P. 498

Palaiphatos 4 – Mythographi Graeci 2, ed. N. Festa. Leipzig 1902

Greek Text

Diodorus Siculus 4.64.4

At this answer the sphinx, in accordance with the oracle which the myth recounts, threw herself down a precipice, and Oedipus then married the woman who, unknown to himself, was his mother, and begat two sons, Eteocles and Polyneices, and two daughters, Antigonê and Ismenê. Greek Text

ApB 3.5.8 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

And having learned a riddle from the Muses, she sat on Mount Phicium, and propounded it to the Thebans. And the riddle was this:— What is that which has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed? Now the Thebans were in possession of an oracle which declared that they should be rid of the Sphinx whenever they had read her riddle; so they often met and discussed the answer, and when they could not find it the Sphinx used to snatch away one of them and gobble him up. Greek Text

Hyginus, Fabulae 67

In the meantime the Sphinx, offspring of Typhon, was sent into Boeotia, and was laying waste the fields of the Thebans. She proposed a contest to Creon, that if anyone interpreted the riddle which she gave, she would depart, but that she would destroy whoever failed, and under no other circumstances would she leave the country. When the king heard this, he made a proclamation throughout Greece. He promised that he would give the kingdom and his sister Jocasta in marriage to the person solving the riddle of the Sphinx. Many came out of greed for the kingdom, and were devoured by the Sphinx, but Oidipus, son of Laius, came and interpreted the riddle. The Sphinx leaped to her death. Greek Text

Pausanias 9.26.3-4

There is another version of the story which makes her the natural daughter of Laius, who, because he was fond of her, told her the oracle delivered to Cadmus from Delphi. No one, they say, except the kings knew the oracle. Now Laius (the story goes on to say) had sons by concubines, and the oracle delivered from Delphi applied only to Epicaste and her sons. So when any of her brothers came in order to claim the throne from the Sphinx, she resorted to trickery in dealing with them, saying that if they were sons of Laius they should know the oracle that came to Cadmus. When they could not answer she would punish them with death, on the ground that they had no valid claim to the kingdom or to relationship. But Oedipus came because it appears he had been told the oracle in a dream. Greek Text


Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, March 2020

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