Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
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).
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.)
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.
The quashing of an official act. As in (1), this might be issued by a higher official against a lower one; and also by one colleague against another, e.g. by tribune against tribune. It was necessary that the intercessio should be made in person, and in general immediately after the act in question. It was employed against judicial decisions, administrative ordinances (solely on the appeal of the person concerned); also against decrees of the senate and motions in the popular assembly. The later species of intercessio early became a special right of the tribunes (q.v.).
A Theban, who mortally wounded Tydeus in the fight of the Seven against Thebes, and was himself slain by Amphiaraus. (Cp. TYDEUS.)
Son of Adrastus of Argos, and one of the Epigoni (q.v.), who fell before Thebes.
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.).
LYCUS 40.66%
Son of Poseidon, tyrant of Thebes, killed by Heracles for murdering his fatlier-in-law Creon during his absence, and for plottiug against his wife Megara and his children.
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.
A Theban, son of Poseidon and Chloris, daughter of the seer Tiresias. In the war of the Seven against Thebes he slew Parthenopaeus, and was in pursuit of Amphiaraus at the moment when the latter sank into the earth.
ALCMENE 36.27%
Daughter of Electryon, wife of Amphitryon (q.v.), mother of Heracles by Zeus. On her connexion with Rhadamanthys, see RHADAMANTHYS. After her son's translation to the gods she fled from the face of Eurystheus to Athens, but went back to Thebes, and died there at a great age. She was worshipped at Thebes, and had an altar in the temple of Heracles at Athens.
EPIGONI 35.96%
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.
Grandson of Pentheus of Thebes, father of Creon and Jocasta.
One of the Ten Attic Orators, born about B.C. 390, son of the Athenian Glancippas. He was a pupil of Plato and Isocr&t&, and won for himself an important position as a forensic and political orator, although his private life was not unblemished. As a statesman, he decidedly shared the views of Demosthenes, and was his steadfast ally in the struggle against the Macedonian party. It is true that he afterwards [B.C. 324] took part in the prosecution of Demosthenes, when accused of having taken bribes from Alexander's treasurer, Harpalus, and that he contributed to his condemnation on that charge. After the destruction of Thebes by Alexander [335] it was only with difficulty that he and Demosthenes escaped being given up to the Macedonians. After the death of Alexander [323] he was the chief instigator of the Lamian War, at the unfortunate conclusion of which he and Demosthenes (who had been reconciled to one another in the meantime) and other patriots were condemned to death by the Macedonian party. He fled for sanctuary to a temple in Aegina, but was dragged away from it by force, and by order of Antipater put to death at Corinth in 322. Of the seventy-seven speeches which were known to antiquity as the work of Hyperides, only a few fragments were known until recent times; but in 1847, in a tomb at Thebes, in Egypt, extensive fragments were found of his speech Against Demosthenes, together with a speech For Lycophron and the whole of his speech Against Euxenippus. In 1856 there was a further discovery in Egypt of an important part of the Funeral Oration delivered in 322 over those who had fallen in the siege of Lamia. [The conclusion of the speech Against Philippides and the whole of that Against Athenogenes were first published in 1891]. Though the speeches of Hyperides never attain to the force and depth of those of Demosthenes, nevertheless they were valued highly on account of the skill of their construction and the grace and charm of their expression.
OEDIPUS 31.68%
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.
LYCUS 31.62%
Son of Poseidon and the Pleiad Celaeno, married to Dirce. He took over the government of Thebes after his brother Nyoteus, for Labdacus, who was a minor; and, after the death of Labdacus for his son Laius. He was either killed by Amphion (q.v.) and zethus, or (according to another account) handed the government of Thebes over to them at the behest of Hermes.
Son of Amphitryon and Alcmene, half-brother of Heracles and father of Iolaus. He took part in the Calydonian Hunt and also in many of his brother's expeditions, especially against Erginus, Augeas, Laomedon, and Hippocoon. He either fell in the fight against the sons of Hippocoon or was wounded in battle against the Molionidae at Pheneus in Arcadia, where he was afterwards worshipped as a hero.
A surname given to Opheltes, the infant son of Lycurgus king of Nemea, who was killed by a snake during the march of the Seven against Thebes (q.v.). It was given him by the seer Amphiaraus, who foresaw the destruction awaiting himself and his confederates; and by it the child was invoked at the Nemean Games originally founded in memory of him.
One of the Seven against Thebes who was struck by lightning during the assault upon the city. He was climbing the wall, and was boasting that not even the lightning of Zeus would scare him away. During the burning of his body on the funeral pyre, his wife Evadne threw herself into the flames. His son was Sthenelus, the charioteer of Diomedes.
CORINNA 28.34%
A Greek lyric poetess, born at Tanagra in Boeotia, and surnamed Myia, or "the Fly." She flourished about 510 B.C. She was the instructress of Pindar, and is said to have beaten him five times in musical contests. Only a few fragments of her poems, of which there were five books, remain. They were written in the Boeotian dialect, and treated subjects of local mythology, as, for instance, the tale of the "Seven against Thebes."
Type: Standard
gutter splint
gutter splint
gutter splint