Classics 430:
Greek and Roman Mythology
1 February 2002

I.   Mythological Wives, continued: the founding of Thebes, Oedipus and Iocaste

1. Pre-foundation: Agenor, Europa, the Bull, and Cadmus
    a. Europa seduced by White Bull (Zeus) on the shores of Phoenicia
    b. Bull takes Europa west, to Greece (hence, Europe)
    c. Agenor sends Eís brothers to look for her.

2. Foundation, the First: Cadmus, Harmonia, the Dragon, and Thebes:

    a. Cadmus follows Europa to Greece
    b. Goes to DELPHI; receives oracle about cow
    c. Cadmus follows oracle (and cow) and comes to Thebes
    d. Battle between Cadmus and the dragon; Cadmus wins
    e. Men born from dragonís teethóSpartióthe founding men of Thebes
    f. After purified for murder of dragon, C. marries Harmonia (daughter of Aphrodite and Ares): big wedding, but all of their heirs were cursed.

3. Foundation, the Second:  Circe, Amphion, Zethus, and Antiope

a. Read this in Powell.  Note theme of founding twins born of Zeus.

4. Oedipus and the Theban Cycle: [cf. FAMILY TREE, P. page 449]
    a. People: Labdacus,  Laius,  Iocasta / Epicaste, Creon, shepherd, Oedipus, Polybus, Merope, Polyneices, Eteocles, Antigone, Ismene, Teiresias
    b. Places: Thebes, Corinth, Delphi
    c. Things: Sphnix (female), oracle, riddle, swollen foot, crossroads, incest
    d. Themes: blindness v. sight, self-deception v. knowledge
    e. Story:
         i. Laius and Iocasta receive oracle about murder (no sex!)
         ii. Oops.
         iii. Child exposed, then saved, then adopted
         iv. Oedipus comes of age, learns of oracle, leaves Corinth
         v. Thebes harassed by Sphinx / riddle of Man
         vi. Laius to Delphi, killed at crossroads
         vii. Oedipus comes, solves riddle, marries Iocasta (fulfills oracle)
         viii. Plague descends upon cityóOedipus swears to avenge murder of Laius
         ix. Oedipus discovers all. Díoh!
         x. Iocasta kills herself, Oedipus blinds himself, and so onÖ

5.  Review subsequent myths of Thebes in Powell! (Tydeus, the Battle, Antigone)