Pelops (pēˈlŏps) [key], in Greek mythology, son of Tantalus. He was murdered by his father, who served his flesh at a banquet for the gods. The gods recognized this abominable trick, punished Tantalus and restored Pelops, giving him an ivory shoulder to replace the one Demeter had unwittingly eaten. He won his wife, Hippodamia, by defeating her father, King Oenomaus of Pisa, in a chariot race. To ensure victory Pelops not only used a winged chariot given to him by Poseidon, but he bribed Myrtilus, Oenomaus' charioteer, to betray his master. After winning the race Pelops would not pay Myrtilus his reward. Instead, he threw him into the sea. Before drowning, the charioteer cursed the house of Pelops, and misfortunes fell on the sons of Pelops, Atreus and Thyestes. The Peloponnesus peninsula was named for Pelops.

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

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