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EPIGONI 100.00%
The descendants of the seven princes who marched against Thebes: Aegialeus, son of Adrastus; Alcmaeon, son of Amphiaraus; Diomedes, son of Tydeus; Promachus, son of Parthenopaeus; Sthenelus, son of Capaneus; Thersander, son of Polynices; Euryalus, son of Mecisteus. To avenge the slain, they marched against Thebes, under the leadership of Adrastus, ten years after the first Theban war (see ADRASTUS). Unlike their ancestors, they started with the happiest auspices. The oracle of Amphiaraus at Thebes promises them victory, and a happy return to all, that is, except Aegialeus the son of Adrastus, the only warrior who escaped in the previous war. In the decisive battle at Glisas, Aegialeus falls by the hand of Laodamas, son of Eteocles, and leader of the Thebans. Laodamas is himself slain by Alemaeon. Part of the defeated Thebans, by the advice of Teiresias, fly before the city is taken, and settle in the territory of Hestiaeotis in Thessaly, or among the Illyrian Encheli, where the government is in the hands of descendants of Cadmus (see CADMUS). The victors having conquered and destroyed the city, send the best part of the booty, according to their vow, to the Delphic oracle. Thersander and his family are henceforth the rulers of Thebes.
 
AEGIALEUS 100.00%
Son of Adrastus of Argos, and one of the Epigoni (q.v.), who fell before Thebes.
 
PROMACHUS 94.08%
Son of Parthenopaeus and the Nymph Clymene, one of the Epigoni ( q.v.).
 
EURYALUS 78.09%
Son of Mecisteus, one of the Epigoni, and with Sthenelus, the companion of Diomedes before Troy.
 
STHENELUS 56.41%
Son of Capaneus and Euadne (q.v.) He took part in the expedition of the Epigoni against Thebes and in the Trojan War, where he fought as the brave comrade and charioteer of Diomedes.
 
PARTHENOPAEUS 40.16%
According to the older tradition, the beautiful son of Talaus, of Argos, and the brother of Adrastus; according to others, the son of Atalanta and Melanion. He was one of the Seven against Thebes, and was killed on the Theban wall during the storming of the city; the piece of rock that laid him low was hurled by Periclymenus. His son by the Nymph Clymene is Promachus, one of the Epigoni.
 
AMPHILOCHUS 38.94%
Son of Amphiaraus and Eriphyle, Alcmaeon's brother. He was a seer, and according to some took part in the war of the Epigoni and the murder of his mother. He was said to have founded the Amphilochian Argos (near Neokhori) in Acarnania. Later legend represents him as taking part in the Trojan War, and on the fall of Troy going to Cilicia with Mopsus (q.v.), and there founding a famous oracle at Mallus. At last the two killed each other while fighting for the possession of it.
 
MANTO 36.09%
Daughter of the seer Tireslas, was herself a prophetess, at first of the Ismenian Apollo at Thebes. After the capture of the town by the Epigoni she was presented to the oracle at Delphi as part of the booty, and sent by the god to Asia, in order to found the oracle of the Clarian Apollo in the neighbourhood of what was afterwards Colophon. Here she bore Mopsus (q.v., 2) to the Cretan seer Rhacius.
 
TEIRESIAS 32.16%
The famous blind soothsayer of Thebes, son of Eueres and Chariclo, and a descendant of the Spartan Udaeus. The cause of his blindness has been variously stated. According to one tradition, the gods took his sight away when he was seven years old, because he revealed to men things which they ought not to have known. According to another, he became blind when, on his seeing Athene in the bath, she splashed water into his eyes. When invoked by his mother, the goddess could not restore his sight, but endued him with a knowledge of the language of birds, and presented him with a staff, by means of which he could walk like a man with perfect vision. According to a third account, he was blinded by Hera, because in a dispute between her and Zeus he decided against her, and Zeus compensated him by granting him the gift of prophecy and a life seven (or nine) times as long as that of other men. He is also said to have been changed into a woman for a short time. He plays an important part in the story of (Edipus and the wars against Thebes. In the wars of the Seven against Thebes he declared that the Thebans would be victorious if Creon's son Menoeceus were to sacrifice himself. In the war of the Epigoni he advised the Thebans to enter into negotiations for peace, and to avail themselves of the opportunity thus afforded to take to flight. During the flight, or else at the conquest of Thebes by the Epigoni, he was made a prisoner, and with his daughter Manto (q.v.), who also possessed the gift of prophecy, was consecrated to the service of the Delphian Apollo. He died at the well Tilphossa, near Haliartus, where his grave was pointed out, while he was also honoured by a cenotaph in Thebes. Homer [Od. xi 90-151] represents him as carrying his golden staff as soothsayer even in the world below, when Odysseus consults him as to his way home; and of all the shades, he alone, by favour of Persephone, possesses unimpaired memory and intellect [Od. x 495]. He had an oracle at Orchomenus in Boeotia, which is said to have ceased to give responses after a plague.
 
