Polydorus of Thebes

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Polydorus
Theban king
AbodeThebes
Personal information
ParentsCadmus and Harmonia
SiblingsSemele, Ino, Agave, and Autonoë
ConsortNycteïs
ChildrenLabdacus

In Greek mythology, Polydorus or Polydoros (/ˌpɒlɪˈdɔːrəs/; Ancient Greek: Πολύδωρος, i.e. "many-gift[ed]") was a king of Thebes.

Family[edit]

Polydorus was the eldest son of Cadmus and Harmonia[1][2] but younger than Semele,[3] his other sisters were Autonoë, Ino and Agave. He was the father of Labdacus[4] by Nycteïs, the daughter of Nycteus.

Last of all Harmonia added a little son to the brood of sisters, and made Cadmos happy – Polydoros, the morning star of the Aonian nation, younger than rosy cheek Semele[5]

Mythology[edit]

Upon the death of Cadmus, Pentheus, the son of Echion and Agave, after banishing Polydorus[6] ruled Thebes for a short time until Dionysus prompted Agave to kill Pentheus.[7] Polydorus then succeeded Pentheus as king of Thebes and married Nycteïs.[8] When their son Labdacus was still young, Polydorus died of unknown causes, entrusting his father-in-law Nycteus to care the infant prince and to be his regent.[9]

In Pausanias's history, Polydorus' rule began when his father abdicated the throne and together with his mother Harmonia migrated to the Illyrian tribe of the Enchelii, but this is the only source for such a timeline.[10] It is also said that along with the thunderbolt hurled at the bridal chamber of Semele there fell a log from heaven. This log was adorned by Polydorus with bronze and called it Dionysus Cadmus.[11]

A different account by Diodorus stated that the Thebans were exiled a second time (the first time during the reign of Cadmus) for Polydorus came back and was dissatisfied with the situation because of the misfortunes that had befallen Amphion, the previous king,[12] in connection with his children.[13]

Genealogy[edit]

Argive genealogy in Greek mythology
InachusMelia
ZeusIoPhoroneus
EpaphusMemphis
LibyaPoseidon
BelusAchiroëAgenorTelephassa
DanausElephantisAegyptusCadmusCilixEuropaPhoenix
MantineusHypermnestraLynceusHarmoniaZeus
Polydorus
SpartaLacedaemonOcaleaAbasAgaveSarpedonRhadamanthus
Autonoë
EurydiceAcrisiusInoMinos
ZeusDanaëSemeleZeus
PerseusDionysus
Colour key:

  Male
  Female
  Deity


Family tree of Theban Royal House[edit]

Royal House of Thebes family tree
  • Solid lines indicate descendants.
  • Dashed lines indicate marriages.
  • Dotted lines indicate extra-marital relationships or adoptions.
  • Kings of Thebes are numbered with bold names and a light purple background.
    • Joint rules are indicated by a number and lowercase letter, for example, 5a. Amphion shared the throne with 5b. Zethus.
  • Regents of Thebes are alphanumbered (format AN) with bold names and a light red background.
    • The number N refers to the regency preceding the reign of the Nth king. Generally this means the regent served the Nth king but not always, as Creon (A9) was serving as regent to Laodamas (the 10th King) when he was slain by Lycus II (the usurping 9th king).
    • The letter A refers to the regency sequence. "A" is the first regent, "B" is the second, etc.
  • Deities have a yellow background color and italic names.

Harmonia1.
Cadmus
PolyxoA4.
Nycteus (Regent)
DirceB4 & A6.
Lycus (Regent)
ZeusZeus
InoAgaveEchion3.
Polydorus
NycteisAntiope
SemeleAutonoë
Dionysus2.
Pentheus
Epeiros4.
Labdacus
5a.
Amphion
5b.
Zethus
Menoeceus
EurydiceA7, A8 & A9.
Creon (Regent)
Jocasta6.
Laius
MeropePolybus
HipponomeAlcaeus
Zeus
AlcmeneAmphitryonPerimede7.
Oedipus
MegaraHeraclesIphiclesAnaxo
HeniocheMegareusHaemonAntigone8b.
Eteocles
Argea8a.
Polynices
PyrrhaLycomedesIsmene9.
Lycus II
A12.
Peneleos (Regent)
10.
Laodamas
Demonassa11.
Thersander
Opheltes12.
Tisamenus
14.
Damasichthon
13.
Autesion
15.
Ptolemy
TherasArgeiaAristodemus
16.
Xanthos
EurysthenesProcles

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hesiod. Theogony, 978, Pseudo-Apollodorus. Bibliotheca, 3.4.2, Diodorus Siculus. Bibliotheca historica, 4.2.1 & Nonnus. Dionysiacca, 5.208
  2. ^ Nonnus. Dionysiacca, 5.208
  3. ^ Nonnus. Dionysiaca, 5.298
  4. ^ Herodotus. The Histories, 5.59, Euripides. The Phoenician Women, 1, Arrian. The Anabasis of Alexander, 2.16.1 & Sophocles. Oedipus Tyrannus, 267
  5. ^ Nonnus. Dionysiaca, 5.207ff
  6. ^ Nonnus. Dionysiaca, 46.259
  7. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus. Bibliotheca, 3.5.2
  8. ^ Hyginus. Fabulae, 76
  9. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus. Bibliotheca, 3.5.5 & Pausanias. Description of Greece, 2.6.2 & 9.5.4
  10. ^ Pausanias. Description of Greece, 9.5.3
  11. ^ Pausanias. Description of Greece, 9.12.4
  12. ^ Diodorus Siculus. Bibliotheca historica, 19.53.5 This was contradicting to the stories of Apollodorus because Polydorus had already died when Amphion ruled on Thebes and after Amphion's death Polydorus' grandson Laius reigned after.
  13. ^ i.e. the Niobides, slain by Apollo and Artemis to punish their mother Niobê, who had presumed to compare herself with Leto

References[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Pentheus
King of Thebes Succeeded by
Nycteus