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Headword: Οἰδίπους
Adler number: omicroniota,34
Translated headword: Oedipus, Oidipous
Vetting Status: high
Laius, king of Thebes, got a wife Jocasta,[1] who bore him a son Oedipus. After he was born, the father received an oracle saying that the son would sleep with his own mother; and he ordered him to be thrown out onto the mountain[side] and his feet enclosed in wood. A farmer named Meliboeus found him and raised him[2] and named him Oidipous [Swell-foot] due to the way he had his feet [podes] swollen by the wood, the so-called kouspos.[3] Once he grew to manhood he became a robber. At this point the so-called Sphinx[4] appeared, a woman hideous and beastly in form, for having got rid of her(?) man and having clenched her hand and having seized some difficult terrain, she would murder those who passed by. So Oedipus, after hatching a clever scheme, joined himself in piracy with her. Then biding his time as he planned, he took her in an ambush, and those with her. The dumbstruck Thebans acclaimed him as their king. Laios got mad at them and made war against them but after being hit in the head by a rock he died. Jocasta was then afraid she would depart her monarchy so she led Oedipus in and stretched out her hand to him as king. She became his wife, ignorant that she was also his mother. She bore him two sons, Eteocles and Polyneices; but later on when she learned that he was her son, she told this to her boy. When he heard that he took some nails and after fixing them in his eyes he died, leaving the kingdom to his two sons, who ruled for one year. But once they conceived a hatred of each other, they made war against each other, and Polyneices, pursued by Eteocles, went to Argos [Myth, Place] and married the daughter of king Adrastus. Then he went on a campaign against Thebes and in single combat with Eteocles he slew him dead and he was himself slain by him; their allies then retired home.
Greek Original:
Οἰδίπους: Λάϊος, ὁ Θηβῶν βασιλεύς, ἔσχε γυναῖκα Ἰοκάστην, ἐξ ἧς γέγονεν αὐτῷ παῖς Οἰδίπους. τούτου γεννηθέντος, χρησμὸν ἔλαβεν ὁ πατήρ, ὅτι τῇ ἰδίᾳ αὐτοῦ μητρὶ μιγήσεται ὁ παῖς: καὶ κελεύει αὐτὸν εἰς ὄρος ῥιφῆναι καὶ ξύλῳ περικλεισθῆναι τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ: ὃν εὑρηκὼς γεωργὸς ὀνόματι Μελίβοιος ἀνεθρέψατο καὶ Οἰδίποδα ὠνόμασε διὰ τὸ ὠγκωμένους ἔχειν τοὺς πόδας ὑπὸ τοῦ ξύλου, τοῦ καλουμένου κούσπου. γεγονὼς δὲ ἀνδρεῖος ἐλῄστευε: καθ' ὃν χρόνον καὶ ἡ λεγομένη Σφὶγξ ἀνεφάνη, γυνὴ δυσειδὴς καὶ θηριώδης τὴν φύσιν, ἀποβαλοῦσα γὰρ τὸν ἄνδρα καὶ συναγαγοῦσα χεῖρα καὶ τόπον καταλαβοῦσα δύσβατον τοὺς παριόντας ἐφόνευεν. ὁ οὖν Οἰδίπους δεινόν τι βουλευσάμενος δίδωσιν ἑαυτὸν μετ' αὐτῆς λῃστεύειν: καὶ ἐπιτηρήσας καιρὸν ὃν ἠβούλετο, λόγχῃ ἀναιρεῖ αὐτὴν καὶ τοὺς μετ' αὐτῆς. οἱ δὲ Θηβαῖοι θαυμάσαντες ἀναβοῶσιν αὐτὸν βασιλέα. ὁ γοῦν Λάϊος ἀγανακτήσας κατ' αὐτῶν τούτοις ἐπάγει πόλεμον καὶ λίθῳ βληθεὶς τὴν κεφαλὴν τελευτᾷ. ἡ δὲ Ἰοκάστη φοβουμένη τῆς βασιλείας ἐκπεσεῖν ἄγει τὸν Οἰδίποδα καὶ χειροτονεῖ βασιλέα: καὶ γίνεται τούτου γυνή, ἀγνοοῦσα ὅτι μήτηρ αὐτοῦ ἐστιν. ἔσχε δὲ ἀπ' αὐτοῦ υἱοὺς δύο, Ἐτεοκλέα καὶ Πολυνείκη: ὕστερον δὲ τοῦτο μαθοῦσα, ὅτι υἱὸς αὐτῆς ἐστιν, εἶπεν αὐτὸ τῷ παιδί. ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας ἔλαβεν ἥλους καὶ πήξας τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς αὐτοῦ ἐτελεύτα, ἐάσας τὴν βασιλείαν τοῖς δύο υἱέσιν, οἳ ἐβασίλευον παρ' ἐνιαυτόν: καὶ εἰς ἔχθραν ἐλθόντες ἐπολέμησαν ἀλλήλοις, καὶ ἐδιώχθη ὑπὸ Ἐτεοκλέους καὶ ἀπελθὼν Πολυνείκης εἰς τὸ Ἄργος ἔγημε τοῦ βασιλέως Ἀδράστου τὴν θυγατέρα καὶ στρατεύσας ἦλθεν ἐπὶ τὰς Θήβας καὶ μονομαχήσας Ἐτεοκλεῖ ἀναιρεῖ αὐτὸν καὶ αὐτὸς ἀνῃρέθη ὑπ' αὐτοῦ: οἱ δὲ σύμμαχοι ἀνεστράφησαν οἴκοι.
See generally OCD(4) 1033-4. The Suda's version of this famous myth comes from late historiography; comparanda in John of Antioch and John Malalas.
[1] iota 410.
[2] mu 502.
[3] See under pi 1847.
[4] (sigma 1747.) See generally OCD(4) 1393-4.
Keywords: agriculture; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; medicine; military affairs; mythology; tragedy; women
Translated by: Ross Scaife ✝ on 22 March 2002@14:39:46.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added notes and keyword) on 11 April 2002@05:38:48.
William Hutton (cosmetics) on 29 May 2003@13:14:21.
David Whitehead (added x-ref; augmented keywords) on 30 May 2003@03:07:19.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 2 October 2005@11:01:56.
David Whitehead (another note; more keywords; cosmetics) on 5 August 2013@05:24:39.
David Whitehead on 5 August 2014@04:05:15.


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