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Greek and Roman Characters, etymology, and sources 3

Terms in this set (81)

This son of Laius and Jocasta was fated to kill his father and marry his mother. When he was born, his father drove a spike through his ankles and ordered a servant to expose him, but the servant gave him to a shepherd from Corinth, where he was raised as the child of Polybus, the king of Corinth. When a drunken companion at a banquet told him he was not the child of Polybus, Oedipus journeyed to Delphi, where he asked who his parents were. He was told he should avoid his homeland, since he was fated to kill his father and marry his mother. So Oedipus made his way toward Thebes, but along the way he killed a royal old man and his retinue, who assaulted him at a place where three roads meet (Sophocles, Oedipus the King; Apollodorus 3.5.5-8; Pausanias 9.5.5-10, 9.26.2-3; Hyginus, Fabulae 85). In Thebes, Oedipus answered the riddle of the Sphinx, became king, and married Jocasta (Hesiod, Theogony 326-329; Sophocles, Oedipus the King 391-398; Euripides, Phoenician Women 45-49, 806-811, 1019-1042, 1504; Apollodorus 3.5.8; Pausanias 9.26.2-4; Diodorus Siculus 4.64.3-4; Hyginus, Fabulae 67). Years later, Oedipus' investigation of the cause of a plague in the land revealed that he had killed his father and was married to his mother. Jocasta hanged herself and Oedipus blinded himself and went into exile (Homer, Odyssey 11.271-280; Sophocles, Oedipus the King; Apollodorus 3.5.7-9). When it became known that the land in which Oedipus was buried would enjoy great bounty, the Thebans came to bring Oedipus back to his homeland, but Oedipus did not wish to return, and Theseus, king of Athens, kept the Thebans from coercing him. In Colonus, Oedipus disappeared miraculouly before the eyes of Theseus (Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus). Family Tree 19.