ADRASTUS In Greek mythology, king of ARGOS; the leader of the warriors known as the SEVEN AGAINST THEBES according to the tragedy written by the Greek poet AESCHYLUS. The attack on THEBES by rebels who supported Polynices in his attempt to force his brother, Eteocles, off the throne of Thebes was a disaster. Of the seven champions, only Adrastus lived, escaping on his winged horse, ARION. Later, Adrastus made another attempt to gain Thebes, when the children of the Seven, called the EPIGONI, were old enough to become warriors. This time the battle was a success, but it was a sad victory for Adrastus because his only son, Aegialeus, was killed in the conflict.

Taken from : Greek and Roman Mythology A to Z, Revised Edition – Written by Kathleen N. Daly and Revised by Marian Rengel – Copyright © 2004, 1992 by Kathleen N. Daly

Adrastus (he who stands his ground) In Greek mythology, a king of Argos; son of Talaus and Lysimache (or Eurynome or Lysianassa); married to Amphithea; father of Argeia, Aegialeia, Aegialeus, Cyanippus, Deipyle, and Hippodameia. Adrastus led the “Seven against Thebes” in an ill-fated expedition to restore Polynices, son of Oedipus, to the throne of Thebes. In a fight between the three ruling houses in Argos—the Biantidae, Melampodidae, and Proetidae—Adrastus was driven out by Amphiaraus. Adrastus fled to his maternal grandfather, King Polybus of Cicyoun, and later inherited his kingdom. Adrastus was reconciled to Amphiaraus, to whom he gave his sister Eriphyle. He later returned and ruled over Argos, where one stormy night a great scuffle was heard outside the palace. Two fugitives, Polynices and Tydeus (one wrapped in a lion’s skin, the other in a boar’s skin), had sought refuge in the front court and were fighting for a night’s lodging. Adrastus recognized this as the fulfillment of an oracle that had told him to marry his daughters to a lion and a boar. Adrastus gave his daughter Argeia to Polynices and Deipyle to Tydeus. He promised to conduct the two exiles to Thebes and install Polynices on the throne. This is the subject of Aeschylus’s play Seven Against Thebes. In the ensuing war only Adrastus escaped destruction by fleeing on his winged horse Arion. Ten years later, with the sons (called the Epigoni) of the slain warriors of this ill-fated expedition and his son Aegialeus, Adrastus marched on Thebes.
He took the city but lost his son and died of grief on his way home.


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante

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