Jocasta (Iocaste) (shining moon) In Greek mythology, both mother and wife of Oedipus, whom she married not knowing he was her son; mother of Eteocles, Polynices, Antigone, and Ismene; daughter of Menoeceus. When Jocasta learned she was Oedipus’ mother, she killed herself by hanging. Jocasta appears in Homer’s Odyssey (book 11), where she is seen in the underworld by Odysseus. Homer calls her Epicaste. Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus, often called Oedipus Rex, and Euripides’ Phoenician Women also feature Jocasta, as do modern versions of the Oedipus myth by Cocteau and Gide.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante