J. N. Bremmer
Alan H. Griffiths
Alan H. Griffiths
Amphiaraus, seer descended from *Melampus (1), resident at *Argos (1), whence he participated in the expedition of the *Seven against Thebes. In one tradition, he died with all the other champions save *Adrastus (1) (Od. 15. 243–55). Since he knew that the expedition was doomed, Amphiaraus was unwilling to go, but—as pre-arranged with Adrastus—he was obliged to obey the judgement of his wife Eriphyle (sister of Adrastus), who had been bribed by Polynices with the necklace of Harmonia.
In a second version, which became more popular and perhaps originated with the epic Thebaid (see the plot summary proposed by West, 6–9), that Amphiaraus was not killed at Thebes, but, while fleeing from the city, was swallowed up live, chariot and all, in a cleft made by *Zeus' thunderbolt (the earliest surviving literary references are in Pindar, Ol.
Jakob Aall Ottesen Larsen and P. J. Rhodes
Herbert Jennings Rose
Amphilochus, in mythology, brother of *Alcmaeon (1), and, in some accounts (as Apollod. 3. 82 and 86), his comrade in the expedition of the *Epigoni and helper in slaying Eriphyle. After Homer he takes part in the Trojan War (e.g. Quint. Smyrn. 14. 366), and is celebrated as a diviner. He and *Calchas left Troy together by land and came to *Claros (Strabo 14. 1. 27). A number of local tales (or constructions of Greek historians) connect Amphilochus with the origins of places and peoples in Asia Minor, as Poseideion on the borders of Syria and Cilicia (Hdt. 3. 91. 1), the Pamphylian nation (Hdt. 7. 91. 3), but above all the famous mantic shrine in Mallus (Strabo 14. 5. 16). Apollo killed him in Soli (Hes. fr. 279 M–W).
Amphion and Zethus, sons of *Zeus and *Antiope: they founded and walled seven-gated *Thebes (1) (Od. 11. 260–5).
The story is fleshed out by Sophocles (Niobe) and Euripides (Antiope). The brothers were born in a cave on Cithaeron and were said to have ruled Eutresis before coming to Thebes. Their mother, having been maltreated by *Dirce, was avenged by her sons. Amphion married *Niobe, with unfortunate issue; Zethus, an altogether more shadowy figure (Amphion's name can at least be connected with his walking around the site of Thebes playing his lyre and charming the stones into a wall), married the equally vague Thebe, or possibly *Aëdon (Heinzel 20, see bibliog. below). A prehistoric burial-mound immediately north of the Cadmea is probably the site variously identified as the tomb of one or the other or both.
Amphitryon, son of Alcaeus king of Tiryns. He and his fiancée *Alcmene (daughter of Electryon king of *Mycenae) were forced to flee to *Thebes (1) after he had accidentally killed Electryon. After helping the Thebans to rid themselves of the Teumessian fox, he set out to fight the Teleboans (who had killed eight of Alcmene's nine brothers), and defeated them. In his absence, *Zeus lay with Alcmene, who bore him *Heracles (Il. 14. 323–4); in the same accouchement she bore *Iphicles to Amphitryon.
Amphitryon led the Thebans successfully in war against the Euboeans (Paus. 9. 17. 3, 8. 15. 6; Plut., Amatoriae narrationes 3 (774c)), but was less fortunate against the *Minyans, fighting whom he died (Heracles subsequently freed the Thebans from their oppression). Amphitryon was buried at Thebes, jointly with *Iolaus (Schachter 1. 30–1; 2. 18, 64–5, see bibliog. below). He seems to have been a local Theban warrior hero (the tomb is attested from the 5th cent.), whose role was partially usurped by Heracles.