Death of Pentheus, Louvre G445, (Agave and Ino)

In Greek mythology, Agave ("illustrious") was the daughter of Cadmus, the king and founder of the city of Thebes, and of the goddess Harmonia. She married Echion, one of the five spartoi, and was the mother of Pentheus, a king of Thebes. She was a Maenad, a follower of Dionysus (also known as Bacchus in Roman mythology).

In Euripides' play, "The Bacchae", Theban Maenads murdered King Pentheus after he banned the worship of Bacchus because he denied Bacchus' divinity. Bacchus, Pentheus' cousin, himself lured Pentheus to the woods, where the Maenads tore him apart and his corpse was mutilated by his own mother, Agave.

For this, Agave was exiled from Thebes and fled to Illyria to marry King Lycotherses, and then, according to Hyginus, killed him in order to gain the city for her father Cadmus.

Meidias Vase Painting, Hilaeira, Zeus, Agave, Aphrodite, Eriphyle, Chrysippus, Castor and Polydeuces


Agave is also a daughter of Danaus and the wife of Lycus

Apollod. 2.1.4


Agave is also a a Nereid:

Apollod. 1.2.6

Ovid III, 725.

Mythology Images

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