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Amphiarāüs

Ἀμφιάραος). An Argive, the son of Oïcles and Hypermnestra, great-grandson of the seer Melampus. In Homer he is a favourite of Zeus and Apollo, alike distinguished as a seer and a hero, who takes part in the Calydonian boar-hunt, in the voyage of the Argonauts, and in the expedition of the Seven against Thebes. Reconciled to Adrastus (q.v.) after a quarrel, and wedded to his sister Eriphylé, he agreed that any future differences between them should be settled by her. She, bribed by Polynices with the fatal necklace of his ancestress Harmonia, insisted on her husband joining the war against Thebes, though he foresaw that it would end fatally for him, and in departing charged his youthful sons Alcmaeon and Amphilochus (q.v.) to avenge his coming death. His wise warnings were unheeded by the other princes; his justice and prudence even brought him into open strife with the savage Tydeus; yet in the fatal closing contest he loyally avenged his death on the Theban Melanippus. In the flight, just as the spear of Periclymenus was descending on him, Zeus interposed to save the pious prophet and make him immortal by cleaving the earth open with his thunderbolt and bidding it swallow up Amphiaraüs, together with his trusty charioteer Baton, like himself a descendant of Melampus. From that time forth, Amphiaraüs was worshipped in various places as an oracular god, especially at Oropus on the frontier of Attica and Boeotia, where he had a temple and a famous oracle for the interpretation of dreams, and where games were celebrated in honour of him.

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