Thebes is a city in Boeotia, central Greece. It played an important role in Greek myths, as the site of the stories of Cadmus, Oedipus and others. Archaeological excavations in and around Thebes have revealed a Mycenaean settlement and clay tablets written in the Linear B script, indicating the importance of the site in the Bronze Age. Thebes was the largest city of the ancient region of Boeotia and was the leader of the Boeotian confederacy, it was a major rival of ancient Athens, sided with the Persians during the 480 BC invasion under Xerxes. Theban forces under the command of Epaminondas ended the power of Sparta at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC; the Sacred Band of Thebes famously fell at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC against Philip II and Alexander the Great. Prior to its destruction by Alexander in 335 BC, Thebes was a major force in Greek history, was the most dominant city-state at the time of the Macedonian conquest of Greece. During the Byzantine period, the city was famous for its silks.
The modern city contains an Archaeological Museum, the remains of the Cadmea, scattered ancient remains. Modern Thebes is the largest town of the regional unit of Boeotia. Thebes is situated in a plain, between Lake Yliki to the north, the Cithaeron mountains, which divide Boeotia from Attica, to the south, its elevation is 215 metres above mean sea level. It is about 50 kilometres northwest of Athens, 100 kilometres southeast of Lamia. Motorway 1 and the Athens–Thessaloniki railway connect Thebes with Athens and northern Greece; the municipality of Thebes covers an area of 830.112 square kilometres, the municipal unit of Thebes 321.015 square kilometres and the community 143.889 square kilometres. In 2011, as a consequence of the Kallikratis reform, Thebes was merged with Plataies and Vagia to form a larger municipality, which retained the name Thebes; the other three become units of the larger municipality. The record of the earliest days of Thebes was preserved among the Greeks in an abundant mass of legends that rival the myths of Troy in their wide ramification and the influence that they exerted on the literature of the classical age.
Five main cycles of story may be distinguished: The foundation of the citadel Cadmea by Cadmus, the growth of the Spartoi or "Sown Men". The immolation of Semele and the advent of Dionysus; the building of a "seven-gated" wall by Amphion, the cognate stories of Zethus and Dirce. The tale of Laius, whose misdeeds culminated in the tragedy of Oedipus and the wars of the "Seven Against Thebes", the Epigoni, the downfall of his house. See Theban pederasty and Pederasty in ancient Greece for detailed discussion and background; the exploits of Heracles. The Greeks attributed the foundation of Thebes to Cadmus, a Phoenician king from Tyre and the brother of Queen Europa. Cadmus was famous for teaching the Phoenician alphabet and building the Acropolis, named the Cadmeia in his honor and was an intellectual and cultural center. Archaeological excavations in and around Thebes have revealed cist graves dated to Mycenaean times containing weapons and tablets written in Linear B, its attested name forms and relevant terms on tablets found locally or elsewhere include, te-qa-i, understood to be read as *Tʰēgʷai̮s, te-qa-de, for *Tʰēgʷasde, and, te-qa-ja, for *Tʰēgʷaja.
It seems safe to infer that *Tʰēgʷai was one of the first Greek communities to be drawn together within a fortified city, that it owed its importance in prehistoric days — as — to its military strength. Deger-Jalkotzy claimed that the statue base from Kom el-Hetan in Amenhotep III's kingdom mentions a name similar to Thebes, spelled out quasi-syllabically in hieroglyphs as d-q-e-i-s, considered to be one of four tj-n3-jj kingdoms worthy of note. *Tʰēgʷai in LHIIIB lost contact with Egypt but gained it with "Miletus" and "Cyprus". In the late LHIIIB, according to Palaima, *Tʰēgʷai was able to pull resources from Lamos near Mount Helicon, from Karystos and Amarynthos on the Greek side of the isle of Euboia; as a fortified community, it attracted attention from the invading Dorians, the fact of their eventual conquest of Thebes lies behind the stories of the successive legendary attacks on that city. The central position and military security of the city tended to raise it to a commanding position among the Boeotians, from early days its inhabitants endeavoured to establish a complete supremacy over their kinsmen in the outlying towns.
