In Greek mythology, Pylades (IPAEng|ˈpɪlədiːz, Gk. Πυλάδης) is the son of King Strophius of Phocis and is mostly known for his strong friend- or homosexual relationship with Orestes.

Orestes and Pylades

Orestes had been sent to Phocis during his mother Clytemnestra's affair with Aegisthus. There he was raised with Pylades, and so considered him to be like a brother. While Orestes was away, Clytemnestra killed her husband and Orestes' father Agamemnon.

Death of Aegisthus and Clytemnestra

Orestes returned to Mycenae/Argos seeking revenge, and with his friend Pylades's assistance, they slew his mother and Aegisthus. When Orestes begins to feel pity for his mother and falter it is Pylades who encourages him. This story is directly from the first remaining trilogy of Greek Tragedy The Oresteia by Aeschylus, namely the second play Libation Bearers. In this play, Pylades speaks only once.

In alternate versions of Orestes revenge, Pylades accompanies Orestes, but says nothing. This is from two plays, Sophocles' Electra and Euripides' Electra. In Sophocles' version Orestes is pretending to be dead and Pylades carries the urn supposedly holding his friend's remains.

Attempted murder of Helen

Pylades returned to his homeland, but was exiled by his father for taking part in the crime. He then went back to Orestes' side, where he helped him to come up with a plan to avoid getting executed. They attempted to murder Helen, wife of Orestes' uncle Menelaus, after he proved to be of no help in protecting Orestes. However, their attempt failed through the intervention of the Gods. They then took hostage Hermione, daughter of Helen and Menelaus. Apollo arrived to settle the situation and gave them all instructions, including one for Pylades to marry Orestes' sister Electra.


Pylades played a big role in another of Euripides' plays, "Iphigeneia in Tauris". In order to escape the persecutions of the Erinyes, Orestes had been ordered by Apollo to go to Tauris, carry off the statue of Artemis which had fallen from heaven, and bring it to Athens. He went to Tauris with Pylades and the pair were at once imprisoned by the people, among whom the custom was to sacrifice all strangers to Artemis. The priestess of Artemis, whose duty it was to perform the sacrifice, was Orestes' sister Iphigeneia. She offered to release Orestes if he would carry home a letter from her to Greece; he refused to go, but bid Pylades take the letter while he himself will stay and be slain. After a conflict of mutual affection, Pylades at last yields, but the letter brought about a recognition between brother and sister, and all three escaped together, carrying with them the image of Artemis.

Return to Greece and Death

After his return to Greece, Orestes took possession of his father's kingdom of Mycenae, to which were added Argos and Laconia. He is said to have died of the bite of a snake in Arcadia. His body was conveyed to Sparta for burial (where he was the object of a cult), or, according to an Italian legend, to Aricia, whence it was removed to Rome (Servius on "Aeneid," ii. 116).

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  • Pylades — (rechts) auf einer Vase Pylades (griechisch Πυλάδης) ist in der griechischen Mythologie Sohn des König Strophios von Phokis und der Anaxibia, der Schwester des Agamemnon. Er war ferner der treue Gefährte und Fre …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pylădes — Pylădes, 1) Sohn des Strophios u. der Anaxibia; Freund des Orestes (s.d. 1); er war von Elektra Vater des Medon u. Strophios. 2) Pantomime unter Augustus, s. Bathyllos 1) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Pylădes — Pylădes, im griech. Mythus Sohn des Strophios von Phokis und Agamemnons Schwester Anaxibia, Freund des Orestes (s. d. 1), dem er in allen Fährden und Nöten treu zur Seite stand, und dessen Schwester Elektra er heiratete. Die Freundschaft zwischen …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Pylades — Pylădes, Sohn des Strophios, Neffe Agamemnons, der treue Freund des Orestes (s.d.), dessen Schwester Elektra er heiratete …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Pylades — Pylades, Verwandter u. treuer Freund des Orestes, s. d …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Pylades — PYLĂDES, æ, Gr. Πυλάδης, ου, (⇒ Tab. XXIV.) des Strophius und der Anaxibia, einer Schwester des Agamemnons, Sohn. Schol. Eurip. ad Orest. v. 764. Einige nennen sie Astyoche, Hyg. Fab. 117. oder auch wohl Cyndagora. Schol. Eurip. l. c. v. 33. Er… …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • Pylades — Pylades,   griechisch Pylạdes, griechischer Mythos: Freund des Orest.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Pylades — {{Pylades}} Treuer Freund und Begleiter des Orestes*; die beiden gelten sprichwörtlich als unzertrennliches Paar …   Who's who in der antiken Mythologie

  • PYLADES — I. PYLADES Pantominus celebris, primus saltationis Artem, a Tragoedia et Comoedia separatem in scenam Latinam introduxit, eamque ex tribus saltationibus compositam, Tragicâ, Comicâ et Satyricâ excoluit expolivitque, ac Italicam vocavit, quod… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Pylades — /pil euh deez /, n. Class. Myth. a son of Strophius who befriended Orestes, accompanied him in his wanderings, and eventually married Electra, sister of Orestes. * * * …   Universalium

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