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The mythic tradition of the double foundation of Boiotian Thebes presents an anomaly that has not been sufficiently explored. Through analysis of early poetic material, writings of the mythographers, and archaeological evidence, this article argues that the two stories of foundation existed in parallel in the early Greek poetic tradition and represent two distinct contexts of composition, one Mycenaean and the other archaic. Only with prose mythographers and logographers such as Hekataios and Pherekydes were these stories chronologically and genealogically ordered. This ordering represents a permanent change in how the mythic material was and continues to be understood.