Cadmus


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

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.
..... Click the link for more information.
 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
. 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
; 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
). 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 ?
Without thy loving help, and that of my son Cadmus, my limbs could not have borne me half so far as this.
From that day forward, Cadmus noticed that she never traveled with the same alacrity of spirit that had heretofore supported her.
Before setting out, Cadmus helped Thasus build a bower; while Telephassa, being too infirm to give any great assistance, advised them how to fit it up and furnish it, so that it might be as comfortable as a hut of branches could.
Telephassa and Cadmus were now pursuing their weary way, with no companion but each other.
"We have seen no such wondrous sight," the people would reply; and very often, taking Cadmus aside, they whispered to him, "Is this stately and sad-looking woman your mother?
"It is no dream," said Cadmus. "Everything else is a dream, save that."
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.
"A good long rest!" she repeated, looking Cadmus tenderly in the face.
"As long as you please, dear mother," answered Cadmus.
Cadmus burst into tears, and, for a long time, refused to believe that his dear mother was now to be taken from him.
"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!"