The Dorian Invasion 2
  • After a year, the Heracleidae are driven out by plague and famine. Upon consulting the Delphic oracle, they were told that they had returned before their proper time: the god said they should await "the third crop." stemma 7
  • Accordingly, after three years, the Heracleidae invade the Peloponnese again, and Hyllus challenges the Peloponnesians to single-armed combat. In the ensuing duel with Echemus, king of Arcadia, Hyllus is killed and the Heracleidae undertake to withdraw for fifty years.
  • The Heracleidae invade again, under the leadership of Aristomachus, the son of Hyllus and Heracles' grandson. But Aristomachus is slain in combat with Tisamenus and his army, and the Heracleidae withdraw once again.
  • Upon consulting the oracle again, the Heracleidae are told that "the third crop" referred to the third generation of Heracles' descendants.
  • The Return of the Heracleidae under Heracles' great-grandsons is finally successful — although Aristodemus is slain by a thunderbolt, and his sons Procles and Eurysthenes assume leadership of his forces.
  • Temenus, Procles and Eurysthenes (the sons of Aristodemus), and Cresphontes cast lots for the kingdoms. Temenus becomes master of Argos, Procles and Eurysthenes of Sparta, and Cresphontes of Messenia.
  • Cresphontes secured the rule of Messenia for himself by the following stratagem: it was agreed that the first drawing of lots was for Argos, the second for Lacedaemon, and the third for Messenia. Both Temenus and the sons of Aristodemus throw stones into a pitcher of water, but Cresphontes cast in a clod of earth; since it was dissolved in the water, the other two lots turned up first.
left arrow
6 of *
right arrow