This centralizing policy is as much the cardinal fact of Theban history as the counteracting effort of the smaller towns to resist absorption forms the main chapter of the story of Boeotia. No details of the earlier history of Thebes have been preserved, except that it was governed by a land-holding aristocracy who safeguarded their integrity by rigid statutes about the ownership of property and its transmission over time; as attested in Homer's Iliad, Thebes was o
Diodorus Siculus or Diodorus of Sicily was a Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history Bibliotheca historica, much of which survives, between 60 and 30 BC, it is arranged in three parts. The first covers mythic history up to the destruction of Troy, arranged geographically, describing regions around the world from Egypt and Arabia to Greece and Europe; the second covers the Trojan War to the death of Alexander the Great. The third covers the period to about 60 BC. Bibliotheca, meaning ` library', acknowledges. According to his own work, he was born at Agyrium in Sicily. With one exception, antiquity affords no further information about his life and doings beyond in his work. Only Jerome, in his Chronicon under the "year of Abraham 1968", writes, "Diodorus of Sicily, a writer of Greek history, became illustrious". However, his English translator, Charles Henry Oldfather, remarks on the "striking coincidence" that one of only two known Greek inscriptions from Agyrium is the tombstone of one "Diodorus, the son of Apollonius".
Diodorus' universal history, which he named Bibliotheca historica, was immense and consisted of 40 books, of which 1–5 and 11–20 survive: fragments of the lost books are preserved in Photius and the excerpts of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. It was divided into three sections; the first six books treated the mythic history of the non-Hellenic and Hellenic tribes to the destruction of Troy and are geographical in theme, describe the history and culture of Ancient Egypt, of Mesopotamia, India and Arabia, of North Africa, of Greece and Europe. In the next section, he recounts the history of the world from the Trojan War down to the death of Alexander the Great; the last section concerns the historical events from the successors of Alexander down to either 60 BC or the beginning of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars. He selected the name "Bibliotheca" in acknowledgment that he was assembling a composite work from many sources. Identified authors on whose works he drew include Hecataeus of Abdera, Ctesias of Cnidus, Theopompus, Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, Philistus, Timaeus and Posidonius.
His account of gold mining in Nubia in eastern Egypt is one of the earliest extant texts on the topic, describes in vivid detail the use of slave labour in terrible working conditions. He gave an account of the Gauls: "The Gauls are terrifying in aspect and their voices are deep and altogether harsh, they are boasters and threateners and are fond of pompous language, yet they have sharp wits and are not without cleverness at learning." Pliny the Elder Strabo Acadine Ambaglio, Franca Landucci Gattinoni and Luigi Bravi. Diodoro Siculo: Biblioteca storica: commento storico: introduzione generale. Storia. Ricerche. Milano: V&P, 2008. X, 145 p. Buckley, Terry. Aspects of Greek History 750-323 BC: A Source-based Approach. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-09958-7. Lloyd, Alan B.. Herodotus, Book II. Leiden: Brill. Pp. Introduction. ISBN 90-04-04179-6. Siculus, Diodorus. H.. Library of History: Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press. Siculus, Diodorus. Rhodomannus; the Historical Library of Diodorus the Sicilian in Fifteen Books to which are added the Fragments of Diodorus.
London: J. Davis. Downloadable via Google Books. Siculi, Diodori. Bibliothecae Historicae Libri Qui Supersunt: Nova Editio. Argentorati: Societas Bipontina. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list Downloadable via Google Books. Clarke, Katherine. 1999. "Universal perspectives in Historiography." In The Limits of Historiography: Genre and Narrative in Ancient Historical Texts. Edited by Christina Shuttleworth Kraus, 249–279. Mnemosyne. Supplementum 191. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. Hammond, Nicholas G. L. 1998. "Portents and Dreams in Diodorus’ Books 14–17." Greek and Byzantine Studies 39.4: 407–428. McQueen, Earl I. 1995. Diodorus Siculus; the Reign of Philip II: The Greek and Macedonian Narrative from Book XVI. A Companion. London: Bristol Classical Press. Muntz, Charles E. 2017. Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. Pfuntner, Laura. 2015. "Reading Diodorus through Photius: The Case of the Sicilian Slave Revolts." Greek and Byzantine Studies 55.1: 256–272. Rubincam, Catherine.
