Scripts Οἰδίπους(Ancient Greek)
Meaning & History
Latinized form of Greek Οἰδίπους (Oidipous), meaning "swollen foot" from οἰδέω (oideo) meaning "to swell" and πούς (pous) meaning "foot". In Greek mythology Oedipus was the son of the Theban king Laius and his wife Jocasta. Laius received a prophesy that he would be killed by his son, so he left the newborn to die of exposure. Oedipus was however rescued and raised in the home of the Corinthian king Polybus. After he had grown and learned of the same prophesy, Oedipus left Corinth so that he would not be a danger to Polybus, who he assumed was his father. On the road to Delphi he chanced upon his real father Laius and slew him in a petty disagreement, thus fulfilling the prophecy. He then correctly answered the Sphinx's riddle, winning the now vacant throne of Thebes and marrying the widowed Queen Jocasta, his own mother. Years later they learned the truth of their relationship, prompting Jocasta to commit suicide and Oedipus to blind himself.
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Entry updated November 20, 2020