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Creon 2

8008: Sphinx. Marble about AD 120-140. British Museum, London.

Creon 2 was Regent of Thebes after Oedipus' father Laius 1, and then again after the death of Oedipus' son Eteocles 1. During his rule, he had to confront several calamities, among which that of the Sphinx. After the war of the SEVEN AGAINST THEBES, he plunged the land into conflict by denying burial to his enemies.

The Slain Serpent

Many calamities befell Thebes in the course of time, and the reason could be that the Theban rulers offended the gods on several occasions. For already the city's founder Cadmus succeeded in provoking the anger of Ares, by slaying the god's darling serpent that guarded the spring at Dirce, close to the place where Thebes was founded. For that exploit, Cadmus was forced to serve Ares for what was called an eternal year, and had to coexist with the powerful clan of the SPARTI, who were born from the sowed teeth of the slain serpent; moreover at the end of his life, he and his wife were turned into serpents, just as Athena had said:

"Why, Cadmus, do you gaze on the serpent you have slain? You too shall be a serpent for men to gaze on." (Athena to Cadmus. Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.97).

Capital of Misrule

After Cadmus came Pentheus 1, an arrogant ruler whose bizarre ideas about law and order made him oppose Dionysus 2, which led him to his ruin. And as it often happens when states are ruled by fools, outsiders took power in Thebes. But since these were in no way wiser, and too easily found good reasons to engage in war and commit other atrocities, Thebes remained the capital of misrule.

The gods punish the city

King Labdacus 1 (Oedipus' grandfather) was not better than Pentheus 1, and that is why he was also slain by the MAENADS, attendants of Dionysus 2. But when Amphion 1, a man whom Apollo loved, came, prosperity reigned for some time. However, and as it often happens, prosperity was followed by arrogance, a particular branch of idiocy that might affect some rulers, and those around them; and so his wife, under the impression that her family's power equalled her to the immortals, offended Leto. Consequently, this goddess' sweet children, Apollo and Artemis, came down from heaven, and by shooting their arrows against the NIOBIDS, left the royal house desolate by plague. Such was the end of Amphion 1's dynasty.

Love of Wine

Now Laius 1 (Oedipus' father) was different from his own father Labdacus 1, and also from Pentheus 1, in that he loved wine. It is not know whether he asked "How good a wine?"; yet it is clear that he did not ponder "How much wine?". For it was his excessive intake of this divine beverage, which made him disregard the counsel of Delphi. And that is why Laius 1, who was supposed to avoid fathering a son, had one, who, as the oracle had predicted, slew him.

First Regency of Creon 2

At the time, no one knew who had killed the king of Thebes in some narrow road, not even the killer himself. It was then that Creon 2, sitting on the vacant throne, became ruler in Thebes. During his regency, Amphitryon arrived with his fiancée Alcmena and her half-brother Licymnius from Mycenae, seeking exile and purification for the death of his prospective father-in-law Electryon 1, whom he accidentally had killed. Creon 2 purified him, and received all three as exiles in Thebes. It was then that Amphitryon gave his sister Perimede 2 as wife to Licymnius. These two had three sons, two of which fell in battle years later, fighting with Heracles 1 against King Eurytus 4 of Oechalia, a city of doubtful location. Licymnius himself, who was a bastard son of King Electryon 1 of Mycenae, and the only among the brothers who did not die at the hands of the sons of King Pterelaus of Taphos, was much later accidentally killed by Heracles 1's son Tlepolemus 1 when the latter was beating a servant, and Licymnius ran in between.

Alcmena's conditions

When rancorous Alcmena arrived to Thebes, she declared that she would not marry Amphitryon until he avenged her brothers, who had died during the war between Mycenae and Taphos, one of the islands off the coast of Acarnania in the western coast of Hellas. Amphitryon then, wishing to marry her but lacking resources for the campaign, asked Creon 2 to assist him.

The trouble with the fox

Now, bad times are replaced by good times only slowly and with hardships (although good times may turn into bad times expeditiously). And so the rule of Creon 2, in accordance with the Theban curriculum, began with tribulation. For as soon as he came to power, the wrath of Dionysus 2 was upon the city in the shape of a fox that was fated never to be caught. To this fox (known sometimes as the Cadmean Fox) the Thebans each month exposed one child in an attempt to prevent the beast to carry off many.

