Of the two great centres of legends, Thebes with its Cadmean population figures as a military stronghold, and Orchomenus, the home of the Minyae, as an enterprising commercial city.
Zeller thinks that his ancestors belonged to the Cadmean tribe in Boeotia, who were intermingled with the Ionians of Asia Minor, and thus reconciles the conflicting statements.
The half-serpent Cadmus brought knowledge of mines, agriculture, and the " Cadmean " letters, while Cecrops inculcated laws and ways of life and was the first to establish monogamy.
It is difficult to extract any historical fact out of this maze of myths; the various groups cannot be fully co-ordinated, and a further perplexing feature is the neglect of Thebes in the Homeric poems. At most it seems safe to infer that it was one of the first Greek communities to be drawn together within a fortified city, that it owed its importance in prehistoric as in later days to its military strength, and that its original "Cadmean" population was distinct from other inhabitants of Boeotia such as the Minyae of Orchomenus.