In Greek mythology, Jocasta was the wife of King Laius of Thebes*. An oracle warned that their child would kill his father and sleep with his mother. To prevent this prediction from coming true, Laius left their first baby on a mountain to die. However, a shepherd found the child and took him to King Polybus of Corinth, who raised the boy and named him Oedipus.

oracle priest or priestess or other creature through whom a god is believed to speak; also the location (such as a shrine) where such words are spoken

prophecy foretelling of what is to come; also something that is predicted

Many years later, the oracle repeated the prophecy to Oedipus. Hoping to avoid his fate, Oedipus fled Corinth and his adoptive parents. While traveling, he killed a stranger who insulted him. The stranger was actually his real father, Laius. Oedipus continued his journey until he reached Thebes, where he outwitted a monstrous sphinx that had been terrorizing the city. As queen of Thebes, Jocasta agreed to marry Oedipus. She gave birth to two sons, Eteocles and Polynices, and two daughters, Antigone and Ismene. When Jocasta later discovered that Oedipus was her son and that the horrible prophecy had come true, she committed suicide.

See also Antigone ; Greek Mythology ; Oedipus ; Sphinx .

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