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Greek Place and Mythological References
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Zeus: supreme god of ancient Greek mythology
Argive: from Argos, a city state in ancient Greece, to whom Polyneices went for
help for fighting at Thebes
Thebes: a city state in ancient Greece where the action of the play takes place
Dirce: a stream near Thebes representing the wife of King Lycus, who was
transformed into a spring by Dionysus
Labdacidae: of the house of Labdacus, prince of Thebes
Aphrodite: goddess of love
Acheron: a river of Hades, the eternal resting place of dead souls
Phrygian: an inhabitant of ancient Phrygia, a kingdom in the west part of
Anatolia
Daughter of Tantalus: Niobe, queen of Thebes, wife of Amphion, who bragged
about her fourteen children during the ceremony of Leto, mother of Apollo and
Artemis
(Note: Leto sent her children to kill Niobe’s, and Niobe fled to Mount Sipylus.)
Sipylian heights: relating to Mount Sipylus
Persephone: goddess queen of Hades
Danae: a beautiful princess of Argos whose father confined her; visited by Zeus
in the form of a shower of gold
Son of Dryas: Lycurgus, King of Thrace, driven mad by the god of wine, Dionysos
Bacchanalian: of the Bacchanalia, festival rites of Bacchus, another name for the
god of wine
Bosporus: the strait of water between Europe and Asia, linking the Black Sea
and the Aegean Sea
Salmydessus: a coastal town in Thrace, the people of which were infamous for
being savage and barbarous
Ares: god of war
Phineus: king of Thrace and seer; later blinded himself and tormented by
Harpies in the story of Jason and the Argonauts
Erechtheidae: of the house of Erechteus, king of Athens
Boreas: god of the north wind
Furies of Hades: female spirits of justice and vengeance
Cadmeian: relating to Cadmus the legendary founder of Thebes
Eleusinian Deo: another name for Demeter, mother of Persephone
Corycian nymphs: nymphs of the sacred springs of the Corycian Cave
Castalia: a spring on Mt. Parnasos
Nysa's hills: home of the rain nymphs of the Hyades and Dionysos
Iacchus: another name for Dionysos, god of wine
Amphion: a child of Zeus who is noted for building the walls of Thebes by
charming the stones into place
Pallas: Pallas Athene, goddess of wisdom
Pluto: King of Hades; brother of Zeus and Poseidon
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Megareus: a son of Creon who was killed in the attack on Thebes
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