1987. "The Organization and Composition of Diodorus’ Bibliotheke." Échos du monde classique 31:313–328. Sacks, Kenneth S. 1990. Diodorus Siculus and the First Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press. Sinclair, Robert K. 1963. "Diodorus Siculus and the Writing of History." Proceedings of the African Classical Association 6:36–45. Stronk, Jan P. 2017. Semiramis’ Legacy; the History of Persia According to Diodorus of Sicily. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press. Sulimani, Iris. 2008. "Diodorus’ Source-Citations: A Turn in the Attitu
Bibliotheca historica, is a work of universal history by Diodorus Siculus. It consisted of forty books; the first six books are geographical in theme, describe the history and culture of Egypt, of Mesopotamia, India and Arabia, of North Africa, of Greece and Europe. In the next section, he recounts the history of the world starting with the Trojan War, down to the death of Alexander the Great; the last section concern the historical events from the successors of Alexander down to either 60 BC or the beginning of Caesar's Gallic War in 59 BC. He selected the name "Bibliotheca" in acknowledgement that he was assembling a composite work from many sources. Of the authors he drew from, some who have been identified include: Hecataeus of Abdera, Ctesias of Cnidus, Theopompus, Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, Philistus, Timaeus and Posidonius. Diodorus' immense work has not survived intact; the rest exists only in fragments preserved in Photius and the excerpts of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. The earliest date Diodorus mentions is his visit to Egypt in the 180th Olympiad.
This visit was marked by his witnessing an angry mob demand the death of a Roman citizen who had accidentally killed a cat, an animal sacred to the ancient Egyptians. The latest event Diodorus mentions is Octavian's vengeance on the city of Tauromenium, whose refusal to help him led to Octavian's naval defeat nearby in 36 BC. Diodorus shows no knowledge that Egypt became a Roman province—which transpired in 30 BC—so he published his completed work before that event. Diodorus asserts that he devoted thirty years to the composition of his history, that he undertook a number of dangerous journeys through Europe and Asia in prosecution of his historical researches. Modern critics have called this claim into question, noting several surprising mistakes that an eye-witness would not be expected to have made. In the Bibliotheca historica, Diodorus sets out to write a universal history, covering the entire world and all periods of time; each book opens with a table of its contents and a preface discussing the relevance of history, issues in the writing of history or the significance of the events discussed in that book.
These are now agreed to be Diodorus' own work. The degree to which the text that follows is derived from earlier historical works is debated; the first five books describe the history and culture of different regions, without attempting to determine the relative chronology of events. Diodorus expresses serious doubts that such chronology is possible for barbarian lands and the distant past; the resulting books have affinities with the genre of geography. Books six to ten, which covered the transition from mythical times to the archaic period, are entirely lost. By book ten he had taken up an annalistic structure, narrating all the events throughout the world in each year before moving on to the next one. Books eleven to twenty, which are intact and cover events between 480 BC and 302 BC, maintain this annalistic structure. Books twenty-one to forty, which brought the work down to Diodorus' own lifetime, terminating around 60 BC, are lost. Book one opens with a prologue on the work as a whole, arguing for the importance of history and universal history in particular.
The rest of the book is divided into two halves. In the first half he covers the development of civilisation in Egypt. A long discussion of the theories offered by different Greek scholars to explain the annual floods of the River Nile serves to showcase Diodorus' wide-reading. In the second half he presents the history of the country, its customs and religion, in a respectful tone, his main sources are believed to be Hecataeus of Agatharchides of Cnidus. This book has only a short prologue outlining its contents; the majority of the book is devoted to the history of the Assyrians, focussed on the mythical conquests of Ninus and Semiramis, the fall of the dynasty under the effeminate Sardanapallus, the origins of the Medes who overthrew them. This section is explicitly derived from the account of Ctesias of Cnidus; the rest of the book is devoted to describing the various other peoples of Asia. He first describes India, drawing on Megasthenes the Scythians of the Eurasian steppe, including the Amazons and the Hyperboreans) and Arabia Felix.
