Search ... <- Back . Home  .Forward -> ... Index
 
Oedipus  (ED-i-pus or EE-di-pus)

King of Thebes who unknowingly killed his father and married his mother.

Colorful encounters awaited the great heroes as they set out on the road, never knowing what strange adventure lay ahead. Sometimes these run-ins were with humans, sometimes not. The hero Oedipus was told to stand aside by a charioteer in a narrow pass. He refused, the chariot rushed him and Oedipus struck down the driver as he passed. The man died. Only long afterwards did Oedipus discover that the stranger was his own father.

Further along the same road, Oedipus came to another narrow place. There perched a beast with the head of a woman, the wings of a griffin and the body of a lion. This monster - the Sphinx - asked a riddle of all passers-by. Failure to answer correctly meant death. She put the riddle to Oedipus: "What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three at close of day?"

"That's simple enough," replied the hero. "A human crawls on four legs as an infant, walks upright on two in the prime of life and hobbles with a cane in old age."

Hearing this, the Sphinx promptly ran off and killed herself. The grateful people of nearby Thebes made Oedipus their king. Like all great heroes, he never shirked an encounter.


The road to adventure. (zoom)