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Cadmus is the son of King Agenor and Queen Telephassa. He is also the founder of the city of Thebes—how this happens is explained in The Metamorphoses . When Europa (Cadmus’s sister) goes missing, his father orders him to either find her or be exiled. After looking all over the...

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Cadmus is the son of King Agenor and Queen Telephassa. He is also the founder of the city of Thebes—how this happens is explained in The Metamorphoses. When Europa (Cadmus’s sister) goes missing, his father orders him to either find her or be exiled. After looking all over the world and failing to find her, Cadmus decides to visit the oracle of Apollo, where he receives instructions on how to find a location to build a city.

He is told to find a cow that has never worn a yoke, and wherever the cow sits down is where the city should be built. His next step is to make a sacrifice to Jove, but a snake is protecting the stream he needs to access. After killing the snake, a goddess instructs him to plant the snake’s teeth, and when he does, warriors grow from the teeth and begin fighting each other. When only five remain, the goddess calls for peace. The surviving men become leaders in Thebes, and Cadmus becomes its first king.

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