He finishes the book with an account of the traveller Iambulus' journey to a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, which appears to be based on a Hellenistic utopian novel. In this book, Diodorus describes the geography of North Africa including Ethiopia, the gold mines of Egypt, the Persian Gulf and Libya, where he sites mythical figures including the Gorgons, Amazons and Atlas. Based on the writings on Agatharchides, Diodorus describes gold mining in Egypt, with horrible working conditions: And those who have been condemned in this way—and they are a great multitude and are all bound in chains—work at their task unceasingly both by day and throughout the entire night... For no leniency or respite of any kind is given to any man, sick, or maimed, or aged, or in the case of a woman for her weakness, but all without exception are compelled by bl
Boeotia, sometimes alternatively Latinised as Boiotia, or Beotia, is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Central Greece, its capital is Livadeia, its largest city is Thebes. Boeotia was a region of ancient Greece, since before the 6th century BC. Boeotia lies to the north of the eastern part of the Gulf of Corinth, it has a short coastline on the Gulf of Euboea. It bordered on Megaris in the south, Attica in the southeast, Euboea in the northeast, Opuntian Locris in the north and Phocis in the west; the main mountain ranges of Boeotia are Mount Parnassus in the west, Mount Helicon in the southwest, Cithaeron in the south and Parnitha in the east. Its longest river, the Cephissus, flows in the central part, where most of the low-lying areas of Boeotia are found. Lake Copais was a large lake in the center of Boeotia, it was drained in the 19th century. Lake Yliki is a large lake near Thebes; the earliest inhabitants of Boeotia, associated with the city of Orchomenus, were called Minyans.
Pausanias mentions that Minyans established the maritime Ionian city of Teos, occupied the islands of Lemnos and Thera. The Argonauts were sometimes referred to as Minyans. According to legend the citizens of Thebes paid an annual tribute to their king Erginus; the Minyans may have been proto-Greek speakers, but although most scholars today agree that the Mycenean Greeks descended from the Minyans of the Middle Helladic period, they believe that the progenitors and founders of Minyan culture were an autochthonous group. The early wealth and power of Boeotia is shown by the reputation and visible Mycenean remains of several of its cities Orchomenus and Thebes; the origin of the name "Boeotians" may lie in the mountain Boeon in Epirus. Some toponyms and the common Aeolic dialect indicate that the Boeotians were related to the Thessalians. Traditionally, the Boeotians are said to have occupied Thessaly, the largest fertile plain in Greece, to have been dispossessed by the north-western Thessalians two generations after the Fall of Troy.
They moved south and settled in another rich plain, while others filtered across the Aegean and settled on Lesbos and in Aeolis in Asia Minor. Others are said to have stayed in Thessaly, withdrawing into the hill country and becoming the perioikoi. Though far from Anthela, which lay on the coast of Malis south of Thessaly in the locality of Thermopylae, Boeotia was an early member of the oldest religious Amphictyonic League because her people had lived in Thessaly. Many ancient Greek legends are set in this region; the older myths took their final form during the Mycenean age when the Mycenean Greeks established themselves in Boeotia and the city of Thebes became an important centre. Many of them are related to the myths of Argos, others indicate connections with Phoenicia, where the Mycenean Greeks and the Euboean Greeks established trading posts. Important legends related to Boeotia include: Eros, worshiped by a fertility cult in Thespiae The Muses of Mount Helicon Ogyges and the Ogygian deluge Cadmus, said to have founded Thebes and brought the alphabet to Greece Dionysus and Semele Narcissus Heracles, born in Thebes The Theban Cycle, including the myths of Oedipus and the Sphinx, the Seven against Thebes Antiope and her sons Amphion and Zethus Niobe Orion, born in Boeotia and said to have fathered 50 sons with a local river god's daughters.
