Alcmaeon in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

Alcmaeon (Ἀλκμαίων). A native of Argos and son of Amphiaraüs (q.v.) and Eriphylé. As his father, in departing on the expedition of the Seven against Thebes, had bound him and his brother Amphilochus, then mere boys, to avenge him on their faithless mother, Alcmaeon refused to take part in the second expedition, that of the Epigoni (q.v.), till he had first fulfilled that filial duty; nevertheless his mother, bribed by Thersander with the garment of Harmonia, persuaded him to go. The real leader at the siege of Thebes, he slew the Theban king, Laodamas, and was the first to enter the conquered city. On returning home, he, at the bidding of the Delphian Apollo, avenged his father by slaying his mother, with, or according to some accounts, without, his brother's help; but immediately, like Orestes, he was set upon by the Furies, and wandered distracted, seeking purification and a new home. Phegeus, of the Arcadian Psophis, half purified him of his guilt, and gave him his daughter Arsinoe or Alphesiboea to wife, to whom he presented the jewels of Harmonia, which he had brought from Argos. But soon the crops failed in the land, and he fell into his distemper again, till, after many wanderings, he arrived at the mouth of the Acheloüs, and there, in an island that had floated up, he found the country promised by the god, which had not existed at the time of his dying mother's curse, and so he was completely cured. He married Acheloüs's daughter, Callirrhoe, by whom he had two sons, Acarnan and Amphoterus (q.v.). Unable to withstand his wife's entreaties that she might have Harmonia's necklace and robe, he went to Phegeus in Arcadia, and begged those treasures of him, pretending that he would dedicate them at Delphi for the perfect healing of his madness. He obtained them; but Phegeus, on learning the truth, set his son to waylay him on the road, and rob him of his treasure and his life. Alcmaeon 's sons then avenged their father's death on his murderers. Alcmaeon received divine honours after death, and had a sanctuary at Thebes and a consecrated tomb at Psophis.

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