Creon 2 helps Amphitryon against the Taphians

Maxims of Creon 2

"… there is no place for pride, when one is his neighbors' slave." (Sophocles, Antigone 479).

"… the good man craves a portion not equal to the evil's." (Sophocles, Antigone 520).

"You do not love someone you have hated, not even after death." (Sophocles, Antigone 522).

"While I live, no woman will rule me." (Sophocles, Antigone 525).

"It is for this that men pray: to sire and raise in their homes children who are obedient, that they may requite their father's enemy with evil and honor his friend, just as their father does." (Sophocles, Antigone 640).

"Never … banish your reason for pleasure on account of a woman…" (Sophocles, Antigone 640).

"… there is no evil worse than disobedience." (Sophocles, Antigone 673).

"It is better to fall from power, if it is fated, by a man's hand, than that we be called weaker than women." (Sophocles, Antigone 679).

"Shall Thebes prescribe to me how I must rule? … Am I to rule this land by the will of another than myself?" (Sophocles, Antigone 734).

"We must not wage vain wars with necessity." (Sophocles, Antigone 1105).

"Words may be many, and yet not to the point." (Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus 808).

"Do not make commands where you are not the master." (Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus 840).

"… the dead alone feel no galling pain." (Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus 955).

"… anger knows no old age" (Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus 954).

"… even troubles hard to bear will end in perfect peace if they find the right issue." (Sophocles, Oedipus the King 88).

"No mind will become false while it is wise." (Sophocles, Oedipus the King 600).

"… it is in season that all things are good." (Sophocles, Oedipus the King 1517).

So when Amphitryon asked Creon 2 for help, he replied that he would join the expedition against Taphos if Amphitryon would rid the country of the plague that was ravaging it. Amphitryon then, not being able to cope with the un-get-at-able fox, obtained from Cephalus 1 the dog that his wife Procris 2 had received from Minos 2, which was fated to catch whatever it pursued. And although the dilemma that arose when the two animals confronted each other was of such nature that it required the intervention of Zeus, the problem was nevertheless solved when the god turn both beasts into stone; and so Creon 2 helped Amphitryon, and when the war was over Alcmena married her fiancé.

Creon 2 gives his daughters in marriage

Some time later Alcmena gave birth to Heracles 1, child of Zeus and not of Amphitryon, and when this son was grown up, he led the Thebans against Erginus 1, the king of the Minyans who imposed a tribute after his father was killed by Perieres 2, charioteer of Creon 2's father. It was then that Creon 2 rewarded Heracles 1 by giving him in marriage his own daughter Megara. These two had children: Therimachus, Deicoon 1, Creontiades, and Ophites 1, but they were all flung into the fire by their father, when he, in a fit of madness, gave himself to domestic violence. Some say that also Megara died at the hands of her husband, but others say that Heracles 1 gave her in marriage to his own nephew and charioteer Iolaus 1. It is also said that Creon 2 gave another and younger daughter to Amphitryon's son Iphicles, who already was father of Iolaus 1 by Automedusa, daughter of Alcathous 3, son of Pelops 1.

The Sphinx

The most serious trial that Thebes had to confront under the first rule of Creon 2 was, however, the calamity of the Sphinx, which appeared laying waste the Theban fields, and declaring that it would not depart unless anyone interpreted a certain riddle which she presented. In order to face this adversity, Creon 2 made a proclamation throughout Hellas, promising that he would give the kingdom of Thebes and his sister Jocasta in marriage to him who solved the riddle of the Sphinx. And since when it comes to acquiring power, property and women, there are always many willing to take whatever risks they deem necessary, going through no matter which atrocities, many came and many were destroyed by the Sphinx, who gobbled them up one by one as they proved ignorant of her riddle. For that was the price of the attempt in case of failure.

