His kingly office had come to him from Pelops through the blood-stained hands of Atreus and Thyestes, and had brought with it a certain fatality which explained the hostile destiny which pursued him.
After this Atreus, apparently reconciled to his brother, recalled him to Mycenae and invited him to a banquet to eat of his son, whom Atreus had slain.
AGAMEMNON, one of the most distinguished of the Greek heroes, was the son of Atreus (king of Mycenae) and Aerope, grandson of Pelops, great-grandson of Tantalus and brother of Menelaus.
Plutarch (Cicero, 5) mentions it as reported of Aesopus, that, while representing Atreus deliberating how he should revenge himself on Thyestes, the actor forgot himself so far in the heat of action that with his truncheon he struck and killed one of the servants crossing the stage.
Aegisthus being sent to murder Thyestes, mutual recognition took place, and Atreus was slain by the father and son, who seized the throne, and drove Agamemnon and Menelaus out of the country (Thucydides i.
In the later part of his story Herodotus is dependent on the family traditions of Harpagus, whose treason is justified by the cruelty with which Astyages had treated him (the story of Atreus and Thyestes is transferred to them).
MENELAUS, in Greek legend, son of Atreus (or Pleisthenes), king of Sparta, brother of Agamemnon and husband of Helen.