The Count of the city of Argos Adstratos had five children of which Deipyle and Argea were the pretties. When they reached an age suitable for marriage many suitors declared their interest to marry them. However, Adstratos was worried when he would accept the suitors offer those who where not among the lucky ones would attack him and his family. Therefore, he consulted the oracle of Delphi and asked for help. Apollon answered: “Make the Ox and Lion pull the same cart”. The count rightfully understood the hint in that he demanded the two most influencial suitors to fight together against Thebes when married to his daughters.

Those two were Polyneikes and Tydesus. Both were banned from their rightful succession as kings of their hometown. Polyneikes, son of Oidipus and Iokast deprived of his reign of Thebes - the city’s embleme is a lion - by his brother Eteokles. The two brothers, unable to decide who would reign the city agreed on a yearly change of rulers. Eteokles being in charge during the first year of the agreement did not fulfill the agreement in that he did not leave the throne in favour of his brother.

Tydeus on the other hand being the son of Oineus of Kalydon - the city’s embleme is an Ox - killed his brother Melanippos on the hunt. Hereafter he was banned from his hometown of Kalydon accused of murdering his brother. Interestingly, the delphian oracle had stated that in fact Melanippos would kill Tydeus. Therefore there was a very imminent suspicion supporting the accusation. His friend and fellow prophet Amphiaraos does not agree with his plan as he dreamed only Adstratos would return from the battle. Both have an agreement to let Amphiaraos wife Eriphyle make the decision. She, however is bribed by Tydeus who overheared the agreement with a gift of Aphrodite. Thereafter, Adrstratos calls his allies for help gathering an army. His allies send their sons Kapaneus, Hippomedon and Parthenopaios to assist the attack. Therefore, now all seven heroes (including the prophet Amphiaraos repspectively) gathered an army. Adrstratos followed the advice of the oracle by making them fight together.

oath of argos

When they seven reach Nemea, where Lykuros is king they ask for permission to drink from the waters. The king agrees and one of his maids - Hypsipyle, a lemnic princess who safed her father from lemnis women’s wrath - leads them to the water sources. When she lets down Lykuros son for a second he is bitten and killed by a snake.Amphiaraos interprets this as a sign of the gods indicating the bad outcome of their endevour. But he is not taken seriously When they reach Thebes Tydeus is send as an ambassador. He demands Eteokles to leave the throne and stick to their prior agreement. Eteokles does not hold to his word. To avoid bloodshed however, Polyneikes asks for a one man fight with Eteokles military generals. He wins all of them. Following, the seven heroes position themselves at the seven gates of Thebes preparing for the final charge. Teiresias, the prophet of Eteokles, made a prophecy only if a member of the royal family would sacrifice himself in favor of Ares Eteokles would remain king. Therefore, Menoikeus, Kreon’s son is chosen to fulfill the prophecy as his uncle did for Thebes. The prophecy becomes reality in that tables turn in favor of Thebes. When Tydeus is wounded and almost killed, Athena who is supporting him, intervenes and asks Zeus for help. When she is on her way to him carrying a potion to bring him back to life, Amphiaraos - who truely hates Tydeus after finding out he bribed his wife’s judgement - tells him to eat Melanippos brain in order to heal himself. Athena, disgusted by the scene spills the potion leaving Tydeus to die. When only Polyneikes, Adstratos and Amphiaraos remain, Polyneikes suggests a battle between him and his brother to avoid further harm. Both are deadly wounded during the fight. Then Kreon takes control of Thebe’s military affairs. He perishes the remain of Adstratos’ forces. Amphiaraos flees and is saved by Zeus himself when a jevelin is close to penetrate his thorax. He is said to now reign alive among the dead. (Unfortunately his driver Baton faced the same fortune ).

Then Adrstratos realized that the battle was lost he mounted his winged horse Arion and flew. He convinces Theseus to attack Thebes after hearing that Kreon won’t let the attackers be buried - an ungodly thing to do. Theseus captures Thebes having the element of surprise in his favor and returns the corpses to their families. Antigone Gives Token Burial to the Body of Her BrotherPolynices 1835–98 Jules-Eugène Lenepveu Antigone who inobediently buried her brother Polyneikes is sentenced to death by Kreon. As Haimon - Kreon’s son - is in love with her, he pretends to kill her but really lets her flee. She gives birth to Haimon’s son. This very son later returns to Thebes and is recognized by Kreon by a serpents sign all relatives of Kadmos share. Antigone and Haimon die together as Kreon won’t deviate from his prior judgement even when reasonably reproached by Heracles.