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Listed 38 sub titles with search on: Homeric world for wider area of: "ATTIKI Region GREECE" .


Homeric world (38)

Greek heroes of the Trojan War

ATHENS (Ancient city) GREECE

Iasus

Iasus. A son of Sphelus, the commander of the Athenians in the Trojan war, was slain by Aeneias (Il. 15.332 & 337).


Stichius

One of the leaders of the Athenians in the Trojan War, who was slain by Hector (Il. 13.195, 15.329).


Greeks of the Homeric Catalogue of Ships

TRIZIN (Ancient city) GREECE

Trojan War

Troezen participated in the Trojan War and is listed in the Homeric Catalogue of Ships (Il. 2.561).


Heroes

ATHENS (Ancient city) GREECE

Peteos, Peteus

Son of Orneus and father of Menestheus (Il. 2.552, 13.690 etc.).



Sphelus

The son of Bucolus and father of Iasus (Il. O 338).


Heroines

Procris

She was the daughter of Erechtheus by Praxithea and wife of Cephalus, who murdered her accidentally. She is mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey (Od. 11.321).
More on this article see Ancient Deme of Thoricus


TRIZIN (Ancient city) GREECE

Aethra

She was the daughter of Pitheus, wife of Aegeus and mother of Theseus. She was captured by Castor and Pollux and went to Troy as a handmaid of Helen (Il. 3.144).


Aethra (Aithre). Daughter of Pittheus, king of Troezen, mother of Theseus by Aegeus or, according to another account, by Poseidon. While Homer merely mentions her as a servant of Helen at Troy, later legend adds that when the Dioscuri took Aphidnae and set free their sister, whom Theseus had carried off, they conveyed Aethra to Sparta as a slave, whence she accompanied Helen to Troy; and that on the fall of that city they brought her grandsons, Acamas and Demophoon, back to Athens.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Aethra (Aithra). A daughter of king Pittheus of Troezen. Bellerophon sued for her hand, but was banished from Corinth before the nuptials took place (Paus. ii. 31.12). She was surprised on one occasion by Poseidon in the island of Sphaeria, whither she had gone, in consequence of a dream, for the purpose of offering a sacrifice on the tomb of Sphaerus. Aethra therefore dedicated in the island a temple to Athena Apaturia (the Deceitful), and called the island Hiera instead of Sphaeria, and also introduced among the maidens of Troezen the custom of dedicating their girdles to Athena Apaturia on the day of their marriage (Paus. ii. 33.11) At a later time she became the mother of Theseus by Aegeus (Plut. Thes. 3; Hygin. Fab. 14). In the night in which this took place, Poseidon also was believed to have been with her (Apollod. iii. 15.7; Hygin. Fab. 37). According to Plutarch (Thes. 6) her father spread this report merely that Theseus might be regarded as the son of Poseidon, who was much revered at Troezen. This opinion, however, is nothing else but an attempt to strip the genuine story of its marvels. After this event she appears living in Attica, from whence she was carried off to Lacedaemon by Castor and Polydeuces, and became a slave of Helen, with whom she was taken to Troy (Plut. Thes. 34; Hom. Il. iii. 144). At the taking of Troy she came to the camp of the Greeks, where she was recognised by her grandsons, and Demophon, one of them, asked Agamemnon to procure her liberation. Agamemnon accordingly sent a messenger to Helen to request her to give up Aethra. This was granted, and Aethra became free again (Paus. x. 25.3). According to Hyginus (Fab. 243) she afterwards put an end to her own life from grief at the death of her sons. The history of her bondage to Helen was represented on the celebrated chest of Cypselus (Paus. iv. 19.1 Dion Chrysost. Orat. 11), and in a painting by Polygnotus in the Lesche of Delphi (Paus. x. 25.2).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Aug 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Kings

ATHENS (Ancient city) GREECE

Erechtheus & Praxithea

According to Homer, Erechtheus was the son of Earth but he was fostered by Athena in her sanctuary and was worshipped by the Athenians (Il. 2.547, Od. 7.81).


