"Decendants." That is, the heirs or descendants. By this name ancient mythology understands the sons of the seven heroes who had undertaken an expedition against Thebes, and had perished there (see Seven against Thebes).
Ten years after that catastrophe, the descendants of the seven heroes went against Thebes to avenge their fathers, and this war is called the war of the Epigoni. According to some traditions, this war was undertaken at the request of Adrastus, the only survivor of the seven heroes. The names of the Epigoni are not the same in all accounts;1 but the common lists contain Alcmaeon, Aegialeus, Diomedes, Promachus, Sthenelus, Thersander, and Euryalus. Alcmaeon undertook the command, in accordance with an oracle, and collected a considerable band of Argives.
The Thebans marched out against the enemy, under the command of Laodamas, after whose fall they took to flight to protect themselves within their city. On the part of the Epigoni, Aegialeus had fallen. The seer Tiresias, however, induced the Thebans to quit their town, and take their wives and children with them, while they sent ambassadors to the enemy to sue for peace. The Argives, however, took possession of Thebes, and razed it to the ground. The Epigoni sent a portion of the booty and Manto, the daughter of Tiresias, to Delphi, and then returned to the Peloponnese.
The war of the Epigoni was made the subject of epic and tragic poems.2
The statues of the seven Epigoni were dedicated at Delphi.3
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 7.2 ff.; Diodorus Siculus, iv, 66; Pausanias. Description of Greece x, 10.2; Hyginus. Fabulae, 71.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece ix, 9. 3.
- ibid. x, 10.2.