ETEOCLES, in Greek legend, king of Thebes, son of Oedipus and Jocasta (Iocaste). After their father had been driven out of the country, he and his brother Polyneices agreed to reign alternately for a year. Eteocles, however, refused to keep the agreement, and Polyneices fled to Adrastus, king of Argos, whom he persuaded to undertake the famous expedition against Thebes on his behalf. The two brothers met in single combat, and both were slain. The Theban rulers decreed that only Eteocles should receive the honour of burial, but the decree was set at naught by Antigone (q.v.), the sister of Polyneices. The fate of Eteocles and Polyneices forms the subject of the Seven against Thebes of Aeschylus and the Phoenissae of Euripides.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)