Epic Cycle (᾽Επικὸς κύκλος): set of twelve archaic epic poems, known to every educated Greek. The best-known were Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, which are also the only epics that have survived.


Homer. Glyptothek, München (Germany)

The Epigoni is the fourth epic of the Epic Cycle; it is attributed to Homer. The story is about the sons of the seven warriors who, in the Thebais, unsuccessfully besieged Thebes. The Epigones capture the city and destroy it.


1. Contest of Homer and Hesiod, 324:
Next (Homer composed) the Epigoni in seven thousand verses, beginning, "And now, Muses, let us begin to sing of younger men."

2. Photius, Lexicon, "Teumesia":
Teumesia. Those who have written on Theban affairs have given a full account of the Teumesian fox. They relate that the creature was sent by the gods to punish the descendants of Cadmus, and that the Thebans therefore excluded those of the house of Cadmus from the kingship. But (he says) a certain Cephalus, the son of Deïon, an Athenian, who owned a hound which no beast ever escaped, had accidentally killed his wife Procris, and being purified of the homicide by the Cadmeans, hunted the fox with his hound, and when they had overtaken it both hound and fox were turned into stones near Teumessus. These writers have taken the story from the Epic Cycle.

3. Scholiast on Apollonius, Argonautica, 1.308:
The authors of the Thebaïs say that Manto the daughter of Teiresias was sent to Delphi by the Epigoni as a first fruit of their spoil, and that in accordance with an oracle of Apollo she went out and met Rhaecius, the son of Lebes, a Mycenaean by race. This man she married - for the oracle also contained the command that she should marry whomsoever she might meet - and coming to Colophon, was there much cast down and wept over the destruction of her country.


The translation of the fragments was made by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, and was copied from LacusCurtius.