Erechtheus. A mythical king of Athens. According to Homer, he was the son of Earth by Hephaestus, and was reared by Athene. Like that of Cecrops, half of his form was that of a snake-- a sign that he was one of the aborigines. Athene put the child in a chest, which she gave to the daughters of Cecrops--Agraulos, Herse, and Pandrosos--to take care of, forbidding them at the same time to open it. The first two disobeyed, and in terror at the serpent-shaped child (or, according to another version, the snake that surrounded the child), they went mad, and threw themselves from the rocks of the Acropolis. Another account made the serpent kill them. Erechtheus drove out Amphictyon, and got possession of the kingdom. He then established the worship of Athene, and built to her, as goddess of the city (Polias), a temple, named after him the Erechtheum. Here he was afterwards himself worshipped with Athene and Poseidon.
    He was also the founder of the Panathenaic festival. He was said to have invented the four-wheeled chariot, and to have been taken up to heaven for this by Zeus, and set in the sky as the constellation of the Charioteer. His daughters were Orithyia and Procris. Originally identified with Erichthonius, he was in later times distinguished from him, and was regarded as his grandson, and as son of Pandion and Zeuxippe. His twin-brother was Butes, his sisters Procne and Philomela. The priestly office fell to Butes, while Erechtheus assumed the functions of royalty. By Praxithea, the daughter of Cephissus, he was father of the second Cecrops, of Metion, of Creusa, as well as of Protogenia, Pandora, and Chthonia.
    When Athens was hard pressed by the Eleusinians under Eumolpus, the oracle promised him the victory if he would sacrifice one of his daughters. He chose the youngest, Chthonia; but Protogenia and Pandora, who had made a vow with their sister to die with her, voluntarily shared her fate. Erechtheus conquered his enemies and slew Eumolpus, but was afterwards destroyed by the trident of his enemy's father, Poseidon. The myth of Erechtheus has suggested the subject for Swinburne's tragedy Erechtheus (London, 1876).

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Erichthonius (Erichthonios). There can be little doubt but that the names Erichthonius and Erechtheus are identical; but whether the two heroes mentioned by Plato, Hyginus, and Apollodorus, the one of whom is usually called Erichthonius or Erechtheus I. and the other Erechtheus II., are likewise one and the same person, as Muller and others think, is not so certain, though highly probable. Homer (Il. ii. 547, Od. vii. 81) knows only one Erechtheus, as an autochthon and king of Athens; and the first writer who distinguishes two personages is Plato (Crit). The story of Erichthonius is related thus: When Hephaestus wished to embrace Athena, and the goddess repulsed him, he became by Ge or by Atthis, the daughter of Cranaus, the father of a son, who had either completely or only half the form of a serpent. Athena reared this being without the knowledge of the other gods, had him guarded by a dragon, and then entrusted him to Agraulos, Pandrosos, and Herse, concealed in a chest, and forbade them to open it (Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 13). But this command was neglected; and on opening the chest and seeing the child in the form of a serpent, or entwined by a serpent, they were seized with madness, and threw themselves down the rock of the acropolis, or, according to others, into the sea. The serpent escaped into the shield of Athena, and was protected by her (Apollod. iii. 14.6; Hygin. Fab. 166; Paus. i. 2.5, 18.2; Eurip. Ion, 260; Ov. Met. ii. 554). When Erichthonius had grown up, he expelled Amphictyon, and usurped the government of Athens, and his wife Pasithea bore him a son Pandion (Apollod. l. c.). He is said to have introduced the worship of Athena, to have instituted the festival of the Panathenaea, and to have built a temple of Athena on the acropolis. When Athena and Poseidon disputed about the possession of Attica, Erichthonius declared in favour of Athena (Apollod. iii. 14.1). He was further the first who used a chariot with four horses, for which reason he was placed among the stars as auriga (Hygin. P. A. l. c.; Virg. Georg. i. 205, iii. 113; Aelian, V. II. iii. 38); and lastly, he was believed to have made the Athenians acquainted with the use of silver, which had been discovered by the Scythian king Indus (Hygin. Fab. 274). He was buried in the temple of Athena, and his worship on the acropolis was connected with that of Athena and Poseidon (Apollod. iii. 14.6; Serv. ad Aen. vii. 761). His famous temple, the Erechtheium, stood on the acropolis, and in it there were three altars, one of Poseidon, on which sacrifices were offered to Erechthens also, the second of Butes, and the third of Hephaestus (Paus. i. 26.6).
  Erechtheus II, as he is called, is described as a grandson of the first, and as a son of Pandion by Zeuxippe, so that he was a brother of Butes, Procne, and Philomela (Apollod. iii. 14.8; Paus. i. 5.3). After his father's death, he succeeded him as king of Athens, and was regarded in later times as one of the Attic eponymi. He was married to Praxithea, by whom he became the father of Cecrops, Pandoros, Metion, Orneus, Procris, Creusa, Chthonia, and Oreithyia (Apollod. iii. 15.1; Paus. ii. 25.5; Ov. Met. vi. 676). His four daughters, whose names and whose stories differ very much in the different traditions, agreed among themselves to die all together, if one of them was to die. When Eumolpus, the son of Poseidon, whose assistance the Eleusinians had called in against the Athenians, had been killed by the latter, Poseidon or an oracle demanded the sacrifice of one of the daughters of Erechtheus. When one was drawn by lot, the others voluntarily accompanied her in death, and Erechtheus himself was killed by Zeus with a flash of lightning at the request of Poseidon (Apollod. iii. 15.4; Hygin. Fab. 46, 238; Plut. Parall. Gr. et Rom. 20). In his war with the Eleusinians, he is also said to have killed Immaradus, the son of Eumolpus (Paus. i. 5. 2). According to Diodorus (i. 29), Erechtheus was an Egyptian, who during a famine brought corn to Athens, instituted the worship of Demeter, and the Eleusinian mysteries.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited June 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


