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[4] Now Oenomaus, the king of Pisa, had a daughter Hippodamia,1 and whether it was that he loved her, as some say, or that he was warned by an oracle that he must die by the man that married her, no man got her to wife; for her father could not persuade her to cohabit with him, and her suitors were put by him to death.


1 The following account of the wooing and winning of Hippodamia by Pelops is the fullest that has come down to us. Compare Pind. O. 1.67(109)ff.; Diod. 4.73; Paus. 5.10.6ff.; Paus. 5.14.6; Paus. 5.17.7; Paus. 6.20.17; Paus. 6.21.6-11; Paus. 8.14.10ff.; Scholiast on Hom. Il. ii.104; Scholiast on Pind. O. 1.71(114); Scholiast on Soph. El. 504; Scholiast on Eur. Or. 982, 990; Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.752; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 156; Hyginus, Fab. 84; Serv. Verg. G. 3.7, ed. Lion; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 7, 125 (First Vatican Mythographer 21; Second Vatican Mythographer 146). The story was told by Pherecydes, as we learn from the Scholiasts on Sophocles and Apollonius Rhodius (ll.cc.). It was also the theme of two plays called Oenomaus, one of them by Sophocles, and the other by Euripides. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 233ff.,539ff.; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. ii. pp. 121ff. The versions of the story given by Tzetzes and the Scholiast on Eur. Or. 990 agree closely with each other and with that of Apollodorus, which they may have copied. They agree with him and with the Scholiast on Pindar in alleging an incestuous passion of Oenomaus for his daughter as the reason why he was reluctant to give her in marriage; indeed they affirm that this was the motive assigned for his conduct by the more accurate historians, though they also mention the oracle which warned him that he would perish at the hands of his in-law. The fear of this prediction being fulfilled is the motive generally alleged by the extant writers of antiquity. Diodorus Siculus mentions some particulars which are not noticed by other authors. According to him, the goal of the race was the altar of Poseidon at Corinth, and the suitor was allowed a start; for before mounting his chariot Oenomaus sacrificed a ram to Zeus, and while he was sacrificing the suitor drove off and made the best of his way along the road, until Oenomaus, having completed the sacrifice, was free to pursue and overtake him. The sacrifice was offered at a particular altar at Olympia, which some people called the altar of Hephaestus, and others the altar of Warlike Zeus (Paus. 5.14.6). In the eastern gable of the temple of Zeus at Olympia the competitors with their chariots and charioteers were represented preparing for the race in the presence of an image of Zeus; among them were Hippodamia and her mother Sterope. These sculptures were found, more or less mutilated, by the Germans in their excavation of Olympia and are now exhibited in the local museum. See Paus. 5.10.6ff. with (Frazer, commentary vol. iii. pp. 504ff.) Curiously enough, the scene of the story is transposed by the Scholiast on Eur. Or. 990, who affirms that Oenomaus reigned in Lesbos, though at the same time he says, in accordance with the usual tradition, that the goal of the race was the Isthmus of Corinth. The connexion of Oenomaus with Lesbos is to a certain extent countenanced by a story for which the authority cited is Theopompus. He related that when Pelops was on his way to PisaOlympia) to woo Hippodamia, his charioteer Cillus died in Lesbos, and that his ghost appeared to Pelops in a dream, lamenting his sad fate and begging to be accorded funeral honours. So Pelops burned the dead man's body, buried his ashes under a barrow, and founded a sanctuary of Cillaean Apollo close by. See the Scholiast on Hom. Il. i.38 (where for ἐξερυπάρου τὸ εἴδωλον διὰ πυρός we should perhaps read ἐξεπύρου τὸ εἴδωλον διὰ πυρός, “he burned the body to ashes with fire,” εἴδωλον being apparently used in the sense of “dead body”). Strabo describes the tomb of Cillus or Cillas, as he calls him, as a great mound beside the sanctuary of Cillaean Apollo, but he places the grave and the sanctuary, not in Lesbos, but on the opposite mainland, in the territory of Adramyttium, though he says that there was a Cillaeum also in Lesbos. See Strab. 13.1.62-63. Professor C. Robert holds that the original version of the legend of Oenomaus and Hippodamia belonged to Lesbos and not to Olympia. See his Bild und Lied, p. 187 note.

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