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Royal House of Thebes TRAGEDY!. Europa Phoenician – Who else was Phoenician? *Hint: Carthage*

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Presentation on theme: "Royal House of Thebes TRAGEDY!. Europa Phoenician – Who else was Phoenician? *Hint: Carthage*"— Presentation transcript:

1 Royal House of Thebes TRAGEDY!

2 Europa Phoenician – Who else was Phoenician? *Hint: Carthage*


4 Europa Phoenician – Who else was a Phoenician? Dido Seduced by Zeus, who was in the form of a white bull

5 Titian (1562 AD)

6 Rembrandt (1632)

7 Frescoe in Pompeii (covered in 79 AD)

8 Teracotta figurine from Athens, ca. 480 B.C.

9 Europa Phoenician – Who else was a Phoenician? Dido Seduced by Zeus, who was in the form of a white bull Her brothers ordered not to return until they found her – Cadmus, Cilix, Phoenix Hopeless quest, she never could be found because she was on Crete!


11 Europa on Crete Europa landed on Crete and gave birth to Zeus children – Minos, Sarpedon, Rhadamanthys Sarpedon founded the kingdom Lycia (not the Sarpedon who fought in the Trojan War) Minos Minoans, ancient civilization on Crete Minos = Pasiphea, Pasiphea Minotaur whom Theseus killed Minos and Rhadamanthys become 2 of the 3 judges in the underworld – 3 rd was Aeacus

12 Minoans Civilization named by Sir Arthur Evans in 1900 Google it, really interesting, but essential info – Minoans as early as 2600, lasted until 1150 BC – Significant trade routes – had contact with Egypt and Asia – Height of the Minoans – 1900-1400 BC Even the lower class people had houses modeled on the palaces – Weakened by an earthquake or a volcano disaster – Eventually taken over and absorbed into Hellenic Culture

13 Palace of Knossos today

14 Minoan Palace

15 Fresco, ca. 1400 BC

16 Ladies in Blue Fresco

17 Cadmus Consulted oracle at Delphi Told to follow a cow until it lay down – Yes, lay is the past tense of lie, an intransitive verb Where it lay down, he was to found a city – Thebes!! Eventually, for now Cadmeia


19 Cadmus Consulted oracle at Delphi Told to follow a cow until it lies down Where it lay down, he was to found a city – Thebes!! Eventually, for now Cadmeia Men killed by dragon, Cadmus killed Dragon, Athena advised Dragon teeth Spartoi! Cadmus threw a stone in the middle of them Spartoi thought one of them had attacked Fought until only 5 left – helped build Thebes Ares mad because Cadmus killed sacred Dragon

20 Cadmus fighting the dragon. Side A of a black-figured amphora from Euboea, ca. 560–550 BC

21 Cadmus Married Harmonia, daughter of Ares and Aphrodite Wedding gift from Aphrodite/Hephaestus – necklace of Harmonia, made by Hephaestus – Why is this weird? – Cursed to bring disaster to any who wore it BUT also gives the wearer everlasting youth and beauty – Later used as a bribe to start a war against Thebes (more on that later) Cadmus and Harmonia – four daughters, one son – Ino, Semele, Autonoe, Agave – Polydorus Cadmus and Harmonia turned into serpents All the children ill-fated

22 Semele - Opera by Handel (1744)

23 Semele Semele catches Zeus eye She gets pregnant Hera (in disguise) convinces her to ask Zeus to see him in all his true glory, or his real godly form Zeus promises her by the river Styx anything she asks of him before she asks her question (rash boon)

24 Semele Semele vaporized Zeus rescues Dionysus (Twice Born) – Sews him into his thigh – Raised first by Aunt Ino and her husband Athamas – Then by nymphs

25 Birth of Dionysus, Italian Vase, ca. 405-385 BC

26 Ino Married Athamas – Athamas married to Nephele, but he got tired of her, so he married Ino Athamas sent messengers to Delphi to ask why famine – Ino intercepted the messengers on the way back, lied to Athamas, said Oracle commanded the sacrifice of Phrixus, son by Nephele This way, one of her sons would be the king instead

27 Helle and Phrixus Athamas was about to sacrifice Phrixus when a golden ram appeared Golden ram took Phrixus and sister Helle on its back and flew away Helle fell off Hellespont Phrixus ended up in Colchis, across the Black Sea – Sacrificed the Ram to Zeus to show appreciation – Gave the Golden Fleece to Aeetes, king of Aea Jason and the Argonauts


29 Mirror, From a tomb at Vetralla, Imperial period

30 Mosaic in Naples (?) site was in German...

31 Back to Ino Athamas first wife, Nephele complained to Hera about Athamas taking a second wife OR Ino helped raise Dionysus, making the Jealous Hera furious Two versions of the results

