Cadmus


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Cadmus,

in Greek legend, son of AgenorAgenor
, in Greek mythology. 1 King of Tyre, father of Cadmus and Europa. When Europa disappeared, Agenor sent Cadmus and his other sons in search of her. 2 Trojan hero, son of Antenor.
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 and founder of ThebesThebes,
chief city of Boeotia, in ancient Greece. It was originally a Mycenaean city. Thebes is rich in associations with Greek legend and religion (see Oedipus; the Seven against Thebes; Epigoni). Sometime before 1000 B.C.
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. Misfortune followed his family because he killed the sacred dragon that guarded the spring of Ares. Athena told him to sow the dragon's teeth, and from these sprang the Sparti [sown men], ancestors of the noble families of Thebes. Cadmus married Harmonia, daughter of Ares and Aphrodite. At their wedding he presented her with a sacred robe and necklace, made by Hephaestus, which later brought misfortune to their possessors (see AmphiaraüsAmphiaraüs
, in Greek mythology, a prophet, one of the ill-fated Seven against Thebes. He foresaw the disaster of the expedition, but Polynices bribed his wife, Eriphyle, with the magic necklace of Harmonia, to convince him to go.
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; AlcmaeonAlcmaeon
, in Greek legend, son of Amphiaraüs and Eriphyle, a leader of the expedition of the Epigoni against Thebes. He murdered his mother in revenge for his father's death and consequently was haunted by the Erinyes until he found haven on Achelous' island.
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). They had four daughters—Ino, Semele, Autonoe, and Agave. In their old age Cadmus and Harmonia were turned into serpents by Zeus and sent to live in the Elysian fields.

Cadmus

introduced the alphabet to the Greeks. [Gk. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 161]

Cadmus

sows dragon’s teeth that turn into armed men. [Gk. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 180]
References in classic literature ?
But, one day, Telephassa seemed feebler than usual, and leaned almost her whole weight on the arm of Cadmus, and walked more slowly than ever before.
As long as you please, dear mother," answered Cadmus.
Dearest Cadmus," said she, "thou hast been the truest son that ever mother had, and faithful to the very last.
O mother, mother," cried Cadmus, "couldst thou but have seen my sister before this hour
I will not sadden you, my little hearers, with telling how Telephassa died and was buried, but will only say, that her dying smile grew brighter, instead of vanishing from her dead face; so that Cadmus left convinced that, at her very first step into the better world, she had caught Europa in her arms.
On his way thither, he still inquired of most people whom he met whether they had seen Europa; for, to say the truth, Cadmus had grown so accustomed to ask the question, that it came to his lips as readily as a remark about the weather.
Poor Cadmus found it more wearisome to travel alone than to bear all his dear mother's weight, while she had kept him company.
The place of the oracle was a certain cavity in the mountain side, over which, when Cadmus came thither, he found a rude bower of branches.
When Cadmus had thrust a passage through the tangled boughs, and made his way into the bower, he did not at first discern the half-hidden cavity.
But Cadmus was more fortunate than many others who went to Delphi in search of truth.
And when these words had been repeated until Cadmus was tired of hearing them (especially as he could not imagine what cow it was, or why he was to follow her), the gusty hole gave vent to another sentence.
These words were pronounced but a single time, and died away into a whisper before Cadmus was fully satisfied that he had caught the meaning.