Oidipous ponders the riddle of the Sphinx. (Attic Red Figure, Kylix)

Oidipous was the son of Jocasta and Laius. As a baby, his father had been sent a prophecy that he must not have a child with his Jokasta or the child would "kill his father and marry his mother." None the less Laius and his wife had a son anyway. He was named Oidipous meaning "swollen foot." The reason for the name being that Laius in an attempt to thwart the prophecy stuck a large pin through the feet of his son (this would cause feet to swell from the wound) and left Oedipus on a mountainside to die.

Oedipus, however, was found on Mount Kithairon by shepherds and was raised by King Polybus and Queen Merope in Korinth. Some years later when he had reached manhood, Oidipous too learned of the prophecy that he was fated to "kill his father and marry his mother." Oidipous who having been raised by Polybus and Merope from infancy believed they were his biological parents and in his own attempt to thwart the prophecy did the only thing he could think of and left Korinth and traveled to Thebes.

In his travels, Oidipous came to a place called Davia which is a place where three roads meet. It was there that Oidipous encountered a man driving a chariot. Unbeknownst to King Laius and Oidipous, the two were a father and son (Laius believing his son dead and Oidipous having no memory of his father whatsoever). Oidipous and Laius got into a dispute about who had the right to go first. Laius responded by trying to run over Oidipous. Laius and Oidipous fought and Oidipous killed Laius.

Later on in his journey to Thebes Oidipous encountered the Sphinx a monster who had been plaguing Thebes. The Sphinx would ask a riddle ("what walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and three legs in the evening") and kill anyone who guessed wrong (which so far had been everyone). When Oidipous was asked the riddle, he claimed it was a man (man crawled on four legs as a baby, walks on two through most of life and walks with a cane as a third leg at the end of his life). When he guessed correctly, the Sphinx promptly threw herself off a cliff. As Oidipous reached Thebes, he learned that Kreon had promised the hand of his sister Jokasta to anyone who could have gotten rid of the Sphinx. Oidipous was then wed to Jokasta completing the prophecy spoken when Oidipous was a child. Oidipous then became king of Thebes.

Years later after Oidipous and Jokasta had 4 children the city was falling apart, there was a plague which was making people sick, the city begged Oidipous to do something to fix the city. So, Oidipous went to Delphi to ask the oracle what he should do. The oracle told Oidipous that the city would be saved if whoever killed King Laius was exiled from Thebes. Oidipous now started his search for who killed Laius. After he finally realized that it was him who killed Laius at the road crossing, Jokasta hung herself and Oidipous blinded himself with his brooch.

Oidipous was then exiled from Thebes by Jokasta 's brother KreonAntigone, Oedipus's daughter, then helped him move through Greece to find his final resting place. After 25 years Oidipous finally found his final resting place to be Colonus. Over those 25 years, an oracle said that whoever had Oidipous on their side would triumph over all. While Oidipous was in Colonus, his two sons Polyneices and Eteocles fought over who should take the throne. Right before his death, Oidipous was visited by his son Polyneices, who asked him if Oidipous would stand by his. Oidipous refused his request on the account that Polyneices had never shown any kindness towards him, and he then placed a curse on him, that he and his brother would kill each other.

Oidipous was then taken to his final resting place where he then died and was taken by Zeus


Jokasta & Laius

Spouse & Lovers

Jokasta (wife & mother)