While Theseus was reigning over the Athenians, the neighboring throne of Thebes, in Boeotia, was occupied by King Laius and Queen Jocasta. In those days the people thought they could learn about the future by consulting the oracles.

Hoping to learn what would become of himself and of his family, Laius sent rich gifts to the temple at Delphi, asking what would befall him in the coming years. The messenger soon returned, but, instead of bringing cheerful news, he tremblingly repeated the oracle’s words: “King Laius, you will have a son who will murder his father, marry his mother, and bring destruction upon his native city!”