Creon was the sometimes ruler of Thebes.  His sister Jocasta's husband, Laius, was the king of Thebes.  When Laius departed to seek the Oracle of Delphi, Creon was placed in charge.  Soon after, word of Laius' death returned to Thebes.  Thebes was then tormented by the Sphinx, which killed many Theban youths, including Creon's own son, Haemon.  After the death of his own son, Creon offered the kingdom and the hand of his sister Jocasta in marriage to the man who could answer the riddle.  A young wanderer named Oedipus answered the riddle correctly.  In shock, the Sphinx flung herself from the walls of the citadel and died (she had wings?).

Having saved Thebes from the Sphinx, Oedipus was then duly rewarded.  When it was later discovered that Oedipus had murdered his own father, Laius, and now was married to his mother Jocasta, Oedipus was banished from Thebes.  After a time when Creon was regent again, Oedipus' two sons now ruled Thebes, but soon they fell into a quarrel.  Eteocles banished his brother Polyneices, who went to Argos for help.  There was then a battle between Thebes and Argos, in which Creon lost his second son, Menoeceus.  After the death of both of Oedipus' sons in war against the Argives (they killed each other), Creon once again ruled Thebes as its regent.

As king, Creon refused the burial of the Argive dead, as well as Oedipus' son Polyneices, who had led the Argive army against Thebes.  Antigone, a daughter of Oedipus and the daughter-in-law of Creon, defied his order.  As punishment, she was buried alive.  Creon relented too late, for Antigone and her husband, Creon's son, Haemon.  After she found out, Eurydice, Creon's wife, hung herself out of grief.  Eventually, an Athenian army led by Theseus forced Creon to bury the Argive dead.

When Amphitryon was banished from Argos, Creon allowed him to settle in Thebes.  Amphitryon's wife, Alcmene, later bore a son with Zeus named Heracles.  After Heracles defeated the Minyans, Creon gave to him his daughter Megara Heracles later killed Megara in a fit of rage.

Eventually, Creon is killed and the throne usurped by a man named Lycus.  Heracles later killed Lycus, avenging Creon's death.


  1. SophoclesOedipus Tyrannus.

  2. Sophocles Oedipus Coloneus.

  3. AeschylusSeven Against Thebes.

  4. Sophocles Antigone.

  5. ApollodorusBibliotece.