A-Z: General definitions: Pelops


Pelops was the son of Tantalus. He wanted to marry Hippodameia, the daughter of Oenomaus, but many other suitors had tried to marry her. Her father challenged each one to a chariot race. He would give the suitor and his daughter a head start, but would quickly catch up with them, as his own horses were immortal, given to him by his father Ares. Then he would kill them, and nail their heads above his palace's door. Pelops asked his former lover, Poseidon for help, and was given a gold chariot and winged horses for the race. According to some traditions, he also bribed Oenomaus' own charioteer, Myrtilus telling him to replace the bronze linchpins in the wheels of the king's chariot, which caused the collapse of the chariot and the death of the king. Pelops won the race and his bride. He became a very powerful king: the Greek Peloponnese is named after him.

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