32 First Ino version Hera drove Athamas mad – Athamas killed one son (Learchus) with an arrow and then came after the other son (Melicertes) – Ino grabbed M, ran until they came to a cliff and jumped into the water below – She drowned, but because she helped raise Dionysus, Zeus turned her into a sea diety (Leucotha) and her son into a sea diety (Palaemon)

33 John Flaxmann (1755-1826) The Fury of Athamas

34 Second Ino Version Athamas and Ino both went mad – Athamas kills L. – Ino boils M. in a cauldron and jumps into the river holding the cauldron in her arms No matter what version, the boys and the mother die Athamas fled from Boetia (area around Thebes)

35 Autonoe Mother of Actaeon Actaeon – Out hunting – Stumbled upon Artemis while she was bathing – Maiden Goddess upset he saw her naked in her secret bathing place

36 Titian

37 Autonoe Mother of Actaeon Actaeon – Out hunting – Stumbled upon Artemis while she was bathing – Maiden Goddess upset he saw her naked in her secret bathing place – Turned him into a stag – Set his own dogs loose on him

38 The Fountain of Diana and Actaeon (sculptures by Paolo Persico, Brunelli, Pietro Solari) – at the Palace of Caserta near Naples, 18 th century

39 Agave Married to one of the Spartoi (Serpent teeth man), had son Pentheus Pentheus – Refused to accept cousin Dionysus as a god and did not allow him to have his center of worship in Thebes

40 Agave Agave was a Maenad – female follower of Dionysus – Mistook Pentheus for a wild animal in the forest (Dionysus made them all crazy) – Ripped him to pieces

41 Pottery, ca. 480 BC

42 Fresco in Pompeii

43 Amphion and Zethus Twin sons of Zeus and Antiope – Zeus seduced her in the form of a satyr Antiopes Uncle Lycus – regent of Thebes (first to Labdacus, then to Labdacus son, Laius) Lycus ordered his great nephews to be exposed – They were discovered and raised by a cowherd Gave Antiope to wife, Dirce, who treated her very cruelly

44 Amphion and Zethus Mom Antiope escaped wicked Aunt Dirce and found her two sons Amphion and Zethus returned to Thebes – Killed Dirce Had her tied to the horns of a bull – Forced Lycus out of Thebes (or they killed him) King Laius was spirited away – Became co-rulers City finally named Thebes after Zethus wife, Thebe

45 Fresco in the house of Vetii in Pompeii

46 Amphion and Zethus Built the walls of Thebes with 7 gates – Zethus very strong – he carried the rocks – Amphion very talented musician – got the rocks to follow him as he played his lyre Amphion married Niobe – Had 7 daughters and 7 sons, Niobe boasted she was a better than Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis, because she had more children Apollo and Artemis killed all or most of the children

47 Jacque Louis David – 1772 - Neoclassical

48 Hellenistic Statue – in the Uffizi

49 Niobe being turned to stone – vase, 4 th century B.C.

50 Laius Amphion and Zethus died of old age, Laius returned and became king of Thebes Laius married Jocasta Prophecy that Laius son would kill him and have children with his own mother, Jocasta

51 Laius Laius ordered newborn son to be exposed Infant discovered by a shepherd OR shepherd didnt have heart to leave the child to die – Shepherd gave child to Queen of Corinth, wife of Polybus, who raised child as their own – Oedipus = swollen foot


53 Oedipus Learned from Delphi prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother Thought Polybus, king of Corinth, was his father, so he left to avoid the prophecy Oedipus met an old man in the road – Old man attacked Oedipus – Oedipus killed the old man and all but one of his 5 guards

54 Oedipus and the Sphinx Sphinx had been killing travelers who couldnt answer her riddle – What walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs in the afternoon, and 3 legs at night? Oedipus answered correctly: Man – because as infant would crawl on it hands and feet (4); in most of his life, he would walk on two legs; but when he was old, he would have to rely on a walking stick (3) The Sphinx drowned herself

55 Amphora, 450-440 B.C.

56 Oedipus Creon married Oedipus to Jocasta and gave him the kingship as a reward – Oedipus had just unknowingly married his mother Oedipus ruled happily with Jocasta until their sons were grown – Had 4 kids – Polyneices, Eteocles, Ismene, Antigone Then Thebes was struck with a plague that led to a famine... Things were bad

57 Oedipus Sends Creon to Delphi – Oracle said murderer of Laius must be punished Teiresias – Blind prophet – Reveals that Oedipus had killed Laius Oedipus refuses to believe and investigates further

