THEBE was the Naiad Nymph of a spring or fountain of the town of Thebes in Boiotia (central Greece). She was a daughter of the local river-god Asopos who was carried off to the town by Zeus.
Thebe is probably the same as Antiope, the mother of Amphion and Zethos, who Homer describes as a daughter of Asopos. In other accounts Thebe appears as the wife of Zeus' son Zethos.
[1.1] ASOPOS (Corinna Frag 654, Bacchylides Frag 9, Herodotus 5.80.1, Pausanias 2.5.1)
[1.2] METOPE (Pindar Olympian Ode 6)
[1.3] ASOPOS & METOPE (Diodorus Siculus 4.72.1-5)
THEBE (Thêbê). A daughter of Asopus and Metope, the daughter of Ladon, became by Zeus the mother of Zethus. She, too, is said to have given her name to the city of Thebes. (Apollod. iii. 5. § 6; Paus. ii. 5. § 2, v. 22. § 5; Pind. Isthm. viii. 37; Diod. iv. 72.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
Pindar, Olympian Ode 6 ep 4 (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"From Stymphalos [in Arkadia] my mother's mother came, that maid of flowers, Metope, who bore Thebe, famous rider of horse. Her lovely waters shall I drink to honour famous men of arms."
Pindar, Isthmian Ode 8. 16 ff :
"A man nursed in seven-gated Thebes to Aigina must offer the first flower of Kharis' (Grace's) grace; for both [i.e. the eponymous nymphs Thebe and Aigina] were of one father born the youngest daughters of Asopos' river; and sovereign Zeus looked upon them with favour. One of these [Thebe] did he set by Dirke's lovely waters, to be queen of this city of charioteers, but you [Aigina] he carried to Oinopia’s isle and wedded."
Pindar, Fragment 29 (trans. Sandys) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"Shall we sing of Ismenos . . . or Thebe with her purple snood."
Pindar, Fragment 195 :
"Thebe, with the noble chariot, and with the golden tunic, our most hallowed pride."
Corinna, Fragment 2 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (C5th B.C.) :
"Shall we sing of . . . dark-snooded Thebe."
Corinna, Fragment 654 :
"Of these [nine] daughters [of Asopos] Zeus, giver of good things, took his [Asopos'] child Aigina .. from her father's house [Zeus' other two victims were Thebe and Plataia]"
Bacchylides, Fragment 9 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (C5th B.C.) :
"The bright-belted daughters [of Asopos] whom gods settled with happy fortunes as founders of invoilate cities. Who does not know of the well-built town of dark-haired Thebe."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 45 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Zethos married Thebe from whom the polis got its name."
Herodotus, Histories 5. 80. 1 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"Thebe and Aigina, it is said, were daughters of Asopos and sisters."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 5. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"His [Asopos'] daughters, say the Phliasians, were Korkyra, Aigina, and Thebe . . . from Thebe is named the city below Kadmea. The Thebans do not agree, but say that Thebe was the daughter of the Boiotian, and not of the Phliasian Asopos."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 22. 6 :
"The Phliasians [Sikyonians] also dedicated [at Olympia] a Zeus, the daughters of Asopos, and Asopos himself. Their images have been ordered thus: Nemea is the first of the sisters . . . with Thebe next; last of all comes Asopos. There is a legend about Korkyra that she mated with Poseidon, and the same thing is said by Pindar of Thebe and Zeus."
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 72. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"Asopos made his home in Phlios, where he married Metope, the daughter of Ladon, to whom were born two sons, Pelasgos and Ismenos, and twelve daughters, Korkyra and Salamis, also Aigina, Peirene, and Kleone, then Thebe, Tanagra, Thespeia, and Asopis, also Sinope, and finally Ornia and Khalkis."
- Pindar, Odes - Greek Lyric C5th BC
- Pindar, Fragments - Greek Lyric C5th BC
- Greek Lyric IV Corinna, Fragments - Greek Lyric C5th BC
- Greek Lyric IV Bacchylides, Fragments - Greek Lyric C5th BC
- Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd BC
- Herodotus, Histories - Greek History C5th BC
- Pausanias, Guide to Greece - Greek Geography C2nd AD
- Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History - Greek History C1st BC