House of Sparta


The large family tree above, combined the Houses of Laconia and Messenia together. The links between the two kingdoms come from marriages.

The first link is when Polycaon, son of Lelex, migrated to Messenia and married the Argive princess, Messene.

The second link come from Gorgophone, daughter of Perseus and Andromeda. Gorgophone had married Perieres, son of Aeolus and king of Messenia. Gorgophone then married Oebalus, son of Cynortas and king of Sparta. Aphareus, Gorgophone's son by her first marriage, had married his half-sister, Arene, Gorgophone's daughter by her second husband, which provided the third link between Laconia and Messenia.

See House of Sparta for tales about this family. Information about the House of Messenia (such as Perieres, Aphareus and Leucippus, can be found in the Aeolid page.


Note that the Greek geographer Pausanias, gives two versions of the early genealogy of Lelex, which are different. In one passage, Myles was the father of Eurotas, not his brother (or half-brother?), which is different from what I had drawn above. So the early genealogy of Laconia can look like this –

Usually, Zeus had seduced Leda, wife of Tyndareus, so that Zeus was the father of Polydeuces and Helen, while at the same time, Leda gave birth to Castor and Clytemnestra, whose father was Tyndareus. Though, some authors say that Helen was not the daughter of Leda; they say Helen's mother was really Nemesis, the goddess of retribution. There are couple of different variations of how Nemesis was seduced by Zeus. Whichever versions you might have read, Nemesis lay an egg, which Leda kept, until the egg hatched, and Helen was born. (See Helen, Leda or Nemesis.)







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