There are also always two inadequate cities of letters, the neologistic and the obsolete: the Greek (shall we say?) Thebes, with its new Cadmean
alphabet and its (let us say, Egyptian) rival, of the same `name', with its `redundant' hieroglyphs.
It is by design, indeed, that Valerius passes over many other incidents of the voyage--for example, the war with the Scythians, Jason's love affair with Medea, his battle with the fire-breathing bulls and with the warriors sown from the Cadmean
The ancient Greeks never called their system of writing the "Greek alphabet" but instead the "Phoenician letters" or the "Cadmean
letters," after Cadmus, the Phoenician prince who, according to tradition, conquered Thebes, established a dynasty there, and introduced the Cadmean/Phoenician alphabet.
Oedipus at Colonus represents the culmination of Sophocles' handling of the Cadmean
legend, which he had treated earlier in Antigone and Oedipus Tyrannus.
What is particularly interesting about the Cadmean
myth is that, despite Cadmus's introducing writing into Greece, in the myth neither he nor Harmonia seems to be indicated so much for overt presumption to godhood as for their connection to their children and grandchildren, all of whom have fared badly indeed, representing a family disaster not unlike that of Job's.