Other Heroes You Should Know
Classical mythology tells of the exploits and adventures of many heroes. Here are some other heroes you're likely to meet in the myths:
Agamemnon: He sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to bring the winds that would allow his fleet to sail to Troy. During the Trojan War, Agamemnon commanded the Greek forces. After he returned home, he was murdered in his bath by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus.
Meleager: The hero who killed the Calydonian Boar, Meleager was also listed among the Argonauts.
Narcissus: A devastatingly handsome man, Narcissus scorned all who loved him. As punishment, the gods caused him to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. When he realized that the object of his desire was a mere reflection and could not love him back, Narcissus committed suicide.
Oedipus: Before Oedipus's birth, his parents, Laius and Jocasta, king and queen of Thebes, learned through an oracle that their son would kill his father and marry his mother. At the child's birth, Laius ordered a servant to abandon the child on a hillside to die, but the servant gave the helpless baby to a shepherd instead. When Oedipus came of age, he heard the same prophecy. Trying to avoid his fate, he left the city where he'd grown up and the people he believed were his parents, traveling toward Thebes. At a crossroads, he fought with a stranger and killed him; the man was Laius, his biological father. After Oedipus solved the riddle of the Sphinx (Chapter 18), he became king of Thebes and married the recently widowed queen Jocasta, his biological mother. When Oedipus learned that he'd actually fulfilled the prophecy he'd tried to avoid, he blinded himself.
Orestes: Son of Agamemnon, Orestes avenged his father's death by murdering his own mother, Clytemnestra. He was pursued by the Erinyes for his crime until Athena cast a tie-breaking vote in Orestes' favor at his trial.
Orpheus: A master musician, Orpheus ventured into the Underworld to rescue his wife, Eurydice, who'd been killed by a poisonous snake. (Chapter 8 tells you how that worked out.)
Pelops: When Pelops was a child, his father, Tantalus, cut him to pieces and made a stew of his flesh, offering it to the gods as a feast. The gods weren't fooled and restored the boy to life. Only Demeter, distracted by the absence of Persephone, took a bite of meat; this missing piece of Pelops's shoulder was replaced by a piece of ivory. The gods taught Pelops how to drive a chariot, and he won his wife in a chariot race (although he cheated by having the linchpins removed from his opponent's chariot to make the wheels fall off). A great warrior, Pelops conquered the area known as the Peloponnese. Later, the Greeks carried his bones to Troy because of a prophecy that they would win the war if they did so.