Mythical king of Orchomenus, husband of Ino and father of Phrixus, Helle, Melicertes, and Learchus. The first two were the children of Nephelē (‘Cloud’), Athamas' first wife; their stepmother Ino concocted a bogus oracle demanding their deaths in sacrifice in order to restore the fertility of the land, but they were borne away on a golden‐fleeced ram (see helle). Later, Ino and Athamas brought up the child Dionysus, in revenge for which Hera drove them mad. Athamas killed their son Learchus, and Ino ran from him carrying Melicertes and jumped into the sea, where mother and son were transformed into deities.
Subjects: Classical Studies.