800px-Pelops and Hippodamia racing

Chariot Race

 Origin and FamilyEdit

              Hippodameia was the daughter to King Oenomaus of Pisa.  Married to Pelops she had many children. Her children included Atreus, Thyestes, Dias, Cynosurus, Corinthus, Hippalmus, Hippasus, Cleon, Argeius, Alcanthous, Pittheus, Troezen, Nicippe, Astydameia, Lysidice, Sciron and Epidaurus.  King Oenomaus  was apprehensive to who his daughter would marry. He was told, by prophecy, no good would come from the man who would marry Hippodameia.


The prophecy that frightened King Oenomaus said that his son-in-law would take his life. To prevent anyone from marrying Hippodameia the King held chariot races to the death for any person willing to risk their life. In front of the palace, on wooden columns, is where he would put the head of the men he defeated in the races. Pelops was roughly the 20th brace soul to try and win Hippodameia’s hand in marriage. They both achieved this together with a well-prepared plan.

 Pelops asked Poseidon for help, and he granted him a chariot led by winged horses. This would help him cross the finish line, but Pelops was unsure of what King Oenomaus would do during this race. For an extra advantage he went to Myrtilus, the King’s charioteer. They made a deal that if Pelops won, Myrtilus would spend the first night with Hippodameia and recieve half of the kingdom. Pelops agreed and they replaced King Oenomaus’ chariot parts with fake brittle ones.

During the race, right when King Oenomaus would take off the head of Pelops, his chariot fell apart. He was dragged to death by the running horses. Not wanting to keep his deal with Myrtilus, Pelops killed him. Together Hippodameia and Pelops had children and ruled Pisa together. 


             In his previous marriage with Chrysippus, Pelops had another son. He cherished him dearly. However, Hippodameia did not want him to inherit the throne. She asked her sons Atreus and Thyestes to kill him. Upon finding out what horrible thing his wife Hippodameia had done, he cursed both his sons, and Hippodameia then killed herself.


             Although Hippodameia did not have mystical powers, she had many skills. She was very clever. The plan to win the chariot race was very organized and well done.  Hippodameia was also sneaky. She made this plan without her father, the king, knowing.  In addition to when she betrayed her husband Pelops, and even forced her sons to go against him aswell.

Interesting FactsEdit

As Myrtilus died, he cursed Pelops. Because of this, his kids were cursed all their lives as well. The parts that were replaced in the wheels of Oenomaus' chariot were made of beeswax. This allowed for the wheels to easily break.


"Hippodamia." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Jan. 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.

"Hippodameia, Greece, Greek Mythology." Hippodameia', Greece', Greek Mythology. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2013. <>.

Hansen, William. "The Winning of Hippodameia." JSTOR. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2013. <>.