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When my son had become a man, with tawny beard, either because he had guessed or learned it from another, he set out for the shrine of Phoebus, wanting to know for certain who his parents were; [35] and so did Laius, my husband, seeking to learn if the child he had exposed was dead. And the two of them met at the branching road of Phocis. And Laius' charioteer ordered him: [40] “Stranger, make way for the king!” But he walked on without a word, in his pride. The horses with their hoofs drew blood from the tendons of his feet. Then—why need I speak of matters outside these evils?—son slew father, and taking his chariot [45] gave it to Polybus, his foster-father. Now when the Sphinx was oppressing and ravaging our city, after my husband's death, my brother Creon proclaimed my marriage: that he would marry me to anyone who should guess the riddle of the crafty maiden. It happened somehow [50] that my son, Oedipus, guessed the Sphinx's song; [and so he became king of this land] and received the scepter of this land as his prize. He married his mother in ignorance, luckless wretch! nor did his mother know that she was sleeping with her son.

[55] I bore my son two sons, Eteocles and the hero Polyneices, and two daughters; the one her father called Ismene; the other, which was the elder, I named Antigone. Now when Oedipus, who endured so much, [60] learned that he was married to his mother, he inflicted a dreadful slaughter upon his eyes, making the pupils bloody with a golden brooch. But when my sons grew to bearded men, they hid their father behind bars, so that his misfortune, [65] needing as it did much skill to hide it, might be forgotten. He is still living in the house. Afflicted by his fate, he makes the most unholy curses against his sons, praying that they may divide this house with a sharp sword.

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Phocis (Greece) (1)

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