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Omphalē


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Queen of Lydia. Acc. to Sophocles, Heracles killed Iphitus, son of Eurytus of Oechalia, by treachery, and Zeus decreed that he should expiate this crime by being sold in slavery to Omphale. Having endured this humiliation for a year, Heracles sacked Oechalia in revenge. Others say that after the murder of Iphitus Apollo refused to give Heracles an oracle; so Heracles carried off the Delphic tripod. The quarrel was halted by Zeus, and Apollo then decreed that Heracles should be sold to Omphale for three years and the price paid to Eurytus. Acc. to Ovid, Heracles as Omphale's slave had to dress as a woman and perform women's work (a paradox popular with Hellenistic and Roman authors).

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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