Many of these legends were used in plays by the tragic Greek poets, Aeschylus and Euripides: Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes Sophocles's Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone, known as the Theban plays Euripides's Bacchae, Phoenician Women and HeraclesThey were used in lost plays such as Aeschylus's Niobe and Euripides's Antiope. Boeotia was notable for the ancient oracular shrine of Trophonius at Lebadea. Graea, an ancient city in Boeotia, is sometimes thought to be the origin of the Latin word Graecus, from which English derives the words Greece and Greeks; the major poets Hesiod and Pindar were Boeotians. Boeotia had significant political importance, owing to its position on the north shore of the Gulf of Corinth, the strategic strength of its frontiers, the ease of communication within its extensive area. On the other hand, the lack of good harbours hindered its maritime development; the importance of the legendary Minyae has been confirmed by archaeological remains. The Boeotian population entered the land from the north before the Dorian invasion.
With the exception of the Minyae, the original peoples were soon absorbed by these immigrants, the Boeotians henceforth appear as a homogeneous nation. Aeolic Greek was spoken in Boeotia. In historical times, the leading city of Boeotia was Thebes, whose central position and military strength made it a suitable capital, it was the constant ambition of the Thebans to absorb the other townships into a single state, just as Athens had annexed the Attic communities. But the outlying cities resisted this policy, only allowed the formation of a loose federation, religious. While the Boeotians, unlike the Arcadians acted as a united whole against foreign enemies, the constant struggle between the cities was a serious check on the nation's development. Boeotia hardly figures in history before the late 6th century BC. Previous to this, its people are chiefly known as the makers of a type of geometric pottery, similar to
In Greek mythology, Polynices was the son of Oedipus and Jocasta and the younger brother of Eteocles. When his father, was discovered to have killed his father and married his mother, he was expelled from Thebes, leaving his sons Eteocles and Polynices to rule; because of a curse put on them by their father Oedipus, the two sons did not share the rule peacefully and died as a result, killing each other in battle for control over Thebes. In the Thebaid, the brothers were cursed by their father for their disrespect towards him on two occasions; the first of these occurred when they served him using the silver table of Cadmus and a golden cup, which he had forbidden. The brothers sent him the haunch of a sacrificed animal, rather than the shoulder, which he deserved. Enraged, Oedipus prayed to Zeus. However, in Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus, Oedipus desired to stay in Thebes but was expelled by Creon, his sons argued over the throne, but Eteocles gained the support of the Thebans and expelled Polynices, who went to Oedipus to ask for his blessing to retake the city, but instead was cursed to die by his brother's hand.
His son was Thersander. There are several accounts of how Eteocles and Polynices shared the rule after Oedipus' departure from the city. In Hellanicus' account, Eteocles offers his brother his choice of either the rule of the city or a share of the property. In Pherekydes, Eteocles expels Polynices by force, keeps the rule of Thebes and the inheritance; the Bibliotheca and Diodorus state that the brothers agree to divide the kingship between them, switching each year. Eteocles, was allotted the first year, refused to surrender the crown. Eteocles has his brother exiled, though Polynices soon finds refuge in the city of Argos. There he is welcomed by the king, Adrastus who gives him his daughter, for his wife. Polynices pleads his case to King Adrastus, requesting his help to restore him to the throne of Thebes. Adrastos promises to do so and to that end sets out to gather an expeditionary force to march against Thebes, he appoints seven individual champions to lead this assault, one for each of the seven gates in the walls of the city.
Together, these champions, including Adrastus and Polynices, are known as the “Seven Against Thebes”. The expedition soon proved to be complete disaster, as all of the Argive champions were slain in the ensuing battle. Ten years after Polynices' death, the sons of the seven fallen champions gathered to launch a second assault against the city of Thebes to avenge the deaths of their fathers. Unlike their fathers before them, these Epigoni are successful in their attempt to take Thebes, after which they install Thersander, Polynices' son by Argea, as the city's new ruler. In Sophocles' tragedy Antigone, Polynices' story continues after his death. King Creon, who ascended to the throne of Thebes, decreed that Polynices was not to be buried or mourned, on pain of death by stoning. Antigone, his sister, was caught. Creon decreed this in spite of her betrothal to his son Haemon. Antigone's sister, Ismene declared she had aided Antigone and wanted the same fate. Creon imprisoned Antigone in a sepulchre.
