killed Atreus and restored the kingdom to Thyestes.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Atreus from Fact Monster:

  • Thyestes - Thyestes Thyestes : see Atreus.
  • Mycenae - Mycenae Mycenae , ancient city of Greece, in Argolis. In historical times it had little importance ...
  • Menelaus - Menelaus Menelaus , in Greek mythology, king of Sparta, son of Atreus. He was the husband of Helen, ...
  • Aegisthus - Aegisthus Aegisthus , in Greek mythology, according to most legends the incestuous offspring of ...
  • Pelops - Pelops Pelops , in Greek mythology, son of Tantalus. He was murdered by his father, who served his ...

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