Most of my research has been out of Wikiperia. It isn’t the most consistent or reliable of resources, but I think it’s one of the most broad and tangential. Tangential is actually really great in this case, because the number of happy, accidental discoveries I’ve made in Greek mythology has been staggering.

I’ve also used Theoi.com on occasion, and a couple books I’ve found through various research websites. Now, I’d be more than happy to suggest the books or recommend the websites, except that they’re paysites, and I only got to look at previews of those books. While they proved helpful, I was bloody well irritated.

Now, one of the things that makes Thebes particularly interesting from a mythological / historical standpoint is the sheer number of founders, rulers, and kings they have in a relatively short span of time. It’s been suggested that there were multiple competing traditions and that mythographers were forced to reconcile the two.

I’ve taken a pragmatic approach to tailoring the list to my needs. The rule of more than a few kings have been either trimmed or tucked into the rule of others. In the case of Labdacus, son of Polydorus, I figure their political rivals drove them from Thebes and that during that time, he was simply active in a different part of Boeotia.

Reconciling the chaotic information regarding the twins Amphion and Zethus proved difficult, but I think I was able to insert them in a particularly interesting fashion. I made them accidental revolutionaries rather than kings, who inadvertently brought about the return of the previous ruling family. But first, about their origins:


The Birth of Amphion and Zethus
At the end of the reign King Polydorus of Thebes, the neighboring kingdom Hyria (under the rule Nycteus and Lycus) attacked and killed Polydorus and drove out the ruling family. Nycteus was the primary ruler of Thebes during that time while the two brothers continued to wage war across Boeotia.

Nycteus’s wife Antiope (nymph, and daughter of the river-god Asopus), fell in love with King Erginus of Orchomenus, an enemy of Thebes. Though very pregnant at the time, she fled and gave birth at Coronea. She exposed the her sons by Nycteus, Amphion and Zethus, in the mountains south of Coronea.

While Antiope was stranded in Coronea for several years, Nycteus died in battle, and Lycus assumed leadership of Cadmeia. He persuaded Antiope to return, and she agreed after she was effectively abandoned by Erginus. She told Lycus that her sons by Nycteus had died in childbirth.

Unable to abide a traitor to her brother’s husband, Lycus’s wife Dirce treated Antiope cruelly whenever and however she could. Many of Antiope’s troubles were attributed to the fact that she had acquired the Necklace of Harmonia when Cadmus’s family was driven out of Thebes, but she would ultimately outlive Dirce.