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Tisamenus in Greek mythology, was a son of Orestes and Hermione. He succeeded his father in the thrones of Argos, Mycenae and Sparta and was later killed in the final battle with the Heracleidae. The later were led by Aristodemus, Cresphontes, Oxylus, Temenus and sought to retake Peloponnesus as their ancestral land. Following his death the victors divided his lands among them. Cresphontes became King of Messene, Oxylus of Elis and Temenus of Argos. Aristodemus was killed during the final battle but his twin sons Eurysthenes and Procles jointly received the throne of Sparta. The historical Kings of Sparta belonged to the co-ruling houses of Agidae and Eyripontae and claimed their respective descent from the brothers.

A second Tisamenus, the son of Antiochus, is mentioned in book 9 of The History by Herodotus. This Tisamenus was a soothsayer for the Greek army during the Persian War. A Delphic oracle had foretold that he would win five great battles, and so the Spartans wished to hire him. Although he was from Elea, he and his brother were made citizens of Sparta as part of the deal. They were the only foreign men this privilege had ever been bestowed upon.

Tisamenus is also the name of a king of Thebes, son of Thersander and Demonassa, the daughter of Amphiaraus. When Thersander died on Mysia in the Trojan War, Peneleus acted as regent for Tisamenus until he came of age. Little is known about his rule. He was succeeded by his son Autesion.[1]


Notes

  1. ^ Pausanius. Description of Greece. 9.5.15

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