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ISMENE 100.00%
A daughter of CEdipus (q.v.).
Son of CEdipus king of Thebes and Iocaste, brother of Polynices and Antigone. He broke the agreement he had made with his brother to give him the kingdom of Thebes for one year. Polynices accordingly organized tha campaign of the Seven Chiefs against Thebes, and fell in single combat with Eteocles. (See CEDIPUS and SEVEN AGAINST THEBES.)
CREON 25.84%
Son of Menceceus, great-grandson of Pentheus, brother of Demo, and father of Hmmon and Menoeceus (see articles under these names). He governed Thebes after Laius' death until the coming of CEdipus; and again after the fall of Eteocles until the latter's son, Laodamas, came of age. (See ANTIGONE.)
Son of (Epidus and Iocaste, was driven out of Thebes by his brother Eteocles (see CEDIPUS), and fled to Adrastus (q.v.) of Argos, who gave him his daughter Argia in marriage, and brought about the expedition of the Seven against Thebes in order to restore him. He fell in single combat with Eteocles. His body, which had been thrown to the birds, was buried by his sister Antigone (q.v.). His son was Thersander (q.v.).
The goddesses of vengeance. Homer speaks sometimes of one, sometimes of several, but without any definite statement about either number, name, or descent. Hesiod makes them the daughters of Gaia (Earth), sprung from the blood of the mutilated Uranus. According to others they were the daughters of Night (Nyx) or of the Earth, and Darkness (Skotos). Euripides is the earliest writer who fixes their number at three, and considerably later we find them with the names Allecto ("She who rests not"), Tisiphone ("Avenger of murder"), and Magaera ("The jealous one.") They are the avengers of every transgression of natural order, and especially of offences which touch the foundation of human society. They punish, without mercy, all violations of filial duty, or the claims of kinship, or the rites of hospitality ; murder, perjury, and like offences; in Homer even beggars have their Erinys. The punishment begins on earth and is continued after death. Thus they pursue Orestes and Alemaeon, who slew their mothers, and CEdipus for the murder of his father and marriage with his mother, without regard to the circumstances by which their offences were excused. Their principle is a simple one, "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." In spite of their terrible attributes as goddesses of vengeance they were called Semnai (the honourable) and Euminedes(the kindly). For the punishment of the evil secures the well-being of the good, and by pursuing and destroying transgressors the Erinyes prove themselves benevolent and beneficent. They were worshipped in Athens under the name of Semnai, and had a shrine on the Areopagus, and the hill of Colonus. Fresh water and black sheep were offered to them in sacrifice. The terrible picture drawn of them by Aeschylus in his Eumenides, as women like Gorgons, with snakes for hair, bloodshot eyes, grinding teeth, and long black robes with blood-red girdles, was softened down in later times. They appear as maidens of stern aspect, with snakes in their hair or round their girdles and arms, torches, scourges, or sickles in their hands, generally in the costume of huntresses, and sometimes with wings as a sign of the swiftness of their vengeance (see cut). The Furies (Furiae or Dirae) of the Roman poets are a mere adaptation of the Greek Erinyes. They are generally represented as torturing the guilty in the world below, but as sometimes appearing on earth, to excite to crime and throw men into madness.
Son of Laius, descendant of Cadmus through his paternal grandfather Labdacus and his great-grandfather Polydorus. According to Homer [Od. xi 271-280], he kills his father and marries his mother Epicaste (in later accounts Iocaste); the gods, however, immediately cause the misdeed to be known, and Epicaste hangs herself; OEdipus however rules on in Thebes, haunted with many sufferings by the vengeful spirit of his mother. Homer also mentions the funeral games celebrated in his honour [Il. xxiii 679], but does not tell of the birth of his sons and the grounds of their feud. According to the ancient OEdipodeia of Cinaethon, OEdipus after Iocaste's death marries Euryganeia, whence sprang his sons Eteocles and Polynices, and his daughters Antigone and Ismene [Paus., ix 5, 11]. According to the ancient legend, OEdipus curses his sons either because Polynices had set before him at the banquet the table and goblet which Cadmus and Laius had used (which he regarded as an attempt to remind him of his transgression), or because they had inadvertently sent him the haunch-bone of a victim instead of the shoulder-bone. In the hands of the tragedians, especially of Aeschylus and Sophocles (in the OEdipus Tyrannus), the legend has been changed into the following form. Laius, husband of Iocaste, daughter of Menceceus, and sister of Creon, has a curse resting on him in consequence of some misdeed. He is told by the oracle of Apollo that he will die by the hand of his son. When a son is born to him, he accordingly orders a slave to expose him, with his feet pierced, upon Cithaeron. The slave consigns the child to the care of a shepherd belonging to the king of Corinth, Polybus, and he takes it to his master. The boy, who derives the name OEdipus (Swellfoot), from his swollen feet, is adopted by the childless Polybus and his wife Periboea in place of offspring of their own. On reaching manhood, he is reproached during a carousal with not being the son of his presumptive parents, and betakes himself without their knowledge to Delphi, in order to find out the truth. The terrible response of the oracle, to the effect that he will slay his own father and then beget children in wedlock with his mother, causes him to avoid Corinth. At the place in Phocis where the road from Delphi to Daulis leaves the road to Thebes, lie is met by his real father, who is on a journey to Delphi to question the god concerning the devastation of his land by the Sphinx. As OEdipus will not move aside, a quarrel arises, and he kills his father together with his attendants one of whom alone escapes. He proceeds to Thebes, and there frees the city from its plague by solving the Sphinx's riddle; as a reward he receives from Creon the dominion of Thebes and the late king's widow, Iocaste, for a wife; and the latter bears him four children (given by the older myth to Euryganeia). Years afterwards failure of crops and pestilence come upon Thebes, and the oracle promises liberation from the disaster only if the murder of Laius be requited by the banishment of the murderer. The result of OEdipus' eager endeavours to identify this person is the discovery of the horrors which he has unconsciously perpetrated. Iocaste hangs herself in despair, and CEdipus puts out his own eyes. Deposed from his throne, and imprisoned at Thebes by his sons to conceal his shame from men's eyes, or (according to another account) driven by them into banishment, whither his daughters accompany him, he pronounces against his sons a curse, to the effect that they shall divide their inheritance with each other by means of the sword, a curse which is fulfilled with awful exactness. (See SEVEN AGAINST THEBES.) His grave was afterwards shown at the village of Eteonus, on the borders of Attica and Bceotia, in the sanctuary of Demeter, and worship done to him as to a hero. At Athens too, in a sacred demesne of the Erinyes, between the Areopagus and the Acropolis, was a monument to OEdipus, whose bones were supposed to have been brought hither from Thebes.--Sophocles, in his OEdipus at Colonus, follows another legend. He represents him as coming to the Attic deme of Colonus at the bidding of Apollo, and as finding there, in the sanctuary of the now propitiated Eumenides, the longed-for peace of the grave. His bones, the place of burial of which was known to none, are a precious treasure for the country, to guard it from hostile invasions.
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