According to several ancient Greek writers, Oedipus (Greek Oidipous: “swollen foot”) is the mythical son of Laius and king of Thebes.
In taking steps to avoid a prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother, Oedipus unwittingly did so.
The tale of Oedipus exemplifies the Greek belief in hubris.
It is also a dramatic example of the change of institutions in Greece. In matrilineal tribes, the son of the king was not supposed to succeed him, as that would mean to marry his own mother, as it happened with Oedipus.¹
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