In mythology, and especially theatre, an expedition to determine control of Thebes, after Oedipus' curse on his sons Eteokles and Polyneikes. The attack is fought out at Thebes' seven gates, and repulsed. The attackers are Polyneikes, Adrastos, Tydeus, Kapaneus, Parthenopaios (the youngest, son of Atalanta), Mekisteus, Amphiaraos. None survive, and a common scene is of their fateful arming for battle and departure. Their sons, the Epigonoi, have a return match and are successful.
Above: Detail from an Attic red-figure vase c.470-460 BC. New York, Market. Christie's © Christie's