Creon 2's rewards Oedipus

But since also calamities must end some day, the Sphinx was finally defeated by Oedipus, who, having heard Creon 2's proclamation, came to Thebes, and by solving the riddle, caused the beast to destroy itself. And since Creon 2 fulfilled his promise, Oedipus received both the throne of his own father, whom he had murdered for a trifle on a road not knowing who the man was, and Creon 2's sister Jocasta as wife, ignoring that this woman was his own mother. These are the bizarre gifts with which Creon 2 rewarded Oedipus for having destroyed the Sphinx.

End of first rule

In this manner ended the first rule of Creon 2. And whereas some could say that his decisions on this important matter were evil, others would absolve him, arguing that Creon 2 ignored who Oedipus was. Therefore, they would say, Creon 2 cannot be blamed, as Oedipus cannot be blamed either, who did not know who he himself was. And since these two opinions cannot be reconciled a third may appear—against all sense—blaming the gods, or Fate, or Fortune, or whatever other force, from above or below. And still others could maintain that Oedipus was in any case guilty of murder; for he killed, not one man but two, and for a trivial matter; and Creon 2 could be deemed to have been out of his mind when he offered both throne and queen to a complete unknown on the ground of one single merit. Therefore, they could add, both were guilty, not so much of the offences that made them famous, but of other faults; and being the one criminal, and the other incompetent, they were both punished and more calamities followed.

Oedipus' reign

Now, while some debate these endless issues, others learn, first: that Oedipus inherited the throne of Thebes and married his own mother, after unwittingly murdering his own father; second: that his plight was revealed in the course of time; and third: that he had to step down from the throne that his cleverness had earned.

Creon 2 to Delphi

During Oedipus' reign, barrenness of wombs and crops fell upon Thebes, and as unease spread among the Theban population, Oedipus sent Creon 2 to Delphi to learn by which acts the troubles could be averted. At his return, Creon 2 informed that the oracle attributed all misfortunes to blood-guiltiness related to the death of Laius 1, and that the command of the god was to find Laius 1's unknown killer, and bring him to justice. Oedipus had an investigation started, but only to discover, through the seer Tiresias, that he himself was the man he was seeking, and the killer of the former king. And since Tiresias, as a seer, was a servant of Apollo, and it was from the god's temple that Creon 2 had brought the counsel that now the king, by carrying it out, saw turning against himself, Oedipus came to believe that Creon 2 and Tiresias were plotting against him.

Creon 2 denies ambition of power

This was just a slanderous accusation in the eyes of Creon 2; for he knew that it was not under his instigation that Tiresias had said what he had said. Nevertheless, Oedipus called him dishonest, intriguer, knave and false in front of the Theban Elders. It was then that Creon 2 denied, as if to calm the king's suspicion, any ambition of power:

"… would any man exchange a quiet life, with royal rank assured, for an uneasy throne? To be a king in name was never part of my ambition." (Creon 2 to Oedipus. Sophocles, Oedipus the King 586).

Yet Oedipus was not persuaded, and considering him a plotter, he would have given Creon 2 a choice of death or banishment, had the Elders and Jocasta not intervened, asking for mercy on the ground of Creon 2's oath of innocence.

Oedipus' abdication and curse

Soon was the truth revealed, and Oedipus had to step down. Yet his abdication did not lead to peace and prosperity in Thebes. For his sons, who despised him on account of his miserable position, had to hear in response to their contempt the terrible curse that their father uttered against them, when he said that they should divide their inheritance by the sword, and that their lot would be:

"… by a kinman's hand to die and slay." (Oedipus to Polynices. Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus 1385).

Brothers disagree

And here again some could argue that curses cannot force anyone. Yet, although Eteocles 1 and Polynices (for these two are the sons of Oedipus by his own mother Jocasta) attempted to escape the doom by agreeing to reign in turn, year by year, they proved unable to divide the kingdom by the counsel of Equality; and listening instead to Ambition with the same eagerness as they before had listened to Contempt, the brothers caused both civil war and foreign intervention, which is the folly remembered as the war of the SEVEN AGAINST THEBES.

Foreign army at the gates

The coalition of the SEVEN, led by Polynices and six Argive chiefs, was more powerful and plentiful than the forces led by Eteocles 1, who then sat in the throne of Thebes. It should therefore have conquered the city. Yet the laws of war are not that simple; and when the enemy prepared to attack, Eteocles 1 bade Creon 2 to inquire of the seer Tiresias the best course to win the war.