THERSANDER 27.50%
Son of Polynices and Argeia, husband of Demonassa the daughter of Amphiaraus, and king of Thebes after the taking of that city by the Epigoni (q.v.). According to post-Homeric traditions he took part in the expedition against Troy, but was killed on first landing by Telephus. In Vergil ["Thessandrus," Aen. ii 261], on the other hand, he is one of the heroes of the wooden horse. His son and successor was Tisamenus. His grandson, Autesion, at the bidding of the oracle, went over to the Dorians who had settled in Lacedaemon ; and his greatgrandson Theras founded a colony in the island of Calliste, which from that time was called Thera. It was from him that Theron, the tyrant of Agrigentum in Sicily, traced his descent.
 
ADRASTUS 17.81%
Grandson of Bias, son of Talaus and Lysimache. In a quarrel between the three houses reigning in Argos, the Biantidae, Melampodidae, and Proetidae, he is driven out by Amphiaraus, who also killed his father, flees to his mother's father, king Polybus of Sicyon, and inherits his kingdom. But, reconciled to Amphiaraus, to whom he gives his sister Eriphyle, he returns and rules over Argos. During one stormy night a great scuffle is heard outside the palace: two fugitives, Polyneices son of OEdipus of Thebes, and Tydeus son of OEneus of Calydon (one wrapped in a lion's hide, the other in a boar-skin), have sought refuge in the front-court, and are fighting for a night's lodging. Adrastus, coming forth, recognises the fulfilment of an oracle which had bidden him marry his daughters to a lion and a boar. He gives Argeia to Polyneices and Deipyle to Tydeus, promising to conduct those princes home and reinstate them in their rights. Thus began under his lead the far-famed and fatal expedition of the Seven against Thebes (q.v.). He alone escapes destruction by the help of his divine winged steed Areion. Ten years after, with the sons of the slain, the Epigoni (q.v.), and his own son Aegialeus, he again marches upon Thebes, takes and destroys the town, but loses his son, and dies of grief on his way home at Megara, where, as well as at Sicyon and Athens, he was worshipped as a hero.
 
ALCMAEON 14.37%
of Argos. Son of Amphiaraus (q.v.) and Eriphyle. As his father, in departing on the expedition of the Seven against Thebes, has bound him and his brother Amphilochus, then mere boys, to avenge him on their faithless mother, Alcmaeon refuses to take part in the second expedition, that of the Epigoni (q.v.), till he has first fulfilled that filial duty; nevertheless his mother, bribed by Thersander with the garment of Harmonia, persuades him to go. The real leader at the siege of Thebes, he slays the Theban king, Laodamas, and is the first to enter the conquered city. On returning home, he, at the bidding of the Delphian Apollo, avenges his father by slaying his mother, with, or according to some accounts, without, his brother's help; but immediately, like Orestes; he is set upon by the Erinyes, and wanders distracted, seeking purification and a new home. Phegeus, of the Arcadian Psophis, half purifies him of his guilt, and gives him his daughter Arsinoe or Alphesiboea to wife, to whom he presents the jewels of Harmonia, which he has brought from Argos. But soon the crops fail in the land, and he falls into his distemper again, till, after many wanderings, he arrives at the mouth of the Achelous, and there, in an island that has floated up, he finds the country promised by the god, which had not existed at the time of his dying mother's curse, and so he is completely cured. He marries Achelous' daughter, Callirrhoe, by whom he has two sons, Acarnan and Amphoterus. Unable to withstand his wife's entreaties that she may have Harmonia's necklace and robe, he goes to Phegeus in Arcadia, and begs those treasures of him, pretending that he will dedicate them at Delphi for the perfect healing of his madness. He obtains them; but Phegeus, on learning the truth, sets his sons to waylay him on his road, and rob him of his treasure and his life; and then Alcmaeon's two sons avenge their father's death on these murderers. Alcmaeon, like his father, received divine honours after death; he had a sanctuary at Thebes, and at Psophis a consecrated tomb.
 
