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Now Eteocles and Polynices made a compact with each other concerning the kingdom and resolved that each should rule alternately for a year at a time.1 Some say that Polynices was the first to rule, and that after a year he handed over the kingdom to Eteocles; but some say that Eteocles was the first to rule, and would not hand over the kingdom. So, being banished from Thebes, Polynices came to Argos, taking with him the necklace and the robe.2 The king of Argos was Adrastus, son of Talaus; and Polynices went up to his palace by night and engaged in a fight with Tydeus, son of Oeneus, who had fled from Calydon.3 At the sudden outcry Adrastus appeared and parted them, and remembering the words of a certain seer who told him to yoke his daughters in marriage to a boar and a lion,4 he accepted them both as bridegrooms, because they had on their shields, the one the forepart of a boar, and the other the forepart of a lion.5 And Tydeus married Deipyle, and Polynices married Argia6; and Adrastus promised that he would restore them both to their native lands. And first he was eager to march against Thebes, and he mustered the chiefs.


1 That is, they were to reign in alternate years. Compare Eur. Ph. 69ff.; Eur. Ph. 473ff.; Diod. 4.65.1; Zenobius, Cent. i.30; Hyginus, Fab. 67; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 48ff. (First Vatican Mythographer 152). In this and the sequel Zenobius, Cent. i.30 closely follows Apollodorus and probably copied from him.

2 That is, the necklace and the robe which Cadmus had given to Harmonia at their marriage. See above, Apollod. 3.4.2.

3 See above Apollod. 1.8.5.

4 Adrastus received the oracle from Apollo. See Eur. Ph. 408ff.; Eur. Supp. 132ff. In these passages the poet describes the nocturnal brawl between the two exiled princes at the gate of the palace, and their reconciliation by Adrastus. Compare Zenobius, Cent. i.30; Hyginus, Fab. 69; and the elaborate description of Statius, Theb. i.370ff. The words of the oracle given to Adrastus are quoted by the Scholiast on Eur. Ph. 409. According to one interpretation the boar on the shield of Tydeus referred to the Calydonian boar, while the lion on the shield of Polynices referred to the lion-faced sphinx. Others preferred to suppose that the two chieftains were clad in the skins of a boar and a lion respectively. See Scholiast on Eur. Ph. 409; Hyginus, Fab. 69.

5 As to the devices which the Greeks painted on their shields, as these are described by ancient writers or depicted in vase-paintings, see G. H. Chase, “The Shield Devices of the Greeks,” HSCP, vol. xiii. pp. 61-127. From the evidence collected in this essay (pp. 98, 112ff.) it appears that both the boar and the lion are common devices on shields in vase-paintings.

6 Compare Diod. 4.65.3; Scholiast on Eur. Ph. 409; Hyginus, Fab. 69; Statius, Theb. ii.201ff.

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