(I) In Greek legend, the mother of Amphion and Zethus, and, according to Homer (Od.
On the way home she gave birth, in the neighbourhood of Eleutherae on Mount Cithaeron, to the twins Amphion and Zethus, of whom Amphion was the son of the god, and Zethus the son of Epopeus.
The large bronzes are almost the only ones which have survived from classical times, the most famous of them being the seated Mercury and the dancing Faun; the marbles reckon among their vast number the Psyche, the Capuan Venus, the portraits of Homer and Julius Caesar, as well as the huge group called the Toro Farnese (Amphion and Zethus tying Dirce to its horns), the Farnese Hercules, the excellent though late statues of the Balbi on horseback and a very fine collection of ancient portrait busts.
Five main cycles of story may be distinguished: (1) the foundation of the citadel Cadmea by Cadmus, and the growth of the Sparti or "Sown Men" (probably an aetiological myth designed to explain the origin of the Theban nobility which bore that name in historical times); (2) the building of a "seven-gated" wall by Amphion, and the cognate stories of Zethus, Antiope and Dirce; (3) the tale of the "house of Laius," culminating in the adventures of Oedipus and the wars of the "Seven" and the Epigoni; (4) the advent of Dionysus; and (5) the exploits of Heracles.
AMPHION and Zethus, in ancient Greek mythology, the twin sons of Zeus by Antiope.