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Seer descended from Melampus, resident at Argos, whence he joined the expedition of the Seven against Thebes. In one tradition, he died with all the other champions save Adrastus. Since he knew that the expedition was doomed, Amphiaraus was unwilling to go, but—as pre‐arranged with Adrastus—he was obliged to obey the judgement of his wife Eriphӯlē (sister of Adrastus), who had been bribed by Polynīcēs with the necklace of Harmonia (see Cadmus).

There is another version, that Amphiaraus was not killed at Thebes, but, while fleeing from the city, was swallowed up live, chariot and all, in a cleft made by Zeus' thunderbolt. At some time between the development of the story of the Seven, and the first reference to his survival, Amphiaraus was associated with an underground oracular deity. His major Sanctuary was near Orōpus, in disputed territory between Attica and Boeotia. It became popular during the Peloponnesian War, when the Athenians invested Amphiaraus with healing powers on the model of Asclepius. Consultation was by incubation: the consultants/patients bedded down on a ram‐skin on the ground, and were visited by Amphiaraus as they slept. The sanctuary, which has been excavated, was popular in the 4th cent. under the Athenians, under the Hellenistic Boeotian Confederacy, and under the Romans, thanks to the impetus given by Sulla, who granted it tax‐free status.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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