Kadmos (page 471, with art)

Chapter 14: Thebes

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Berlin, Antikensammlung F2634 (not lost, as Gantz): Attic red-figure hydria with Kadmos, snake, Thebe (on lower right) and other divinities

E. Gerhard, Etruskische und Kampanische Vasenbilder des Königlichen Museums zu Berlin (1843), pl. C.1-5

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Pho 657-65 – Euripides, Phoinissai (Phoinician Women)

There was Ares’ murderous dragon, a savage guard, [660] watching with wandering eye the watery rivers and fresh streams. Cadmus destroyed it with a jagged stone, when he came there to draw lustral water; smiting the deadly head [665] with a blow of his beast-slaying arm.  Greek Text

Met 3.1-137 – Ovid, Metamorphoses

Now Jupiter had not revealed himself,
nor laid aside the semblance of a bull,
until they stood upon the plains of Crete.

But not aware of this, her father bade
her brother Cadmus search through all the world,
until he found his sister, and proclaimed
him doomed to exile if he found her not;—
thus was he good and wicked in one deed.
When he had vainly wandered over the earth
(for who can fathom the deceits of Jove?)
Cadmus, the son of King Agenor, shunned
his country and his father’s mighty wrath.

But he consulted the famed oracles
of Phoebus, and enquired of them what land
might offer him a refuge and a home.
And Phoebus answered him; “When on the plains
a heifer, that has never known the yoke,
shall cross thy path go thou thy way with her,
and follow where she leads; and when she lies,
to rest herself upon the meadow green,
there shalt thou stop, as it will be a sign
for thee to build upon that plain the walls
of a great city: and its name shall be
the City of Boeotia.”  Continue Reading  Latin Text

Σ Pho 638 Scholia to Euripides, Phoinissai (The Phoenician Women) – Scholia in Euripidem, ed. E. Schwartz. Vol. 1, p. 313-14. Berlin 1887.

Greek Text

ΣA Il 2.494 – Scholia A to Homer, IliadScholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem, ed. W. Dindorf and E. Maass. Vol. I, pp. 112-114. Oxford 1875.

Greek Text

Th 937 – Hesiod, Theogony

[Also Cytherea bore to Ares]… Harmonia whom high-spirited Cadmus made his wife. Greek Text

ΣA Il 2.494 – Scholia A to Homer, IliadScholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem, ed. W. Dindorf and E. Maass. Vol. I, pp. 112-114. Oxford 1875

See above

Theognis 15-18 – Iambi et Elegi Graeci 1, pp. 174-75, ed. M.L. West. Oxford 1971.

Py 3.86-96 – Pindar, Pythian

But a secure life was not granted either to Peleus son of Aeacus or to godlike Cadmus; yet they are said to have attained the highest prosperity of all mortal men, since they heard the Muses of the golden headbands singing on the mountain and in seven-gated Thebes, when Cadmus married ox-eyed Harmonia, and Peleus married the famous daughter of wise Nereus. And the gods held feasts for both of them, and they saw the royal sons of Cronus on their golden seats, and they received wedding gifts. Greek Text

Paus 3.18.12 – Pausanias, Description of Greece

There is Peleus handing over Achilles to be reared by Cheiron, who is also said to have been his teacher. There is Cephalus, too, carried off by Day because of his beauty. The gods are bringing gifts to the marriage of Harmonia. Greek Text

Throne of Apollo at Amyklai (known through Pausanias’ description and modern reconstructions)


Reconstruction of whole throne by A. Furtwängler, from J.G. Frazer, Pausanias’s Description of Greece, vol. III, Commentary (2nd ed. 1913), p. 352

Paris, Musée du Louvre CA 1961: Attic black-figure neck-amphora, Kadmos and Harmonia

Alamy stock photo

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

ΣA Il 2.494 – Scholia A to Homer, IliadScholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem, ed. W. Dindorf and E. Maass. Vol. I, pp. 112-114. Oxford 1875.

See above

DS 5.49.1 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

This wedding of Cadmus and Harmonia was the first, we are told, for which the gods provided the marriage-feast, and Demeter, becoming enamoured of Iasion, presented him with the fruit of the corn, Hermes gave a lyre, Athena the renowned necklace and a robe and a flute, and the rest of the gods spoke them fair and gave the pair their aid in the celebration of the wedding. Greek Text

DS 4.65.5 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

Polyneices, they say, gave the golden necklace which, as the myth relates, had once been given by Aphroditê as a present to Harmonia, to the wife of Amphiaraüs, in order that she might persuade her husband to join the others as their ally. Greek Text

ApB 3.4.2 Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

After his servitude [to Ares] Athena procured for him [Cadmus] the kingdom, and Zeus gave him to wife Harmonia, daughter of Aphrodite and Ares. And all the gods quitted the sky, and feasting in the Cadmea celebrated the marriage with hymns. Cadmus gave her a robe and the necklace wrought by Hephaestus, which some say was given to Cadmus by Hephaestus, but Pherecydes says that it was given by Europa, who had received it from Zeus. Greek Text

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Artistic sources edited by R. Ross Holloway, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor Emeritus, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown Univ., and Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, June 2020

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, University of Georgia, March 2020

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