Tyndareus ( altgr. Τυνδάρεως; Latin Tyndareus ) In Greek mythology, a king of Sparta, the husband of Leda, father of the Dioscuri Castor and Pollux (Latin Castor and Pollux ) and of Clytemnestra, Helen and Phoebe.

Escape from Sparta

Tyndareus was the son of Oebalus, king of Sparta, and the Gorgophone or the nymph Bateia. According to another tradition, it is referred to as the son of Perieres. As Oebalus died, Tyndareus succeeded him on the throne. A short time later, he and his brother Ikarios sold by her half-brother Hippocoon from Sparta, who then took over the government.

In exile

Where Tyndareus and Ikarios fled, is variously given: either by Pellana in Laconia or his half-brother Aphareus after Thalanae in Messinia. The most common version, it allows Thestios, go to the king of Pleuron. They stood him in the battle against its neighbors and helped him to conquer Acarnania. For the faithful service Tyndareos Leda was the king 's daughter to wife.

Leda was seduced by Zeus, who had taken the form of a swan. She gave birth to a daughter and two eggs. Hatched from the first egg twins - the Dioscuri Castor and Pollux. From the other Helena. These three children were of Zeus. The daughter, who was born along with the eggs, Clytemnestra, daughter of Tyndareus was. Other children of Tyndareus and Leda were Phylonoe and Timandra.

Return to Sparta

After Heracles Hippocoon and his sons had killed Tyndareus was reinstated as king. His daughter Phylonoe was made by Artemis immortal. Timandra he married with Echemus and Clytemnestra first with Tantalus, the son of Thyestes. When Thyestes seized power in Mycenae, the two extra princes, Agamemnon and Menelaus came to Sparta. Tyndareus received them and helped them Thyestes distribute. Agamemnon killed Tantalus and his newborn son and married Clytemnestra.

When to marry Helena, which was considered the most beautiful woman in the world, the time had come, holding many Greek kings and princes in person or by messenger to her hand, including Odysseus, Menestheus, Ajax the Great, Patroclus and Idomeneus, her favorite but was Menelaus, who was according to some sources, did not come himself, but was represented by his brother Agamemnon. They all brought many rich gifts with them - except Odysseus.

Tyndareus would accept none of the gifts, but also not the suitors sent away for fear of offending them and to provide them with reasons for a dispute. Odysseus promised to solve the problem in a satisfactory manner if Tyndareus would support him in Penelope, daughter of Ikarios. Tyndareus readily agreed and Odysseus proposed that all the suitors should swear a solemn oath before deciding to defend the chosen husband against anyone who begin with it controversy. This ploy was successful, Helen and Menelaus were married.

After Tyndareos death was Menelaus king of Sparta because the only male heirs, Castor and Pollux had died and ascended to Olympus. Tyndareus tomb was located on the acropolis of Sparta.


  • Libraries of Apollodorus, 1, 87; 2, 145; 3, 117; 3, 121-126; 3, 131-132; 3, 137; 5, 15-16; 9, 25
  • Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica, 1, 146
  • Dictys cretensis, Ephemeris belli Troiani, 1, 9
  • Herodotus, Histories, 2, 112
  • Hesiod, Eoien, 23a, 7; 196, 7; 198, 1; 199, 8; 204, 21
  • Mythographus Hyginus, Fabulae, 77-80; 92; 117; 119
  • Pausanias, traveling in Greece, 1, 33, 7 - 8; 2, 18, 2-7; 3, 1, 4-5; 3, 12, 5; 3, 13, 1; 3, 13, 8; 3, 17, 4; 8, 5, 1; 8, 34, 4
  • Plutarch, Theseus, 31, 1
  • Strabo, Geographica, 461
  • Mythological King (Sparta )