Oedipus

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  • Laius, king of Thebes, was warned by an oracle that his son would slay him.
  • Oedipus was adopted by King Polybus of Corinth and his wife and was brought up as their son.
  • In early manhood Oedipus visited Delphi and upon learning that he was fated to kill his father and marry his mother, he resolved never to return to Corinth.
  • Traveling toward Thebes, he encountered Laius, who provoked a quarrel in which Oedipus killed him. Continuing on his way, Oedipus found Thebes plagued by the Sphinx, who put a riddle to all passersby and destroyed those who could not answer. Oedipus solved the riddle, and the Sphinx killed herself.
  • Oedipus solved the riddle, and the Sphinx killed herself. In reward, he received the throne of Thebes and the hand of the widowed queen, his mother, Jocasta. They had four children: Eteocles, Polyneices, Antigone, and Ismene.
  • Later, when the truth became known, Jocasta committed suicide, and Oedipus (according to another version), after blinding himself, went into exile, accompanied by Antigone and Ismene, leaving his brother-in-law Creon as regent. Oedipus died at Colonus near Athens, where he was swallowed into the earth and became a guardian hero of the land.
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