Polynices was the son of Oedipus and Jocasta in Greek mythology, brother of Eteocles, Antigone and Ismene. Their father was the ruler of Thebes, who had unknowingly married his mother. When the truth was revealed, Oedipus blinded himself and fled the city, leaving the throne to be shared by Polynices and Eteocles. The two brothers decided to rule in an alternating fashion every year; but when it was time for Eteocles to step down, instead he expelled Polynices and kept the throne for himself.
Polynices, enraged, gathered an army and marched against Thebes, a story that is known as the Seven against Thebes. During that battle, the attackers were repelled; the two brothers ended up in single combat, and killed each other. After their death, their uncle Creon came to power; he buried Eteocles in a glorious ceremony, but left Polynices' corpse to rot and be eaten by animals, as he had marched against the city. The story of how Polynices was buried by his sister who was then incarcerated, is told in the tragedy Antigone by Sophocles.