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Iphigenia

Iphigenia

In Greek mythology, Iphigenia appears in legends about the Trojan War*. She was killed by her father, Agamemnon, leader of the Greek forces, in exchange for favorable wind from the gods. Euripides* and Aeschylus also include the story of Iphigenia in their dramas.

In the myth, Greek ships on their way to attack Troy* were stuck in the port of Aulis because of unfavorable winds. There are a number of different explanations for the difficulty. Most suggest that Agamemnon was being punished for somehow offending the goddess Artemis*. Agamemnon was told that the gods would send winds for his ships if he would sacrifice Iphigenia to Artemis. Knowing that his wife, Clytemnestra, would never agree to the sacrifice, Agamemnon dispatched a message asking her to send Iphigenia to him so she could be married to the Greek hero Achilles*.

At this point in the myth, the story varies. According to some versions, Agamemnon actually did sacrifice Iphigenia. Clytemnestra never forgave him and arranged to kill him when he returned from the war. In other versions, Artemis spared Iphigenia by replacing her on the sacrificial altar with a female deer. Artemis then sent Iphigenia to the land of Tauris, where the girl acted as priestess of Artemis's temple there. A later myth says that Iphigenia's brother Orestes traveled to Tauris to search for a statue of Artemis. He was captured and about to be sacrificed, when Iphigenia recognized him. They both escaped with the help of the goddess Athena* and the god Poseidon*.

See also Achilles; Agamemnon; Clytemnestra; Orestes.

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Iphigenia

Iphigenia (Ĭf´əjənī´ə), in Greek legend, daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon. When the Greek ships were delayed by contrary winds at Aulis en route to the Trojan War, Calchas informed Agamemnon that Artemis demanded the sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia. Agamemnon reluctantly agreed, and, despite Clytemnestra's protestations, Iphigenia nobly consented to die for the glory of Greece. Another legend contends that Artemis saved her life by substituting a hind at the altar and then carried her off to the land of the Taurians to serve as her high priestess. Years later Iphigenia had the opportunity of saving the life of her brother (Orestes), and she escaped with him to Greece. Euripides recounts both legends in his plays Iphigenia in Aulis and Iphigenia in Tauris.

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Iphigenia

Iphigenia in Greek mythology, the daughter of Agamemnon, who was obliged to offer her as a sacrifice to Artemis when the Greek fleet was becalmed on its way to the Trojan War. However, in some accounts, Artemis saved her life and took her to Tauris in the Crimea, where she became a priestess until rescued by her brother Orestes.

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Iphigenia

Iphigenia In Greek legend, daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra and sister of Electra and Orestes. She was sacrificed by her father to the goddess Artemis in exchange for her giving him favourable winds for his journey to Troy.

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Iphigenia

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