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Lecture 26 Notes.docx

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CLAS 203
Margaret Palczynski

CLAS203 Lecture 26 Notes The Founding of Thebes:  Boeotia  Two foundings: one local, one foreign  Mythologically, Thebes was found from the East; “Cadmus” means from the East  Foreign founding: o Agenor (Tyre) sends his sons to find their sister, Europa o Europa, Cadmus seeks help from Oracle, oracle tells him to follow the cow until it lies down and to found a city at that place o Oracle o Dragon combat – to sacrifice cow, Cadmus needs water, sends his companions to get water from spring only to find it was guarded by a dragon as the spring was sacred to Ares; dragon kills companion so Cadmus goes to fetch water himself, and slays the dragon. Cadmus takes its teeth guided by Athena and keeps half of them; half goes to Jason o Spartoi – best line of men of Thebans, came from dragon’s tooth resurrecting men, fighting each until 5 remain who becomes Cadmus’ companions  Local founding o Chthonius (inner part of city), Nicteus, Niteis, Antiope o Zethus and Amphion: second founding but leave no direct descents o blend of stories  Near Eastern saga and local folklore may have combined stories together  Historical basis? o Polydorus does not just come to take over Thebes. During the transition, a local line takes over, Chtonius  Nicteus  Nicteis & Antiope  Zethus (shepard and hunter) & Amphion (music – builds wall of Thebes with music) o Polydorus comes in now and marries Nicteis and has Labdacus The House of Labdacus:  Labdacus  Laius o Exile: Pelops (King of Elis) o Contravenes the traditions of hospitality, rapes son of Pelops, Chrysippus o Cursed – works its way through generations o Returns to Thebes and oracles (oracle tells Laius his son will kill him) o Marriage to Jocasta (descendent of the noble Thebans) – makes Laius drunk and has sex with him because Laius refuses to sleep with her due to oracle o Rules and reigns Thebes o Exposing of Oedipus ‘swellfoot’ on Mt. Cithaeron o Polybus, Merope (King and Queen) of Corinth  Thebes: arrival of Sphinx (Typhoeus) due to curse o Thebans are scared and cannot do anything o Sphinx asks riddle, if solved, Sphinx will kill herself o Laius goes to Delphi o Creon as regent  Oedipus at Corinth o
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