Tiresias' remedy to save the city

Now SEERS often prescribe strange remedies, and Tiresias, being no exception, declared that the city would be saved by sacrificing Menoeceus 2, son of Creon 2. On hearing this painful absurdity, said Creon 2:

"O great evil, spoken so briefly!"

… and the following dialogue followed:

Tiresias: Evil to you, but to your country great salvation.
Creon 2: I did not hear; I never listened; I renounce my city!
Tiresias: The man is no longer himself; he is drawing back.
Creon 2: Go in peace; it is not your prophecy I need.
Tiresias: Is truth dead, because you are unfortunate? (Euripides, Phoenician Women 917ff.).

This was a hard blow for Creon 2, and a reality difficult to grasp; for mortals seek power believing that glory and felicity naturally derive from it. So he asked the seer how this curse had come on him and his son, and Tiresias then explained why Menoeceus 2 had to be sacrificed thus:

"In the chamber where the earth-born dragon kept watch over Dirce's springs, he must be offered as a sacrifice and shed his blood on the ground, a libation of Cadmus, because of the ancient wrath of Ares, who now avenges the slaughter of his earth-born snake. If you do this, you shall win Ares as an ally. If the earth receives fruit for fruit and human blood for blood, you shall find her kind to you again, who once sent up to us a crop of Sown-men with golden helmets; for one of those born from the dragon's teeth must die. Now you are our only survivor of the Sown race, pure-blooded both on your mother's and your father's side, you and your sons. Haemon's marriage holds him back from the slaughter, for he is no longer single; even if he has not consummated his marriage, yet he is betrothed. But this tender youth, consecrated to his city, might by dying rescue his country; and bitter will he make the return of Adrastus and his Argives (…) Choose one of these two destinies: either save the city or your son." (Tiresias to Creon 2. Euripides, Phoenician Women 930ff.).

Creon 2's son sacrifices himself

This was too much, even for Creon 2, and he would probably have died in his son's stead, could Fate be circumvented. He wished to send Menoeceus 2 away to a safer place; for Tiresias had said that he would tell the Thebans how the case stood. But the young man, who also had heard the seer's words, did not wish to be surrendered to cowardice and thereby deprive the city of its only chance; and believing—as Youth often does—that the future and prosperity of states may depend on the willingness of each citizen to present their cities with their own lives, he went alone to the topmost battlements, and plunging a sword through his throat, fell down over the spot described by Tiresias.

To pay honor to the dead

It was in this way that Menoeceus 2 won admiration; but had he preserved his life, no one among the Thebans had pardoned him, and most citizens had called him traitor, coward, and base, arguing that others, whom no oracle has called, stand nevertheless side by side in the battlefield, defying death to defend their city. As for Creon 2, he did not know whether to rejoice on behalf of the city and the name of his son, or to mourn because of the loss of his child. And feeling pious, reverent and god-fearing in front of death, he went to his sister Jocasta to let her bathe his son's corpse; for he reasoned that:

"… those who are not dead must reverence the god below by paying honor to the dead." (Creon 2. Euripides, Phoenician Women 1320).

… a sacred law that he shortly after neglected, by denying burial to his enemies, and asserting:

"… it is fruitless labor to revere the dead." (Creon 2. Sophocles, Antigone 780).

Second Rule of Creon 2

This is the strange way by which the city was saved, and the defenders, led by Eteocles 1, won the war. However, the brothers, fulfilling their father's curse, killed each other. It was after their death that Creon 2—uncle of both, but ally of Eteocles 1—having found again the throne vacant, began his second rule (as regent and protector of the crown prince Laodamas 2, son of Eteocles 1), since he was not only victorious but also alive—a most sweet combination of terms.

