An oracle had declared that Oenomaus should die if his daughter should marry, and he therefore made it a condition that those who came forward as suitors for Hippodamia's hand should contend with himself in the chariot-race, and he who conquered should receive her, whereas those that were conquered should suffer death. The race-course extended from Pisa to the altar of Poseidon, on the Corinthian isthmus.
At the moment when a suitor started with Hippodamia, Oenomaus sacrificed a ram to Zeus at Pisa, and then armed himself and hastened with his swift chariot and four horses, guided by Myrtilus, after the suitor. He thus overtook many a lover, whom he put to death, until Pelops, the son of Tantalus, came to Pisa. Pelops bribed Myrtilus, and using the horses which he had received from Poseidon, he succeeded in reaching the goal before Oenomaus, who in despair made away with himself. Thus Pelops obtained Hippodamia and the kingdom of Pisa
- Diodorus Siculus. Historical Library iv, 73.
- Hyginus. Fabulae, 84.
- Ovid. Ibis, 365 ff.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece vi, 21.9-11.
- Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, i, 752; on Pindar's Olympian Odes i, 114.
- 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.