Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica/The Thebais

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New Haven: Harvard University Press, pages 485–487



Homer travelled about reciting his epics, first the Thebaid, in seven thousand verses, which begins: "Sing, goddess, of parched Argos, whence lords..."


"Then the heaven-born hero, golden-haired Polyneices, first set beside Oedipus a rich table of silver which once belonged to Cadmus the divinely wise: next he filled a fine golden cup with sweet wine. But when Oedipus perceived these treasures of his father, great misery fell on his heart, and he straightway called down bitter curses there in the presence of both his sons. And the avenging Fury of the gods failed not to hear him as he prayed that they might never divide their father's goods in loving brotherhood, but that war and fighting might be ever the portion of them both."


"And when Oedipus noticed the haunch[1] he threw it on the ground and said: 'Oh! Oh! my sons have sent this mocking me...' So he prayed to Zeus the king and the other deathless gods that each might fall by his brother's hand and go down into the house of Hades."


Adrastus fled from Thebes "wearing miserable garments, and took black-maned Areion[2] with him."


"But when the seven dead had received their last rites in Thebes, the Son of Taläus lamented and spoke thus among them: 'Woe is me, for I miss the bright eye of my host, a good seer and a stout spearman alike.'"


Oeneus married Periboea the daughter of Hipponoüs. The author of the Thebais says that when Olenus had been stormed, Oeneus received her as a prize.


Near the spring is the tomb of Asphodicus. This Asphodicus killed Parthenopaeus the son of Talaus in the battle against the Argives, as the Thebans say; though that part of the Thebais which tells of the death of Parthenopaeus says that it was Periclymenus who killed him.

  1. The haunch was regarded as a dishonourable portion.
  2. The horse of Adrastus, offspring of Poseidon and Demeter, who had changed herself into a mare to escape Poseidon.