He went to bury Polynices himself, release Antigone. However, she had hanged herself rather than be buried alive; when Creon arrived at the tomb where she was to be interred, his son Haemon made as if to attack him and killed himself. When Creon's wife, was informed of their deaths, she too took her own life. Epigoni The Thebans
Greek mythology is the body of myths told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities and mythological creatures, the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself; the Greek myths were propagated in an oral-poetic tradition most by Minoan and Mycenaean singers starting in the 18th century BC. Two poems by Homer's near contemporary Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, contain accounts of the genesis of the world, the succession of divine rulers, the succession of human ages, the origin of human woes, the origin of sacrificial practices. Myths are preserved in the Homeric Hymns, in fragments of epic poems of the Epic Cycle, in lyric poems, in the works of the tragedians and comedians of the fifth century BC, in writings of scholars and poets of the Hellenistic Age, in texts from the time of the Roman Empire by writers such as Plutarch and Pausanias.
Aside from this narrative deposit in ancient Greek literature, pictorial representations of gods and mythic episodes featured prominently in ancient vase-paintings and the decoration of votive gifts and many other artifacts. Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle as well as the adventures of Heracles. In the succeeding Archaic and Hellenistic periods and various other mythological scenes appear, supplementing the existing literary evidence. Greek mythology has had an extensive influence on the culture and literature of Western civilization and remains part of Western heritage and language. Poets and artists from ancient times to the present have derived inspiration from Greek mythology and have discovered contemporary significance and relevance in the themes. Greek mythology is known today from Greek literature and representations on visual media dating from the Geometric period from c. 900 BC to c. 800 BC onward. In fact and archaeological sources integrate, sometimes mutually supportive and sometimes in conflict.
Mythical narration plays an important role in nearly every genre of Greek literature. The only general mythographical handbook to survive from Greek antiquity was the Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus; this work attempts to reconcile the contradictory tales of the poets and provides a grand summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends. Apollodorus of Athens wrote on many of these topics, his writings may have formed the basis for the collection. Among the earliest literary sources are the Iliad and the Odyssey. Other poets completed the "epic cycle", but these and lesser poems now are lost entirely. Despite their traditional name, the "Homeric Hymns" have no direct connection with Homer, they are choral hymns from the earlier part of the so-called Lyric age. Hesiod, a possible contemporary with Homer, offers in his Theogony the fullest account of the earliest Greek myths, dealing with the creation of the world. Hesiod's Works and Days, a didactic poem about farming life includes the myths of Prometheus and the Five Ages.
The poet gives advice on the best way to succeed in a dangerous world, rendered yet more dangerous by its gods. Lyrical poets took their subjects from myth, but their treatment became less narrative and more allusive. Greek lyric poets, including Pindar and Simonides, bucolic poets such as Theocritus and Bion, relate individual mythological incidents. Additionally, myth was central to classical Athenian drama; the tragic playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides took most of their plots from myths of the age of heroes and the Trojan War. Many of the great tragic stories took on their classic form in these tragedies; the comic playwright Aristophanes used myths, in The Birds and The Frogs. Historians Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, geographers Pausanias and Strabo, who traveled throughout the Greek world and noted the stories they heard, supplied numerous local myths and legends giving little-known alternative versions. Herodotus in particular, searched the various traditions presented him and found the historical or mythological roots in the confrontation between Greece and the East.
Herodotus attempted to reconcile the blending of differing cultural concepts. The poetry of the Hellenistic and Roman ages was composed as a literary rather than cultic exercise, it contains many important details that would otherwise be lost. This category includes the works of: The Roman poets Ovid, Valerius Flaccus and Virgil with Servius's commentary; the Greek poets of the Late Antique period: Nonnus, Antoninus Liberalis, Quintus Smyrnaeus. The Greek poets of the Hellenistic period: Apollonius of Rhodes, Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Parthenius. Prose writers from the same periods who make reference to myths includ
In Greek mythology, was the founder and first king of Thebes. Cadmus was the first Greek hero and, alongside Perseus and Bellerophon, the greatest hero and slayer of monsters before the days of Heracles. A Phoenician prince, son of king Agenor and queen Telephassa of Tyre and the brother of Phoenix and Europa, he was sent by his royal parents to seek out and escort his sister Europa back to Tyre after she was abducted from the shores of Phoenicia by Zeus. In early accounts and Europa were instead the children of Phoenix. Cadmus founded the Greek city of Thebes, the acropolis of, named Cadmeia in his honour. Cadmus was credited by the ancient Greeks with introducing the original Phoenician alphabet to the Greeks, who adapted it to form their Greek alphabet. Herodotus estimates that Cadmus lived sixteen hundred years before his time, which would be around 2000 BC. Herodotus had seen and described the Cadmean writing in the temple of Apollo at Thebes engraved on certain tripods, he estimated. On one of the tripods there was this inscription in Cadmean writing, which, as he attested, resembled Ionian letters: Ἀμφιτρύων μ᾽ ἀνέθηκ᾽ ἐνάρων ἀπὸ Τηλεβοάων.
