Laius in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology

(*La/i+os). 1. A son of Labdacus, and father of Oedipus. After his father's death he was placed under the guardianship of Lycus, and on the death of the latter, Laius was obliged to take refuge with Pelops in Peloponnesus. But when Amphion and Zethus, the murderers of Lycus, who had usurped his throne, had lost their lives, Laius returned to Thebes, and ascended the throne of his father. He married Jocaste (Homer calls her Epicaste), and became by her the father of Oedipus, by whom he was slain without being known to him. His body was buried by Damasistratus, king of Plataeae. (Hdt. 5.59; Paus. 9.5.2; Apollod. 3.5.5, &c.; Diod. 5.64; comp. OEDIPUS.) 2. A Cretan, who, together with Aegolius, Celeus, and Cerberus, entered the sacred cave of bees in Crete, in order to steal honey. They succeeded in their crime, but perceived the cradle of the infant Zeus, and that instant their brazen armour broke to pieces. Zeus thundered, and wanted to kill them by a flash of lightning; but the Moerae and Themis prevented him, as no one was allowed to be killed on that sacred spot, whereupon the thieves were metamorphosed into birds. (Ant. Lib. 19; Plin. Nat. 10.60, 79.) - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.

Read More