Scala/Art Resource NY

King Agamemnon shields his eyes as Odysseus (second from left) and Achilles carry the king’s daughter, Iphigenia, to an altar to be sacrificed by the priest Calchas—in this wall painting from Pompeii’s House of the Tragic Poet. According to Greek myth, King Agamemnon of Mycenae, before setting out to fight the Trojan War, offends the goddess Artemis, who then punishes him by sending ill winds that keep the Greek ships in port. Calchas tells the king that he can only assuage the goddess’s anger by sacrificing his daughter, which he reluctantly agrees to do. In some versions of the myth, Iphigenia is sacrificed, leading to a long, tragic cycle of family violence. In two plays by Euripides (480‒406 B.C.), however, Artemis (who appears at the top right of the painting) spares the girl by providing a hind to be sacrificed in her stead.