Although Greeks like Herodotus dated Cadmus's role in the founding myth of Thebes to well before the Trojan War, this chronology conflicts with most of what is now known or thought to be known about the origins and spread of both the Phoenician and Greek alphabets. The earliest Greek inscriptions match Phoenician letter forms from the late 9th or 8th centuries BC—in any case, the Phoenician alphabet properly speaking was not developed until around 1050 BC; the Homeric picture of the Mycenaean age betrays little awareness of writing reflecting the loss during the Dark Age of the earlier Linear B script. Indeed, the only Homeric reference to writing was in the phrase "γράμματα λυγρά", grámmata lygrá "baneful drawings", when referring to the Bellerophontic letter. Linear B tablets have been found in abundance at Thebes, which might lead one to speculate that the legend of Cadmus as bringer of the alphabet could reflect earlier traditions about the origins of Linear B writing in Greece, but such a suggestion, however attractive, is by no means a certain conclusion in light of available evidence.
The connection between the name of Cadmus and the historical origins of either the Linear B script or the Phoenician alphabet, if any, remains elusive. However, in modern-day Lebanon, Cadmus is still revered and celebrated as the'carrier of the letter' to the world. According to Greek myth, Cadmus's descendants ruled at Thebes on and off for several generations, including the time of the Trojan War; the etymology of Cadmus' name remains uncertain. Possible connected words include the Semitic triliteral root qdm signifies "east", the Greek kekasmai "to shine". Therefore, the complete meaning of the name might be: "He who excels" or "from the east". After his sister Europa had been carried off by Zeus from the shores of Phoenicia, Cadmus was sent out by his father to find her, enjoined not to return without her. Unsuccessful in his search—or unwilling to go against Zeus—he came to Samothrace, the island sacred to the "Great Gods" or the Kabeiroi, whose mysteries would be celebrated at Thebes. Cadmus did not journey alone to Samothrace.
An identically composed trio had other names at Samothrace, according to Diodorus Siculus: Electra and her two sons and Eetion or Iasion. There was a fourth figure, Electra's daughter, whom Cadmus took away as a bride, as Zeus had abducted Europa; the wedding was the first celebrated on Earth to which the gods brought gifts, according to Diodorus and dined with Cadmus and his bride. Cadmus came in the course of his wanderings to Delphi, he was ordered to give up his quest and follow a special cow, with a half moon on her flank, which would meet him, to build a town on the spot where she should lie down exhausted. The cow was given to Cadmus by Pelagon, King of Phocis, it guided him to Boeotia, where he founded the city of Thebes. Intending to sacrifice the cow to Athena, Cadmus sent some of his companions and Seriphus to the nearby Ismenian spring for water, they were slain by the spring's guardian water-dragon, in turn destroyed by Cadmus, the duty of a culture hero of the new order. He was instructed by Athena to sow the dragon's teeth in the ground, from which there sprang a race of fierce armed men, called the Spartoi.
By throwing a stone among them, Cadmus caused them to fall upon one another until only five survived, who assisted him to build the Cadmeia or citadel of Thebes, became the founders of the noblest families of that city. The dragon had been sacred to Ares, so the god made Cadmus do penance for eight years by serving him. According to Theban tellings, it was at the expiration of this period that the gods gave him Harmonia as wife. At Thebes and Harmonia began a dynasty with a son P