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Did Oedipus really marry his mother?

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Victoria Grossack: Most people know the story of Oedipus, made famous by Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex, which was first performed in Athens in 429 BCE. In the play, King Oedipus of Thebes is deeply concerned about a plague afflicting his city. He is told that the suffering is caused by the gods, who are angry that the death of Laius, the previous king, was never avenged. The killer needs to be properly punished.

Oedipus sets out to solve the murder (one of the world’s first “cold cases”). His sleuthing leads in a circle and he discovers, to his horror, that he is Laius’ killer! To make matters worse, Laius was his father, which means that Oedipus has committed patricide, a crime considered much more terrible than an “ordinary” murder. In marrying Laius’ widow, Jocasta – which the people of Thebes invited Oedipus to do after he solved the riddle of the Sphinx, freeing them from that monster – Oedipus has inadvertently married his mother. By the time the Sophocles’ play opens, Oedipus and Jocasta have been married for many years and have produced four children.

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Victoria Grossack: Most people know the story of Oedipus, made famous by Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex, which was first performed in Athens in 429 BCE. In the play, King Oedipus of Thebes is deeply concerned about a plague afflicting his city. He is told that the suffering is caused by the gods, who are angry that the death of Laius, the previous king, was never avenged. The killer needs to be properly punished.

Oedipus sets out to solve the murder (one of the world’s first “cold cases”). His sleuthing leads in a circle and he discovers, to his horror, that he is Laius’ killer! To make matters worse, Laius was his father, which means that Oedipus has committed patricide, a crime considered much more terrible than an “ordinary” murder. In marrying Laius’ widow, Jocasta – which the people of Thebes invited Oedipus to do after he solved the riddle of the Sphinx, freeing them from that monster – Oedipus has inadvertently married his mother. By the time the Sophocles’ play opens, Oedipus and Jocasta have been married for many years and have produced four children.

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Many years ago (1960), Immanuel Velikovsky published a book entitled "Oedipus and Akhnaton: Myth and History" [ http://www.amazon.com/Oedipus-Akhnaton-History-Immanuel-Velikovsky/dp/0671831933 ] [ http://www.datasync.com/~rsf1/vel/oedipus.htm ] [ http://www.knowledge.co.uk/velikovsky/oedipus-and-akhnaton.htm ] in which he proposes that the scene and all the personages of the Greek Oedipus legend were actually based on the life patterns of the family of the Egyptian King Akhnaton, reputedly the first monotheist during the most famous period of Egyptian history (Akhnaton being King Tutankhamun's biological father). Although subsequent investigations have proven that some of Velikovsky's suspicions in regard to this case were unfounded, for the most part, his analysis has stood up very well even against modern interpretations of the mythologies involved. He based many of his theories in regard to the Eighteenth dynasty of Egyptian history on his interpretation of Sophocles’ Oedipus cycle, including his theories regarding familial relationships; DNA tests that were completed last year have proven him, to a great extent, to be correct.

Modern critics have been inclined to dismiss the author's historical theories outlined in a number of books published throughout the 1950s and 1960s. "Oedipus and Akhnaton", however, deals with folklore, which is generally much more difficult to refute. I can guarantee that if you decide to read it, you will likely find Velikovsky's argument, for the most part, fascinating and well-argued, if not convincing. I certainly did -- it's a well-written book, and contains some of the author's most refined discussions on the relationship between history and legend. I firmly believe that it has been unjustly ignored by modern scholars; the author's efforts in the field of evolving mythology should be given more recognition than they have garnered -- but that's just my opinion, and shouldn't be given any more credence than that.

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Many years ago (1960), Immanuel Velikovsky published a book entitled "Oedipus and Akhnaton: Myth and History" [ http://www.amazon.com/Oedipus-Akhnaton-History-Immanuel-Velikovsky/dp/0671831933 ] [ http://www.datasync.com/~rsf1/vel/oedipus.htm ] [ http://www.knowledge.co.uk/velikovsky/oedipus-and-akhnaton.htm ] in which he proposes that the scene and all the personages of the Greek Oedipus legend were actually based on the life patterns of the family of the Egyptian King Akhnaton, reputedly the first monotheist during the most famous period of Egyptian history (Akhnaton being King Tutankhamun's biological father). Although subsequent investigations have proven that some of Velikovsky's suspicions in regard to this case were unfounded, for the most part, his analysis has stood up very well even against modern interpretations of the mythologies involved. ~snip~

Thanks for the links and recommended read :tu:

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I do not think I have the Velikovsky book but remember reading some

of the Greek connections. I do have many of the "World's In Collision"

follow on books that identify Nebuchadnezzar but he mixes the standard

history with his time line and I would rather just listen to his work.

There was an interesting passage about Danial leaving the Exile as if

to say from the time he entered to the end the calendar had changed at

about -600AD. Thus another cosmic occurrence in the recorded history

of mankind. The Flood and Exodus being some of the others.

In the follow on books King Akhnaton may have had more details.

http://varchive.org/

Cosmic data that was not published so we can read free on the net:

http://varchive.org/itb/index.htm

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