Polynices offers Eriphyle the necklace, 5th century BC red figure Pelike

In Greek mythology, Eriphyle, daughter of Talaus, was the mother of Alcmaeon and the wife of Amphiaraus. Eriphyle persuaded Amphiaraus to take part in the Seven Against Thebes raid, though he knew he would die. She had been persuaded by Polynices, who offered her the necklace of Harmonia for her assistance.

Eriphyle and Amphiaraus

Amphiaraus asked his sons Alcmaeon and Amphilochus to avenge his death, and Alcmaeon killed his mother after Amphiaraus died. He was pursued by the Erinyes as he fled across Greece, eventually reaching the court of King Phegeus, who gave him his daughter in marriage. Exhausted, Alcmaeon asked an oracle how to avoid the Erinyes and was told that he needed to stop where the sun was not shining when he killed his mother. That was the mouth of the river Achelous, which had been silted up. The god of that river, also named Achelous, gave him his daughter Callirhoe in marriage if Alcmaeon would retrieve the necklace and clothes which Eriphyle wore when she persuaded Amphiaraus to take part in the battle. Alcmaeon had given these jewels to Phegeus who had his sons kill Alcmaeon when he discovered Alcmaeon's plan.

Polynices and Eriphyle, Louvre G44

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

Mythology Images

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