- A. Schachter
Son of *Oedipus. After the blinding and retirement of their father, he and his brother Polynices twice insulted him, once by setting before him certain vessels which had belonged to Laius, and then by giving him a portion of meat less honourable than a king deserved (CyclicThebais, frs. 2–3 West/Davies/Bernabé/Kinkel, see epic cycle). Oedipus therefore cursed them. The two brothers agreed to reign in alternate years, Eteocles taking the first year, Polynices leaving *Thebes (1) for *Argos (1). At the end of his year Eteocles refused to give up the throne; Polynices returned with his father-in-law *Adrastus (1) and the ‘Seven’; in the ensuing battle, the two brothers met and killed each other (see seven against thebes).
- Greek Myth and Religion