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Aletes (son of Aegisthus)

In Greek mythology, Aletes was the son of Aegisthus and Clytemnestra, the king and queen of Mycenae. He had two sisters: Erigone and Helen. When they were young, their parents were killed by Orestes, who was their half-brother and the son of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon (this was in revenge for Clytemnestra killing Agamemnon, which she did in revenge for Agamemnon killing their daughter Iphigenia). The infant Helen was also killed or at least died young.

In most accounts, Orestes leaves Mycenae after he kills his mother and is pursued by the Furies. He wanders, is purified, and eventually marries his cousin Hermione, who lives in Sparta (he is also said to have traveled to Crimea to visit Iphigenia, who in some stories miraculously survived her father's attempt to sacrifice her to Artemis).

Meanwhile, Aletes has come of age, and he assumes the throne at Mycenae. Orestes returns with troops, kills Aletes, and takes the throne. Orestes is said to have a son, Penthilus, with his half-sister Erigone, though stories differ as to whether this was by rape or if they married. Some say Erigone hanged herself.


Aletes may refer to:

In Greek mythology:

  • Aletes (son of Aegisthus), who was killed by Orestes
  • Aletes (Aeneid character), a Trojan counselor depicted in the Aeneid
  • Aletes, son of Hippotes, one of the Heracleidae
  • Aletes, son of Icarius
  • Aletes, another name for Bakis of Arcadia

In biology:

  • Aletes (plant), a plant genus
  • Aletes (gastropod), a marine gastropod genus in the fossil record
Aletes (plant)

Aletes is a genus of about 15-20 species of plants in the Apiaceae family, all of which are endemic to North America.

Aletes (Aeneid character)

Aletes is an old and wise Trojan counselor depicted in the Aeneid. He commends Nisus and Euryalus for their courage. They intend to enter the Rutulians' camp by night, slaughter men, take plunder, make their way on to Pallanteum, where Aeneas has been waylaid, and bring him the news that the Rutulians have attacked the Trojan camp. Weeping, he affirms that the gods must favor the Trojans and that the gods, Aeneas, and Ascanius will all reward these daring young men.