To heal wounds

Now, the adversities that incompetent administrations, no matter how perverted, might cause during peacetime, are lavishly surpassed by the afflictions that are the sequel of war. For besides common miseries, the shadows of virulent suspicion follow in the train of war along with the bitterness of malignant rancour, pestering the minds with the infected sores that the vexations and the cruelties of open violence caused. And that may last for a whole generation, or two, or more, often sowing the seeds from which new armed men grow ready to fight, as if they were SPARTI. Knowing this, the great victor hastens to exercise clemency, and promptly turns into a healer of wounds, as Cyrus the Elder did when he defeated Croesus, for the benefit of both.

Creon 2 loses perspective

But great victors are few, and Creon 2 was not one of them. And lacking generosity, or perhaps being bitter for the loss of his son, he became the prey of fear or anger, letting himself be defeated by his own victory. To begin with, he seemed to fear the dead, or else his anger against his enemies knew no moderation, or else he wished to show, as a warning to others, the far reaching consequences that awaited those who opposed his rule.

Proclamation about burial of enemies

And for one of these reasons, or for all of them, or for other more difficult to conceive, Creon 2 issued a government proclamation forbidding the burial of the dead enemy soldiers—both Thebans and Argives—that were lying on the fields outside the city. Such was the extent of his hate towards them; and in order to see the outrageous order obeyed, he set guards, expressing himself very clearly on this matter:

"To all the race of Cadmus shall this be proclaimed: 'Whoever is caught decking his corpse with wreaths or giving it burial, shall be requited with death.'" (Creon 2's proclamation. Euripides, Phoenician Women 1630).

Resistance of Antigone 2

One of the unburied was Oedipus' son Polynices, counted among the SEVEN AGAINST THEBES, and the man who, after being banished from Thebes by his brother Eteocles 1, married a princess of Argos, and persuaded her father to help him recover the kingdom by mustering an army together with other Argive kings. To make laws over helpless corpses seemed absurd to Polynices' sister Antigone 2, and she asked the new ruler with which authority he had so proclaimed:

Creon 2: This was Eteocles' purpose, not mine.
Antigone 2: It is senseless, and you are a fool to obey it!
Creon 2: How so? Isn't it right to carry out his commands?
Antigone 2: No; not if they are wrong and ill-advised. (Euripides, Phoenician Women 1645).

All respect denied

The loving sister begged to be allowed to bathe Polynices' body, and to bandage his wounds. But since that would have meant to pay honor to the corpse, which the city had forbidden, Creon 2 did not grant permission. For Good, he thought, should pursue Evil beyond death, rewarding the faithful servant of his country, dead or alive, and punishing forever those who went against it. Therefore he denied Polynices a grave, resolving that he was to be left unburied to be eaten by dogs and vultures, who had raised his hand against the motherland.

Creon 2 and his son Haemon 1

But since fear had no place in Antigone 2's heart, she went by herself and covered with earth Polynices corpse, or else she dragged him to a funeral pyre. In any case (for the accounts are many), Antigone 2 defied the authority of Creon 2. To make things worse this girl was the bride of Creon 2's son Haemon 1. Now, some fathers might reflect twice before taking a girl from their own son's arms. But not Creon 2; for he was of the opinion that a father's will should always take the first place in a son's heart. And so Creon 2 took upon himself the ungrateful task of persuading his son of the necessity to send his young bride to the next world for the crime of burying her brother.

Haemon 1's exhortation

Haemon 1 was not persuaded, and instead he thought that his father was on the verge of committing an atrocity by dooming Antigone 2 to death for the action, rather honourable, of burying a brother. And as he deemed this act likely to dishonour his own father, Haemon 1 exhorted him to reflect again.

Creon 2's condemns Antigone 2

Now, just as authority is reluctant to receive instructions from subordinates, senior citizens do not like to take lessons from young fellows. And so Creon 2, paying less heed to the matter of right and wrong than to the matter of age, found his son's opinions despicable, and proceeded forward:

"I will take her where the path is deserted, unvisited by men, and entomb her alive in a rocky vault …" (Creon 2 to the Theban Elders. Sophocles, Antigone 774).

Also old Tiresias came to him appealing:

"Concede the claim of the dead. Do not kick at the fallen. What prowess is it to kill the dead all over again? (Tiresias to Creon 2. Sophocles, Antigone 1030).

