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By RABIN (Chaim)

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Polynices left a son. The grandson of this son migrated to Sparta. In the fourth (or perhaps later) generation thereafter, because of the stillbirths of their children, the descendants of this family erect a temple in honor of the Erinyes of Laius and Oedipus. They believe that they are under a curse going all the way back to these remote forebears. Another descendant of this family was Theron, the tyrant of the Sicilian city Acragas (modern Agrigento) (again see fig. 1). Pindar composed an ode to celebrate his victory in the chariot race at the Olympic games of 476 BC.

In a fragment of a tragedy by Aeschylus, perhaps his Oedipus (but assigned to the category of “uncertain” by the most recent editor Radt [fr. 387a]), Oedipus killed Laius at Potniai, “Queens,” a town near Thebes named after Demeter and her daughter, Kore¯ (Paus. 1). The Erinyes were also worshipped there (Eur. Or. 317–18; cf. Phoen. 1124–25). Oedipus thus killed his father directly under the eyes of the deities who would be quickest to torment the perpetrator of such a crime, as the poet Pindar observes in a passage to be quoted below.

928–29). This passage provides the earliest evidence for the selfblinding of Oedipus, which is the first of the two ills. It presupposes Oedipus’ discovery of his crimes. The second ill will be the curse on the sons, which the chorus goes on to describe. And upon his sons he sent wretched curses, angry because of their sustenance [of him], alas, curses of bitter tongue, and that they with iron-wielding hand at some time divide his possessions. The chorus concludes: “I fear lest now the swift-running Erinys bring it to pass” (785–91).

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