Hippodamia Greek Mythology: A Story of Incest and Betrayal

Hippodamia Greek Mythology: A Story of Incest and Betrayal

The Hippodamia Greek mythology happenings are full of incestuous love, battles and betrayal. As you would expect from a Greek story. It all began when the hero Pelops wanted the hand of Hippodamia in marriage. She was the daughter of King Oenomaus of Pisa, and he had an incestuous type of love for her. Previously, he had killed 13 others of her suitors. He challenged Pelops to a chariot race, with Hippodamia as the prize and death the price of defeat.

Hippodamia’s father also had a fear of a prophecy that he once heard. Like the majority of Greek figures. This prophecy said that his son in law would kill him, therefore he refused to let his daughter marry. He killed all suitors and put their heads on the wooden columns on his palace. However, Pelops did not fear him, and started preparing for the race. He went to the seaside and invoked Poseidon, his former lover, asking him for help.

Smiling, Poseidon accepted to help him and made a beautiful chariot appear, drawn by winged horses. Still doubting that it was enough he convinced Oenomaus’ charioteer to help him win. Here, versions of the story differ. One says that he promised him half of the kingdom. The other version says that Pelops promised him the first night in bed with Hippodamia.

Hippodamia Greek Mythology: A Story of Incest and BetrayalHippodamia Greek Mythology

The night before the race, the charioteer who had to put Oenomaus’s chariot together devised a plan. Thus, he replaced the bronze linchpins attaching the wheels to the chariot axe. He changed them with ones made out of beeswax. The day of the race came, and the two went off.

Just as Oenomaus was catching up to Pelops and prepared to kill him, the wheels flew off and the chariot broke apart. Oenomaus died when he fell and the horses dragged him to death. Myrtilus the charioteer came to claim his reward, but Oenomaus did not honor it. Instead, he threw him off off a cliff into the sea.

Hippodamia married Pelops, and had lots of children together, having a long and happy marriage.


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