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When old enough to rule, Eteocles and Polynices agreed to share the throne, each reigning in alternate years. But at the end of his first term, Eteocles refused to surrender the kingship. 38 Aided by Adrastus, king of Argos, and five other champions, Polynices marched on and assaulted Thebes. But the attackers suffered defeat. Eteocles and Polynices met in single combat and slew each other, fulfilling their father’s curse. Although the preceding is the most common version of Eteocles’ and Polynices’ story, some of the details vary in other ancient accounts.

Whispering to her at night in her dreams, he begged her to come lie with him in some nearby meadows. Hera soon discovered what was afoot, though, and, as she often did with other mortal women whom Zeus chased after, she sought to punish the young woman. To prevent this, Zeus turned Io into a white heifer (young cow). However, the ruse did not fool Hera. To make sure that Io did not remain still long enough for her husband to seduce her, the goddess sent gadflies to sting the heifer and keep it moving.

Unfortunately, this did not help either Io or Zeus very much because Hera’s gadflies kept driving the heifer from place to place. She traveled hundreds of miles until finally reaching Egypt. There, Zeus changed her back into a woman. They had a son together—Epaphus, the ancestor of Danaus, who became a famous king of Argos. (This was the story as it was related by the Greek playwright Aeschylus in his Prometheus Bound. ) See Argus 1 (Chapter 3). Ion The son of Xuthus (son of Hellen, founder of the Greek race) and the ancestor of the Ionian branch of Greeks.

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