Theban mythology from Cadmos to Oedipus

Authored by: Robin Hard

The Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138652606
eBook ISBN: 9781315624136
Adobe ISBN:


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Chapter 15 provides an account of the earlier mythical history of Thebes. As in the case of Argos, it was ruled by a branch of the great Inachid family, and the chapter begins by describing how Cadmos, who was of Inachid descent, crossed over from Phoenicia in search of his abducted sister Europa and founded the city of Thebes in accordance with instructions received from the Delphic oracle. The final section of the chapter is devoted primarily to the mythology of his son Oedipus, who gained the throne after unknowingly killing Laios, solving the riddle of the Sphinx, and marrying his mother Jocasta. The chapter ends by describing how the secrets of Oedipus’ past came to be revealed, and how he met his death as a blind exile.

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