What’s Special About Thebes? Two Fragments from Sophokles

Sophocles fr. 773

“Do you say to me concerning Thebes and its seven gates
That it is the only place where mortal women give birth to gods?

Θήβας λέγεις μοι καὶ πύλας ἑπταστόμους,
οὗ δὴ μόνον τίκτουσιν αἱ θνηταὶ θεούς

from Heraclides On the Cities of Greece, 1, 17

Fr. 799 (Odysseus to Diomedes)

“I will say nothing terrible to you, not how
You wander the earth an exile from your father hand,
Nor how your father killed a blood relative
And then settled as a foreigner in Argos or even
How right before the walls of Thebes he made a meal of human flesh
When he cut off the head of the child of Astacus.”

ΟΔΥΣΣΕΥΣ (τῷ Διομήδει)•
ἐγὼ δ’ ἐρῶ σοι δεινὸν οὐδέν, οὔθ’ ὅπως
φυγὰς πατρῴας ἐξελήλασαι χθονός,
οὔθ’ ὡς ὁ Τυδεὺς ἀνδρὸς αἷμα συγγενὲς
κτείνας ἐν ῎Αργει ξεῖνος ὢν οἰκίζεται,
οὔθ’ ὡς πρὸ Θηβῶν ὠμοβρὼς ἐδαίσατο
τὸν ᾿Αστάκειον παῖδα διὰ κάρα τεμών

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