Thebes is a city in the region of Boeotia in Greece, which provided the setting for various myths and stories. Cadmus, a Phoenician king, was the mythical founder of the city; the myth has it that after getting advice from the Oracle of Delphi, he had to follow a cow and build a city wherever the animal would stop. After it stopped, Cadmus decided to sacrifice it to the gods and asked his men to get some water from a nearby spring, which was guarded by a dragon. The dragon killed most of his men, before it was slain by Cadmus. Advised by Athena, Cadmus sew half of the dragon's teeth, and armed soldiers sprang out of the ground, the Spartoi. Cadmus threw a stone among them, who confused about who had done it, started fighting each other. Only five survived, who helped Cadmus build Thebes.
However, one of the most prominent sagas of Greek mythology that took place in Thebes was the story of Laius, and everything that resulted from his deeds. Although he was the rightful heir to the throne, it was usurped by Amphion and Zethus. Laius found refuge in the court of Pisa in the Pelopponese, where King Pelops warmly welcomed him. He then raped and abducted Pelops' son, Chrissipus, and went back to Thebes, where he was restored to the throne. Later, he married Jocasta, but he received an oracle that he should not have a child or the child would kill him and marry his wife. However, one night he was so drunk that he slept with Jocasta and impregnated her with Oedipus. The story of Oedipus also takes place in the city of Thebes.
Written by: The Editors of GreekMythology.com. GreekMythology.com editors write, review and revise subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge based on their working experience or advanced studies.
For MLA style citation use: GreekMythology.com, The Editors of Website. "Thebes". GreekMythology.com Website, 20 Sep. 2015, https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Places/Thebes/thebes.html. Accessed 16 July 2021.