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The campaign of the Epigones

Epigones - in Greek means descendants.

Ten years have passed since the campaign of the seven against Thebes. During this time, the sons of the heroes who fell at Thebes matured. They decided to take revenge on the Thebans for the defeat of their fathers and undertook a new campaign. This campaign was attended by: Aigialey, son of Adrasta, Alcmaeon, son of Amphiaraya, Diomed, son of Tidea, Fersander, son of Polyline, Miss, son Parthenopaya, Sphenel, son of Kapanea, Polydorus, son of Hippomedont, and Euryalus, son of Menesteya. In other conditions, this campaign was made. The gods patronized the epigones (this was the name of the leaders who undertook a new campaign against Thebes).

The Delphic oracle predicted victory for the epigones if Alcmaeon, the son of Amphiarai, took part in this campaign.

Fersander, the son of Polynices, volunteered to persuade Alcmaeon not to refuse to participate in the campaign. Alcmaeon hesitated for a long time. He did not dare to go against Thebes until he fulfilled the last will of his father and took revenge on his mother for sending her husband to certain death. Like his father Polynices, Fersander decided to seek the assistance of Eriphila, the mother of Alcmaeon. He bribed her by giving her the precious clothes of Cadmus' wife, Harmony, which Pallas Athena herself had woven for her. Eriphila was seduced by the clothes, as she had once been seduced by the necklace of Harmony, and insisted that Alcmaeon and his brother Amphilochus take part in the campaign.

An army of Epigones from Argos marched out. This army was small, but victory should have accompanied it. Diomedes, the son of Tydeus, who was equal to his father in strength and bravery, was chosen as the leader of the army. Joyful heroes went on a campaign, burning with a desire to avenge their fathers.

In Potnia at Thebes they asked the oracle Amphiarai about the outcome of the campaign. The oracle answered them that he saw Alcmaeon, the heir of the glory of Amphiarai, entering the gates of Thebes with victory. Epigones will win. Only Aigialei, the son of Adrastus, who escaped during the first campaign, must fall.

Finally, the army of the epigones of the sevenfold Thebes has reached. Having devastated all the surroundings, the epigones began to besiege. The Thebans went out into the field under the leadership of their king Laodamanthus, the violent son of Eteocles, to repel the besiegers from the walls. A bloody battle ensued. In this battle fell, struck by a spear Laodamanthe, Aigiales, but Laodamanthe was also killed by Alcmaeon. The Thebans were defeated and took refuge behind the indestructible walls of Thebes.

The defeated Thebans began negotiations with the besiegers, and themselves at night, on the advice of Tiresias, secretly from the besiegers, were evicted from Thebes with all their wives and children. They moved north to Thessaly. On the way there, the prophetic Tiresias, who had helped the Thebans for so long and saved them from death more than once, died at the source of the nymph Telpusa.

After a long journey, the Thebans reached Hestiotida in Thessaly and settled there.

Thebes, taken by the Epigones, was destroyed. The rich booty they got was divided among themselves by the epigones. The best part of the loot, and among it the daughter of Tiresias, the soothsayer Manto, they brought as a gift to the Delphic oracle.

The epigones happily returned to their homeland. Fersander, the son of Polynices, began to rule in Thebes, restoring them.