But Creon 2 nevertheless enforced law and authority and, as he saw it, his own position as head of the State. Soon he learned, however, that his son Haemon 1 had killed himself, following his bride to death. And after him, his wife Eurydice 12 took her own life with a sword, when she learned that her son was dead. For, as they say, riches and rank are empty where there is no joy, being like unsubstantial shadows compared with happiness of heart. And the crown of happiness, they say, is wisdom, whereas arrogant men suffer, either in public or in private, heavy blows. For whatever folly, also that which cares for good principles in excess, leads to sorrow and confusion; and that is why Creon 2 found himself saying:

"Lead me away, I beg you, a rash, useless man. I have murdered you, son, unwittingly, and you, too, my wife. I know not where I should turn, where look for help." (Creon 2 to the Theban Elders. Sophocles, Antigone 1339).

Alleged fate of Antigone 2

Yet others assert that Antigone 2 and Haemon 1 did not die on this occasion, but much later. They tell instead that when she broke the law, Creon 2 bade Haemon 1 to execute her, but he, disobeying his father, entrusted her to shepherds, falsely claiming that he had slain her. In time Haemon 1 married her, and had a son by her. When this son, who could be Maeon 1, grew up and came to the games at Thebes, Creon 2 recognized him by the dragon mark in his body, which all descendants of the SPARTI bore. It is said that even Heracles 1's intercession begging Creon 2 to pardon his son was in vain; and when Haemon 1 witnessed once more his father's inexorability and unceasing anger, he chose death, killing himself and his wife.

War with Athens

But still others say that Creon 2 did not live enough to see a grown up grandson, and that the conflict caused by his denying burial to the Argives—an offence to men and gods—provoked yet a foreign intervention, which led to his death at the hands of Theseus. For Adrastus 1, the surviving leader of the SEVEN, and the Argive wives came to Athens, not to complain about the death of their husbands at Thebes, since that, they reasoned, is the law of war, but to protest against Creon 2's denial of funeral fire and the last rites of death. On hearing about the outrage, Theseus sent the herald Phegeus 7 with an olive-branch and a simple message:

". . . that the Argives must burn, or Thebes must fight." (Theseus to the Thebans. Statius, Thebaid 12.598).

Athenian army outside Thebes

This is how Thebes, which had just gained peace at a high price of blood, lost it again. For Theseus, who now saw himself as the defender of the laws of all nations and the covenants of heaven, marched immediately against Creon 2 with a powerful host that was persuaded of the worth and justice of the enterprise behind him; so that while the olive-branch was being waved by his herald inside Thebes, his army paraded outside.


The demonstration did not impress Creon 2; for Thebes had just obtained victory and ruined Argos. That, he thought, should be a warning to the Athenians. They say that Creon 2 did not engage in battle over the bodies of the fallen Argive soldiers; but they add that he abstained not because of his piety, but because he wished the coming carnage to be greater on a virgin field. It was in this battle that Creon 2 lost his life; and they tell that on killing him Theseus said:

"Now are you pleased to give dead foes the fire that is their due? Now will you bury the vanquished? Go to your dreadful reckoning, yet be assured of your own burial." (Theseus to Creon 2. Statius, Thebaid 12.779).

Thus were the Thebans defeated, and terror spread in the city which feared plunder. But since the purpose of the war was other than conquest, Theseus declared before departing:

"I have not marched from Athens to destroy this town …but to demand the dead for burial." (Theseus. Euripides, Suppliants).

Yet the Thebans have been reported to affirm that they voluntarily gave up the dead for burial, denying that they ever engaged in battle against Theseus. Others have said that Creon 2 met his end in completely different circumstances, being murdered by Lycus 6, a descendant of Lycus 5 from Dirphys in Euboea, when he, seeing Thebes weakened by dissension, seized power in the city. Creon 2 was, at that time, the protector of Heracles 1's family while the latter was performing his LABOURS. Lycus 6 planned to murder Amphitryon, Creon 2's daughter Megara, and her children by Heracles 1 as well, reasoning that:

"… I am well aware I slew Creon, the father of this woman, and am in possession of his throne. So I have no wish that these children should grow up and be left to take vengeance on me in requital for what I have done." (Lycus 6. Euripides, Heracles 166).

