The Theban Cycle is a collection of four lost epics of ancient Greek literature which related the mythical history of the Boiotian city of Thebes. They were composed in dactylic hexameter verse and were probably written down between 750 BC and 500 BC. Often the Theban epics are counted as part of the "Epic Cycle", along with the Trojan War cycle.

The stories in the Theban Cycle were traditional ones: the two Homeric epics, the Iliad and Odyssey, display knowledge of many of them. The most famous stories in the Cycle were those of Oidipous and of the "seven against Thebes", both of which were heavily drawn on by later writers of Greek tragedy.

The epics of the Theban Cycle were as follows:

  • The Oidipodeia, attributed to Kinaithon: told the story of Oidipous' solution to the Sphinx's riddle, and presumably of his incestuous marriage to his mother Epikaste or Jocasta.
  • The Thebaid, of uncertain authorship but sometimes attributed in antiquity to Homer: told the story of the war between Oidipous' two sons Eteokles and Polyneikes, and of Polyneikes' unsuccessful expedition against the city of Thebes with six other commanders (the "seven against Thebes"), in which both Eteokles and Polyneikes were killed.
  • The Epigonoi, attributed in antiquity to either Antimachos of Teos or Homer: a continuation of the Thebaid, which told the story of the next generation of heroes who attacked Thebes, this time successfully.
  • The Alkmeonis, of unknown authorship: told the story of Alkmaon's murder of his mother Eriphyle for having arranged the death of his father Amphiaraos (told in the Thebaid).

West, M.L. Greek Epic Fragments: From the Seventh to the Fifth Centuries BC (Loeb Classical Library No. 497)-

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