Saturday, December 12, 2015

TFBT: Lineage versus the Man IV

Tritonia come, and was bringing immortal lustre to the unhappy hero (the dying Tydeus) when lo! she sees him befouled with the shattered brains’ corruption and his jaws polluted with living blood...averted face she flees from him where he lies, nor enters heaven ere that the mystic lamp and Elisos with plenteous water has purged her vision”. Thebaid 8. 
In Pindar's Nemean 10 it appears that his son Diomedes inherited his cup of immortality

The last lineage I offer as an example of the gods confounding individual heroes with their relatives is a short branch of the House of Pelops.  We start with his father Tantalus.  Zeus confided his plans to Tantalus and welcomed him to the banquets of the gods.( Hyginus Fabulae 82). And was " a very especial friend of the gods." (Diodorus siculus 4.74.1). Familiarity breeds contempt as Aesop points out and Tantalus fell from favor straight into far Tartarus.  His crime was either relaying the mysteries to his fellow mortals, or sharing nectar with men or for dicing up his son and tossing him into a boiling cauldron for the piece d'resistence at a dinner party he threw for the gods.  

As he fell to the land far below where the Titans go, the divine affection for him shifted to the pot roast he left behind and as a group the gods brought Pelops back together and back to life. Poseidon escorted him personally to heaven.  Of course Pelops grew up killed his prospective father-in-law and his conspirator which got most of his sons cursed.  

But he had one son Pittheus, whom Medea of all people called "The son of Pelops and a man most pious". (Euripides, Medea 683).   Piety is a sure way the gods' hearts as we've seen better though nowhere specifically stated.  Incidentally he is the earthly father of Theseus"

The previous blogs containing my research are; 

Although not in the same category  of "dear" or "pious" we might consider; 

So ends my research.  Maybe another family or two should be included, but they don't seem to met the above criteria.Next post should be analysis of all this mess  


  1. I wonder, why was Tantalus invited to feast on Olympus? I remember only one other mortal honored this way, Ixion. But for him, there are reasons. Zeus wants his wife so much that is ready to purify him from murder and give him refuge. About Tantalus, I have no idea how he deserved the invitation card.

    1. Maya,

      As soon as I saw your question, I remembered something. Somewhere I read that Tantalus was the first demi-god. More specifically, the first mortal son of Zeus. I cant recall seeing a reference lately.