However, Lycus 6, son of Poseidon, was prevented by Heracles 1, who killed him at his return.

Thebes after Creon 2

In any case, at the death of Creon 2, the throne of Thebes devolved on Laodamas 2, son of Eteocles 1. And it was during his reign that the sons of the SEVEN AGAINST THEBES, known as the EPIGONI, led their armies for a second time against Thebes, which they captured and handed over to Polynices' son Thersander 1.

What remained many years later

The traveller Pausanias (c. AD 150) claims to have seen still flourishing on the tomb of Creon 2's son Menoeceus 2 the pomegranate-tree that there grew with fruits red like blood inside. Not far away from it, he also saw, marked by a pillar with a stone shield upon it, the place where the brothers Eteocles 1 and Polynices slew each other. Pausanias adds that the whole area was called "the Dragging of Antigone"; for it was here that she dragged her brother Polynices' corpse up to the burning pyre of Eteocles 1, throwing him on it.

Others with identical name

Creon 1 was son of Heracles 1 by one of the many daughters of Thespius.
Creon 3 is the king of Corinth who betrothed his daughter Glauce 4 to Jason.






Menoeceus 1 & unknown

The parentage of Menoeceus 1 is unknown, but he is considered to be a descendant of the SPARTI. Menoeceus 1 threw himself from the walls of the city when Tiresias predicted that someone had to die voluntarily to free Thebes from the plague during the reign of Oedipus.
Besides Creon 2, Menoeceus 1 had two daughters: Jocasta and Hipponome.
Jocasta married Laius 1, and later her own son Oedipus, by whom she had children: Polynices, Eteocles 1, Ismene 2, and Antigone 2. Jocasta committed suicide when the nature of her second marriage was revealed.
Hipponome, some say, married Alcaeus 1, son of Perseus 1, and became mother of Amphitryon, the man who came to Thebes as an exile during the first regency of Creon 2.

Eurydice 12

Megareus 1


Menoeceus 2

Haemon 1

Lycomedes 2

Henioche 1

Pyrrha 2

Megareus 1 defended the Neistan Gate during the war of the SEVEN AGAINST THEBES.
Megara married Heracles 1 and might have been killed by him; but it is also said that she was given by Heracles 1 to Iolaus 1, his charioteer, who married her.
During the war against the SEVEN AGAINST THEBES, the Thebans sought counsel of Tiresias, who said that they would be victorious if Menoeceus 2 would offer himself freely as a sacrifice to Ares. So Menoeceus 2 slew himself before the gates of Thebes or at the place indicated by the seer.
Haemon 1, some say, was killed by the Sphinx. But others say that he slew himself much later, after the war of the SEVEN AGAINST THEBES, at Antigone 2's tomb.
For Lycomedes 2 see ACHAEANS.

Genealogical Charts

Names in this chart: Alcaeus 1, Alcathous 3, Alcmena, Amphitryon, Anaxo 1, Andromeda, Antigone 2, Automedusa, Cadmus, Creon 2, Creontiades., Deicoon 1, Electryon 1, Eteocles 1, Eurydice 12, Henioche 1, Heracles 1, Hipponome, Iolaus 1, Iphicles, Ismene 2, Jocasta, Labdacus 1, Laius 1, Leipephilene, Lycomedes 2, Maeon 1, Megara, Haemon 1, Megareus 1, Menoeceus 1, Menoeceus 2, Oedipus, Ophites 1, Pelops 1, Perimede 2, Perseus 1, Polydorus 2, Polynices, Pyrrha 2, Tantalus 1, Therimachus, Zeus.

Related sections Antigone 2, Oedipus, SEVEN AGAINST THEBES, Thebes  

Aes.Sev.474; Apd.2.4.7, 2.4.11, 3.5.7, 3.6.7, 3.7.1; Eur.Her.7, 34; Eur.Phoe.passim; Hom.Il.9.84; Hyg.Fab.67, 72; Pau.1.39.2, 9.5.13, 9.10.3, 9.25.1; Soph.OT.passim; Soph.OC.69 and passim; Soph.Ant.211, 1180 and passim; Stat.Theb.11.651, 12.773ff.