With Heracles dead, Eurystheus seized his chance to wreak vengeance on his hated cousin’s children. For some time Heracles’ mother Alcmene had been living in Tiryns with many of the sons whom Heracles had fathered on his travels. Now Eurystheus vowed to expel them – along with all Heracles’ other children – from Greece. When Athens’ king Theseus heard of this injustice, he offered them asylum in Attica and soon the sons of Heracles had formed an army.
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Rousing himself to unaccustomed action, Eurystheus marched from Tiryns with his own troops, and on the coast just north of the Isthmus of Corinth the armies met head-on. In heavy fighting, the cowardly Eurystheus turned tail and fled, urging his chariot team back south along the road by the Scironian Rocks. But here the sons of Heracles caught up with him, dragged him to the ground and hacked off his head. When it was brought to Alcmene, she gouged out the lifeless eyes with brooch pins.
Now kingless, Tiryns was annexed by Atreus and Thyestes, who were ruling nearby Midea.