Teiresias, the most famous soothsayer
of Greece, was born at Thebes. He was the son of Eueres and Chariclo,
descendant of Udaeus of Sparti.
He was blind and there are many stories for the cause of his blindness.
The most wide accepted tradition was that at age seven the Gods blinded
him, because he revealed certain things, men ought not to know.
According to another tradition, he was blinded after he saw goddess
Athena taking bath. Athena threw water in his eyes and thus blinded him.
His mother, after the event, begged the goddess to restore her son's
sight, but Athena was unable to do this and instead gave him a staff,
which made him walk like having vision. She also gave him knowledge of
the language of birds.
Another story made Hera responsible for his blindness, when in a dispute
between her and Zeus, he went against her. In order to compensate him,
Zeus gave him a longer life (seven or nine times greater than the usual
life of men) and the gift of prophecy. Hesiod says also to have
been changed for seven years into a woman.
Teiresias played a very important part in the legends of Thebes. In Seven
against Thebes, he told the people that the city would be saved,
only if Menoekeus, son of Kreon, would give his life. The youth
rushed and slew himself in front of the gate and indeed after this,
Thebes was saved.
In the war of the Epigonoi, he advised Thebans to come into
negotiations and get out of the city, because there was nothing that
would change the decision of the Gods.
Teiresias was captured by the Epigonoi, together with his daughter Manto,
a prophetess, and they were placed to serve Apollo, at Delphi. He
died at Aliartos, at the spring Tilphousa, and was buried there.
The legend says, that after his death, Persephone
made an exception and let him have his intellect and memory unimpaired
In Homer's Odyssey, he is pictured in the underworld, with his golden
staff, still having the power of prophecy and it is to him that Odysseus
goes, in order to find his way home.
In Thebes they honored him by a cenotaph and in Orchomenos they had an
Oracle, where people went