58 Oedipus Messenger comes to Thebes to announce that Polybus, king of Corinth, has died – Oedipus believes he has beaten the prophecy – Messenger reveals Oedipus was adopted! Jocasta puts together the truth and slips away Oedipus learns from the old shepherd that Laius was his father and Jocasta his mother

59 Oedipus Oedipus goes to find his mother/wife Finds she has committed suicide – She stabbed herself Oedipus puts out his own eyes – Doesnt want to see the shame in his new world Oedipus goes into exile – His daughter Antigone went with him – Both daughters present when he died (antigone and Ismene)

60 Seven Against Thebes While Oedipus was in exile, sons Eteocles and Polyneices were to alternate years as rulers However, Eteocles refused to give up the throne when Polyneices returned to Thebes for his turn and banished his brother from Thebes Polyneices went to Argos to appeal to king Adrastus for help


62 Seven Against Thebes Adrastus married Polynices and Tydeus to his daughters and promised to restore them to their kingdomes – Tydeus had been exiled from his own kingdom as well Amphiaraus – One of the argonauts – Married to Adrastus sister, Eriphyle – As a seer, knew the war against Thebes would fail – Did not want to go to war with Adrastus

63 Seven Against Thebes Amphiaraus and Adrastus – Had an arrangement that any disagreement would be settled by Adrastus sister and Amphiaraus wife, Eriphyle – Polyneices bribed Eriphyle with the Necklace of Harmonia, starting the war of the Seven Against Thebes

64 Seven Against Thebes Adrastus – only survivor of the Argives Amphiaraus – earth swallowed him alive because Zeus felt bad for his favorite seer Capaneus – first to reach the top of the walls, – boasted not even Zeus could stop him, – struck down with lightning

65 Capaneus scales the city walls to overthrow King Creon who looks down from the battlements. Campanian red-figure neck-amphora, ca. 340 BC

66 Seven Against Thebes Hippomedon – father of Polydorus Parthenopaeus – son of Hippomenes and Atalanta Polynices – killed by his brother, whom he also killed – Not always considered one of the Seven Tydeus – Fatally wounded – Athena about to save him, but he ate his enemys (Melanippus) brains, so she let him die

67 Seven Against Thebes In order for Thebes to be successful, Creons son Menoeceus had to die in battle – He snuck out to join the war – Thebes won Because both brothers were dead, Creon became ruler of Thebes Adrastus escaped to Athens – More on that later

68 Antigone Theseus had made sure that Antigone and Ismene made it home to Thebes safely Waited in Thebes during the war to see which brother would win Neither won, both died, so Creon became ruler Polyneices and the others who died fighting against Thebes were to be left as bird food by decree of Creon – Anyone who defied his ruling would be punished with death

69 Antigone Ismene refused to go against Creons orders Antigone snuck out and performed burial rites for Polyneices Antigone got caught by the guards – Ismene tried to share the blame, but Antigone wouldnt let her Creon punishes Antigone by entombing her in a cave

70 Antigone in front of the dead Polynices – Nikoforos Lytras - 1865

71 Antigone at her Brother's Grave Red Figure, 4th century BC Musáe du Louvre, Paris

72 Antigone Her fiance, Creons son Haemon, went to rescue her, but she had already hung herself Creon also came to let her out, Haemon tried to kill him, failed and then killed himself in front of his father Creons wife, Eurydice, killed herself out of grief of losing all 3 of her children Creons pride killed his niece and destroyed his own family

73 Back to Adrastus The remaining generals still were not buried Adrastus appealed to Theseus Theseus at first refused to help – His mother reasoned with him Theseus agreed – Marched on Thebes – Defeated Thebes – Did not sack the city, simply demanded the dead receive their proper burials

74 Epigoni The sons were not happy that the Thebans were not being punished for the dishonor to their fathers – They swore vengeance on the Thebans by some day conquering Thebes Epigoni – Greek for after born Attacked Thebes 10 years after their fathers deaths

75 Epigoni Aegialeus, son of Adrastus - irony-the only one to die, son of the only one to have survived the first siege. Thersandros, son of Polynices Alcmaeon, son of Amphiareus Diomedes, son of Tydeus Polydorus, son of Hippomedon Sthenelos, son of Capaneus Promachus, son of Parthenopaeus

76 Epigoni Aegialeus died – Adrastus died of grief, fulfilling a prophecy that until all the Seven Against Thebes were dead, the Epigoni could not win The Epigoni conquered Thebes – Most of the Thebans fled to Ilyria Thersander, son of Polyneices, became the king of Thebes

77 The End

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