DIOMEDES 12.71%
Son of Tydeus and Deipyle, and one of the Epigoni. After the death of his maternal grandfather Adrastus, king of Argos, he led 80 ships against Troy, accompanied by his trusty companions Sthenelus and Euryalus. He appears in Homer, like his father, as a bold, enterprising hero, and a favourite of Athene. In the battle which took place during the absence of Achilles she enables him not only to vanquish all mortals who came in his way, Aeneas among them, but to attack and wound Ares and Aphrodite. On his meeting with Glaucus in the thick of battle, see GLAUCUS 4. When the Achaeans fly from the field, he throws himself boldly in the path of Hector, and is only checked by the lightning of Zeus, which falls in front of his chariot. In the night after the unsuccessful battle he goes out with Odysseus to explore, kills Dolon, the Trojan ap and murders the sleeping Rhesus, king of Thrace, who had just come to Troy, with twelve of his warriors. In the post-Homeric story, he makes his way again, in company with Odysseus, by an underground passage into the acropolis of Troy, and thence steals the Palladium. This, according to one version, he carried to Argos; according to another, it was stolen from him by the Athenian king, Demophoon, on his landing in Attica. After the destruction of Troy, according to Homer, he came safe home on the fourth day of his journey. His wife, Aegiale or Aegialeia (daughter or granddaughter of Adrastus), was, according to the later legend, tempted to unfaithfulness by Aphrodite in revenge for the wounds inflicted on her by Diomedes. To escape the fate of Agamemnon, Diomedes fled from Argos to Aetolia, his father's home, and there avenged his old grandfather OEneus on his oppressors. Hence he was driven by a storm to Italy, to king Daunus of Apulia, who helps him in war against the Messapians, marries his daughter Euippe, and extends his dominion over the plain of Apulia (called after him Campi Diomedei). According to one story, he died in Daunia, in another he returned to Argos, and died there; in a third, he disappeared in the islands in the Adriatic, named, after him, Insulae Diomedeae, his companions being changed into the herons that live there, the birds of Diomedes. Diomedes was worshipped as a hero not only in Greece, but on the Italian coast of the Adriatic, where his name had in all probability become confused in worship with those of the native deities of horse-taming and navigation. The foundation of the Apulian city of Argyrippa (later called Arpi) was specially attributed to him. In his native city, Argos, his shield was carried through the streets with the Palladium at the festival of Athene, and his statue washed in the river Inachus.
 
SEVEN AGAINST THEBES, THE 8.95%
OEdipus, king of Thebes, had pronounced a curse upon his sons Eteocles and Polynices, that they should die at one another's hand. In order to make the fulfilment of the curse impossible, by separating himself from his brother, Polynices left Thebes while his father was still alive, and at Argos married Argeia, the daughter of Adrastus (q.v.). On the death of his father he was recalled, and offered by Eteocles, who was the elder of the two, 1 the choice between the kingdom and the treasures of OEdipus; but, on account of a quarrel that arose over the division, he departed a second time and induced his father-in-law to undertake a war against his native city. According to another legend, the brothers deprived their father of the kingdom, and agreed to rule alternately, and to quit the city for a year at a time. Polynices, as the younger, first went into voluntary banishment; but when, after the expiration of a year, Eteocles denied him his right, and drove him out by violence, he fled to Argos, where Adrastus made him his son-in-law, and undertook to restore him with an armed force. Adrastus was the leader of the army; besides Polynices and Tydeus of Calydon, the other son-in-law of the king, there also took part in the expedition the king's brothers Hippomedon and Parthenopoeus (q.v.), Capaneus, a descendant of Proetus, and Amphiaraus (q.v.), the latter against his will, and foreseeing his own death. The Atridae were invited to join in the expedition, but were withheld by evil omens from Zeus. When the Seven reached Nemea on their march, a fresh warning befell them. Hypsipyle, the nurse of Opheltes, the son of king Lycurgus, laid her charge down on the grass in order to lead the thirsty warriors to a spring, during her absence the child was killed by a snake. They gave him solemn burial, and instituted the Nemean games in his honour; but Amphiaraus interpreted the occurrence as an omen of his own fate, and accordingly gave the boy the name of Archemoros (i.e. leader to death). When they arrived at the river Asopus in Boeotia, they sent Tydeus (q.v.) to Thebes, in the hope of coming to terms. He was refused a hearing, and the Thebans laid an ambush for him on his return. The Seven now advanced to the walls of the city, and posted themselves with their troops one at each of its seven gates. Against them were posted seven chosen Thebans (among them Melanippus and Periclymenus). Menoeceus (q.v.) devoted himself to death to insure the victory for the Thebans. In the battle at the sanctuary of the Ismenian Apollo they were driven right back to their gates; the giant Capaneus had already climbed the wall by a scaling ladder, and was presumptuously boasting that even the lightning of Zeus should not drive him back, when the flaming bolt of the god smote him down, and dashed him to atoms. The beautiful Parthenopaesus also fell, with his skull shattered by a rock that was hurled at him. Adrastus desisted from the assault, and the armies, which had suffered severely, agreed that the originators of the quarrel, Eteocles and Polynices, should fight out their difference in single combat. Both brothers fell, and a fresh battle arose over their bodies. In this, all of the assailants met their death, except Adrastus, who was saved by the speed of his black-maned charger. According to the older legends, his eloquence persuaded the Thebans to give the fallen due burial. When the bodies of the hostile brothers were placed on the pyre, the flames, which were meant to destroy them together, parted into two portions. According to the version of the story invented by the Attic tragedians, the Thebans refused to bury their foes, but at the prayer of Adrastus were compelled to do so by Theseus; according to another version, he conquered the Thebans and buried the dead bodies at Eleusis in Attica (AeEschylus, Septem contra Thelbas). For the burial of Polynices, see ANTIGONE; further see EPIGONI. 1 This is the common tradition, followed by Euripides (Phoem. 71). Sophocles, however, exceptionally makes Polynices the elder brother (Ed. Col. 375, 1294, 1422).
 
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