Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

Suzanne Laurita

Final Project
The Ballad of Cadmus

Oh muse, sweet muse, lift your voice to me and

divulge of your secrets. Sing to me of
Cadmus who built Thebes and raised the men of
arms, the Spartoi. The Spartoi, the Thebans
say were sown from the teeth of a dragon
of whom brave Cadmus slayed. The premier king
of Thebes, son of Phoenician king, Agenor and of queen, Telephassa of Tyre,
traversed the land in search of his sister,
Europa, wide-eyed. Europa, of whom
Homer writes in his Iliad, sublime,
found herself the abductee of lightning
bearing Zeus who stole her under the guise
of the white bull. Cadmus, the first Theban,
in chase of Europa, wandered to Samothrace and then to Delphi where
he sought the advice of the Oracle.
The Oracle of Delphi charged him to
the task of finding a cow, unique with
her half-moon on her side. This extraordinary cow was to lead Cadmus to
the place where she would, fatigued lay herself
down. There, at that spot was to be the foundation for the town of Thebes, grand Cadmus
himself built. In that moment, with intent
to sacrifice of the cow to Athene,
he sent his men to a spring, near to them.
There, at that spring, his men were slain by the
river dragon, fearsome. In reprisal,
Cadmus wasted the dragon and by the
order of Athena, the dragons teeth
he sowed. The Spartoi emerged, armed and Cadmus cast a stone amid them over which
they fought until five endured. With those five,
Cadmus constructed the Cadmeia, the
citadel of Thebes and those men became
the originators of the families, noble of great Thebes. But that dragon,

Suzanne Laurita
Final Project
his death, flung him into penance, for it
was revered of Ares. This atonement,
he paid for eight years. At the close of the
eighth year, Cadmus was given Harmonia
as wife by the gods. From them, came a son,
Polydorus and four daughters Agave, Autono, Ino, and Semele, mother of Dionysus. At the
wedding of Cadmus and Harmonia,
with all the gods, bridals gifts were given;
a peplos by which Athena crafted
and a necklace, bringer of misfortune,
the Necklace of Harmonia. Due to
that, misfortune stood at the back of Cadmus as his city fell into turmoil.
Cadmus, with the touch of distress, relented the kingship to his grandson, Pentheus, who would found the polis Lychnidos
and the polis Bouthoe.
Affected, still, by the death of Ares
dragon, he lamented, If the gods loved
that ophidian so much, I might too
be one. and with that, scales grew upon
his skin, transforming into a serpent.
His wife, Harmonia, having witnessed
this alteration pleaded with the
gods to change her as well, so that she could
experience that fate together, with
Cadmus. Here, I shall end my song inspired by the wondrous muse and tell of the
due credit, given by Herodotus
to Cadmus. He speaks of how Cadmus brought
the Alphabet, Phoenician to the Greeks
with which they fit to their own alphabet.
The gods ceased the long line of Cadmus in
Sparta, of whom, the families, royal
Descend. The legacy of Cadmus breathes
In the celebration by Boeotia.