The son of Oedipus and Iocaste, brother of Eteocles, and father of Theras and Thessander. When Oedipus abdicated the brothers agreed to alternately rule Thebes for a year. Eteocles, however, did not keep his part of the agreement and refused to give up his reign when his year had passed. Polynices was banished from the city and took refuge at the court of Adrastus, his father-in-law. He gathered around him six allies and marched to Thebes (see Seven against Thebes). Polynices and Eteocles both died by the other's hand.

Their uncle, King Creon, decreed that the body of Polynices should remain unburied. While every one else submitted to this impious command, Antigone alone defied the tyrant, and buried the body of her brother.



  • Homer. Iliad iv, 377.
  • Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 6.1, 6.8, 7.1.