The Expedition of the Seven (page 515, with art)

Chapter 14: Thebes

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Paus 2.20.5 – Pausanias, Description of Greece

A little farther on is a sanctuary of the Seasons. On coming back from here you see statues of Polyneices, the son of Oedipus, and of all the chieftains who with him were killed in battle at the wall of Thebes. These men Aeschylus has reduced to the number of seven only, although there were more chiefs than this in the expedition, from Argos, from Messene, with some even from Arcadia. But the Argives have adopted the number seven from the drama of Aeschylus. Greek Text

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Gl 194.  Etruscan gem, five of the heroes attacking Thebes.

A. F. Gori, Storia antiquaria etrusca.

Aischylos, Hepta 42-56 – Hepta epi Thebas (Septem contra Thebas, Seven against Thebes)

Seven warriors, fierce regiment-commanders, slaughtered a bull over a black shield, and then touching the bull’s gore with their hands they swore an oath by Ares, by Enyo, and by Rout who delights in blood, that either they will level the city and sack the Cadmeans’ town by force, or will in death smear this soil with their blood. And on Adrastus’ chariot they were placing remembrances of themselves for their parents at home, and were shedding tears while so doing, but no piteous wailing escaped their lips. For their iron- hearted spirit heaved, blazing with courage, as of lions with war in their eyes. Your knowledge of these things was not delayed by fearfulness; or I left them casting lots to decide how each commander, his post assigned by chance, would lead his regiment against the gates. Greek Text

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

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