Heinrich Schliemann married twice. The first time, in 1852, he wed a Russian, Ekaterina Lyschin, the daughter of one of his business associates. From the beginning of their life together they had no views or interests in common. The birth of their son, Sergei, in 1855, improved their relationship only briefly. Two daughters were also born to them, Natalia (1859), and Nadeshda (1861). Schliemann took refuge from his unsettled domestic life in work and travel. Already fascinated by the prospect of tracing Homer’s world, Schliemann had started to learn Greek. His numerous attempts to persuade Ekaterina to leave St. Petersburg and raise their children in western Europe failed. By 1866, having amassed a fortune, Schliemann was ready to live life on his own terms. Advised that the United States was the simplest and fastest place to get a divorce, Schliemann acquired American citizenship in New York on March 29,1869, then obtained his divorce in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 30, 1869.

Ready to marry again and convinced that his new wife should be Greek, Schliemann wrote to his former Greek teacher Theoklitos Vimpos, now Archbishop of Mantineia and Kynouria, asking him to find a suitable bride. Of the several candidates Vimpos suggested, one struck the right chord, a 17-year-old Athenian school-girl named Sophia Engastromenos, whom he married on 24 September 24, 1869. Sophia and Heinrich had two children, Andromache, born 1871, and Agamemnon, born in 1878.

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