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Τειρεσίας). A Theban, was one of the most renowed soothsayers in all antiquity. He was blind from his seventh year, but lived to a very old age. The occasion of his blindness and of his prophetic power is variously related. In the war of the Seven against Thebes he declared that Thebes should be victorious if Menoeceus would sacrifice himself; and during the war of the Epigoni, when the Thebans had been defeated, he advised them to commence negotiations of peace, and to avail themselves of the opportunity that would thus be afforded them to take to flight. He himself fled with them (or, according to others, he was carried to Delphi as a captive), but on his way he drank from the well of Tilphusa, and died. Even in the lower world Tiresias was believed to retain the powers of perception, while the souls of other mortals were mere shades, and there also he continued to use his golden staff. The blind seer Tiresias acts so prominent a part in the mythical history of Greece that there is scarcely any event with which he is not connected in some way or other; and this introduction of the seer in so many occurrences, separated by long intervals of time, was facilitated by the belief in his long life. (See especially Oedipus.) Tiresias is the subject of a fine poem by Lord Tennyson (1885).

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