When Pandion died, his sons divided their father's inheritance between them, and Erechtheus got the kingdom,and Butes got the priesthood of Athena and Poseidon Erechtheus. Erechtheus married Praxithea, daughter of Phrasimus by Diogenia, daughter of Cephisus, and had sons to wit, Cecrops, Pandorus, and Metion; and daughters, to wit, Procris, Creusa, Chthonia, and Orithyia, who was carried off by Boreas.


Praxithea). A daughter of Phrasimus and Diogeneia, was the wife of Erechtheus, and mother of Cecrops, Pandorus, Metion, Orneus, Procris, Creusa, Chthonia, and Oreithyia. (Apollod. iii. 15.1.) Some call her a daughter of Cephissus. (Lycurg. c. Leocrat. 98.)


Erechthides. Name given to the Athenians from their king Erechtheus.



Aegeus & Aethra

Aegeus: Father of Theseus, son of Pandion or of Scyrius, born at Megara, eponymous hero of Athenian tribe and king of Athens, introduces worship of Heavenly Aphrodite into Athens, restored to Athens by his brothers (the sons of Pandion), expels his brother Lycus, expels Peteos, persons expelled by him found Caphyae in Arcadia, consults the oracle as to the begetting of children, at Troezen he lies with Aethra, daughter of Pittheus, deposits tokens of Theseus's identity, married to Medea, sends Androgeus, son of Minos, against the bull of Marathon, sends Theseus against the Marathonian bull, recognizes Theseus and expels Medea, charges Theseus to hoist a white sail in sign of success, casts himself from the acropolis at sight of the black sail, shrine at Athens, statue at Delphi. Aethra was the daughter of Pitheus, wife of Aegeus and mother of Theseus. She was captured by Castor and Pollux and went to Troy as a handmaid of Helen (Il. 3.144).


