Megara (mythology)

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In Greek mythology, Megara (/ˈmɛɡərə/; Ancient Greek: Μεγάρα) was the oldest daughter of Creon, king of Thebes and possibly, Eurydice. She was the sister of Menoeceus (Megareus), Lycomedes, Haemon, and Pyrrha.


In reward for Heracles' defending Thebes from the Minyans at Orchomenus single-handed, Creon offered his daughter Megara to Heracles,[1] and he brought her home to the house of Amphitryon.[2] She bore him a son and a daughter,[3] whom Heracles killed when Hera struck him with temporary madness; in their hero-tombs in Thebes they were venerated as the Chalkoarai.[4] In some sources Heracles slew Megara too,[5] in others, she was given to Iolaus when Heracles left Thebes forever. She was mother of Leipephilene by Iolaus.[6]

In some traditions, in order to atone his guilt, he was forced to perform the Twelve Labours, but in Euripides' tragedy, Heracles' return from his encounter with Cerberus in Hades begins the agon.


  1. ^ Homer, Odyssey 11.269
  2. ^ Euripides, Madness of Heracles.
  3. ^ The number of Megara's sons varies according to the source; the Theban tradition made them eight (Kereny 1959:185f notes Pindar's Fourth Isthmian Ode) but Euripides' Heracles reduced them to three, possibly for the exigencies of his stage tradition, Kereny notes (Kerenyi 1959:1186).
  4. ^ "Those on whom fell a curse of bronze" (Kerenyi 1959:186).
  5. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke 2.6.1.
  6. ^ Plutarch, Moralia "The Dialogue on Love / Erotikos / Amatoria", Loeb, V. XII, p.339


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Preceded by
Wives of Heracles Succeeded by