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Athamas was the son of Aeolus and king of Orchomenus. In the Greek myths he was the father of Phrixus and Helle, and was married to the goddess, Nephele.

He later divorced her, in order to marry Ino, Cadmus' daughter, with whom he also had two children - Learches and Melicertes. Ino later conspired to have Athamas sacrifice Phrixus and Helle, on the pretext of alleviating the drought which plagued his kingdom. However, Nephele managed to save her children, sending the ram that became the Golden Fleece to rescue them..

He was cursed with insanity by Hera and killed Learches In an attempt to save her other son, Ino fell into the ocean and she and Melicertes became sea gods.[1]


  1. "Athamas." Encyclopedia Mythica from Encyclopedia Mythica Online. <> [Accessed March 24, 2009].