The son of Perieres and Gorgophone, and a brother of Aphareus, Leucippus, Icarius, and Arete1 or according to others,2 a son of Oebalus, by the nymph Batea or by Gorgophone.3 Tyndareus, with Icarion, being expelled by his step-brother Hippocoon and his sons, fled to Thestius in Aetolia, and assisted him in his wars against his neighbors. Others4 state that Icarion assisted Hippocoon, and, according to a Laconian tradition, Tyndareus went to Pellana in Laconia, and according to a Messenian tradition, he went to Aphareus in Messenia.5 In Aetolia he married Leda, the daughter of Thestius,6 and afterwards he was restored to his kingdom of Sparta by Heracles.7 By Leda, Tyndareus became the father of Timandra, Clytemnestra, and Philonoe.8
One night Leda was embraced both by Zeus and Tyndareus, and the result of this was the birth of Polydeuces and Helen, the children of Zeus, and of Castor and Clytemnestra, the children of Tyndareus.9 When Tyndareus saw that his beautiful daughter Helen was beleaguered by suitors, he began to be afraid, lest if one should be successful, the others should create disturbances, and, on the advice of Odysseus, he put them all to their oath, to protect the suitor that should be preferred by Helen, against any wrong that might be done to him.10 To reward Odysseus for this good advice, Tyndareus himself begged Icarius to give to Odysseus his daughter Penelope.11
Tyndareus was believed to have built the temple of Athena Chalcioecus at Sparta.12 When Castor and Polydeuces had been received among the immortals, Tyndareus invited Menelaus to come to Sparta, and surrendered his kingdom to him.13 His tomb was shown at Sparta as late as the time of Pausanias.14
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 9.5.
- 2.ibid. iii, 10.4.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece iii, 1.4.
- Pausanias, l.c.
- ibid. iii, 1.4, 21.2.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 10.5; Euripides. Iphigeneia in Aulis, 49.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library ii, 7.3; iii, 10.5; Pausanias. Description of Greece ii, 18.6; Diodorus Siculus. Historical Library iv, 33.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 10.6; Homer. Odyssey xxiv, 199.
- Hyginus. Fabulae, 77.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece iii, 20.9.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 10.9.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece iii, 17.3.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 11.2.
- ibid. iii, 17.4.
- 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.