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In Greek legend, the son of Atreus, brother of Menelaus, and king of Mycenae and commander of the Greek forces that attacked Troy. By his wife, Clytemnestra, Agamemnon had a son, Orestes, and three daughters. When Paris carried off Menelaus's wife, Helen, Agamemnon called on the Greeks to unite in a war of revenge against the Trojans. Artemis sent a calm or contrary winds to prevent the Greek fleet from sailing, and Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigeneia to appease the goddess. After the Trojan War he returned home, where he was killed by his wife and her lover, Aegisthus. His murder was avenged by Orestes. These events formed the basis of Aeschylus' great dramatic trilogy the Oresteia.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Agamemnon, visit Britannica.com.