A daughter of Catreus, king of Crete, and granddaughter of Minos. Her father, who had received an oracle that he should lose his life by one of his children, gave her and her sister, Clymene, to Nauplius, who was to sell them in a foreign land. Another sister, Apemosyne, and her brother, Althaemenes, who had heard of the oracle, had left Crete and gone to Rhodes.

Aerope afterwards married Pleisthenes, the son of Atreus, and became by him the mother of Agamemnon and Menelaus.1 After the death of Pleisthenes Aerope married Atreus, and her two sons, who were educated by Atreus, were generally believed to be his sons. Aerope, however, became faithless to Atreus, being seduced by Thyestes.2



  1. Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 2.1 ff.; Servius on Virgil's Aeneid i, 458; Dictys Cretensis, i, 1.
  2. Euripides. Orestes, 5 ff.; Helen, 397; Hyginus. Fabulae, 87; Scholiast on Homer's Iliad ii, 249; Servius on Virgil's Aeneid xii, 262.


  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.