Oenomaus was the king of the Greek region of Pisa in Greek mythology, son of the god of war Ares, and either the naiad Harpina or the Pleiad Sterope. He married Evarete, with whom he had a number of children, Hippodamia, Leucippus, and Alcippe. He was the great-grandfather of Agamemnon and Menelaus, main protagonists of the Trojan War.
There was a prophecy that Oenomaus would be killed by his son-in-law. Afraid that the prophecy would become true, he said that he would marry his daughter to anyone that would defeat him in a chariot race. If Oenomaus would win, then he would kill the suitor. In this way, Oenomaus had killed eighteen suitors until Pelops, son of Tantalus, arrived at his court. Pelops asked his former lover, the god Poseidon, to help him win. Poseidon gave him a chariot drawn by winged horses, while Oenomaus devised a plot with Hippodamia; they bribed Oenomaus' charioteer, who replaced the linchpins of the chariot with ones made of wax. During the race, the wheels of Oenomaus' chariot flew off, and Oenomaus was dragged to death by his horses, thus fulfilling the prophecy. Myrtilus survived, but after he tried to rape Hippodamia, Pelops killed him; just before his death, Myrtilus cursed him. This curse was the source of all evils that the descendants of Pelops faced, including Atreus, Thyestes, Agamemnon, Aegisthus, Menelaus and Orestes. In commemoration of the chariot race between Oenomaus and Pelops, the Olympic Games were created.
Written by: The Editors of GreekMythology.com. GreekMythology.com editors write, review and revise subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge based on their working experience or advanced studies.
For MLA style citation use: GreekMythology.com, The Editors of Website. "Oenomaus". GreekMythology.com Website, 16 Aug. 2015, https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Mortals/Oenomaus/oenomaus.html. Accessed 15 January 2022.