Aegeus, (Aigeus). The son of Pandion, king of Athens, and father of Theseus, whom he begot by Aethra at Troezen. Theseus afterwards came to Athens and restored Aegeus to the throne, of which he had been deprived by his brother Pallas. Having slain Androgeos, son of Minos, he was conquered by that king and compelled to send seven youths and seven maidens to Crete once in nine years as victims to the Minotaur. When Theseus set out to free his country from this cruel tax, he agreed in case of success to exchange the black sail of his ship for a white one; but forgetting to do so, Aegeus saw the black sail on the returning vessel, supposed his son lost, and threw himself into the sea, which is thus supposed to have been named Aegean after him. He is said to have introduced the worship of Aphrodite into Athens, where he himself was honoured with a shrine.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Aegeus (Aigeus). According to some accounts a son of Pandion II. king of Athens, and of Pylia, while others call him a son of Scyrius or Phemius, and state that he was only an adopted son of Pandion (Paus. i. 5.3; Schol. ad Lycophr. 494; Apollod. iii. 15.5. Pandion had been expelled from his kingdom by the Metionids, but Aegeus in conjunction with his brothers, Pallas, Nysus, and Lycus restored him, and Aegeus being the eldest of the brothers succeeded Pandion. Aegeus first married Meta, a daughter of Hoples, and then Chalciope, the daughter of Rhexenor, neither of whom bore him any children (Apollod. iii. 15.6). He ascribed this misfortune to the anger of Aphrodite, and in order to conciliate her introduced her worship at Athens (Pans. i. 14.6). Afterwards he begot Theseus by Aethra at Troezen (Plut. Thes. 3; Apollod. iii. 15.7; Hygin. Fab. 37). When Theseus had grown up to manhood , and was informed of his descent, he went to Athens and defeated the fifty sons of his uncle Pallas, who claiming the kingly dignity of Athens, had made war upon Aegeus and deposed him, and also wished to exclude Theseus from the succession (Plut. Thes.13). Aegeus was restored, but died soon after. His death is related in the following manner : When Theseus went to Crete to deliver Athens from the tribute it had to pay to Minos, he promised his father that on his return he would hoist white sails as a signal of his safety. On his approach to the coast of Attica he forgot his promise, and his father, who was watching on a rock on the seacoast, on perceiving the black sail, thought that his son had perished and threw himself into the sea, which according to some traditions received from this event the name of the Aegaean sea (Plut. Thes. 22; Diod. iv. 61; Paus. i. 22.5; Hygin. Fab. 43; Serv. ad Aen. iii. 7). Medeia, who was believed to have spent some time at Athens on her return from Corinth to Colchis, is said to have becomee mother of a son, Medus, by Aegens (Apollod. i. 9.28; Hygin. Fab. 26). Aegeus was one of the eponymic heroes of Attica; and one of the Attic tribes (Aegeis) derived its name from him (Paus. i. 5.2). His grave, called the heroum of Aegeus, was believed to be at Athens (Paus. i. 22. ยง 5), and Pausanias mentions two statues of him, one at Athens and the other at Delphi, the latter of which had been made of the tithes of the booty taken by the Athenians at Marathon. (Paus. i. 5.2, x. 10.1)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited June 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Aethra. Daughter of Pittheus, king of Troezen, mother of Theseus by Aegeus or, according to another account, by Poseidon. While Homer merely mentions her as a servant of Helen at Troy, later legend adds that when the Dioscuri took Aphidnae and set free their sister, whom Theseus had carried off, they conveyed Aethra to Sparta as a slave, whence she accompanied Helen to Troy; and that on the fall of that city they brought her grandsons, Acamas and Demophoon, back to Athens.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Chalciope (Chalkiope), a daughter of Rhexenor, or according to others of Chalcodon, was the second wife of Aegeus. (Apollod. iii. 15.6; Athen. xiii.)


Aegides: descendants of Aegeus, (Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary)
  A patronymic applied to Theseus, son of Aegeus, Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)


Theseus

Theseus, son of Augeus, was said to have united the communities of Attica into a single commonwealth and to have founded the city of Athens (Il. 1.265, Od. 11.631).


One of his heroic achievements was the murder of the Minotaur. After having killed him, he managed to find his way out of the labyrinth with the help of Ariadne, the daughter of the king Minos, who had given him a clue of thread. Theseus sailed away from Crete with Ariadne, but he abandoned her in the island of Naxos (Od. 11.322).


Theseus. The great national hero of Attic legend. He was the son of Aegeus, king of Athens, and of Aethra, the daughter of Pittheus, king of Troezen. This, however, was the Attic tradition, which aimed at making Theseus a prince of Athenian descent. The older legend of Troezen itself made Theseus the son of Poseidon. Plutarch in his Theseus has gathered into a connected story various legends, some of Athenian origin, some from other countries:
    (1) his journey from Troezen to Athens, an Attic glorification of their hero;
    (2) the Cretan story of the Minotaur adapted to the Attic legends;
    (3) his later adventures, some of which are of Spartan origin. But the story may be related consecutively as Plutarch has given it.
    Theseus was brought up at Troezen, and when he reached maturity he took, by his mother's directions, the sword and sandals, the tokeus which had been left by Aegeus, and proceeded to Athens. Eager to emulate Heracles, he went by land, displaying his prowess by destroying the robbers and monsters that infested the country. Periphetes, Sinis, Phaea the Crommyonian sow, Sciron, Cercyon, and Procrustes fell before him. At Athens he was immediately recognized by Medea, who laid a plot for poisoning him at a banquet to which he was invited. By means of the sword which he carried, Theseus was recognized by Aegeus, acknowledged as his son, and declared his successor. The sons of Pallas, thus disappointed in their hopes of succeeding to the throne, attempted to secure the succession by violence, and declared war, but, being betrayed by the herald Leos, were destroyed. The capture of the Marathonian bull, which had long laid waste the surrounding country, was the next exploit of Theseus. After this Theseus went of his own accord as one of the seven youths whom the Athenians were obliged to send every year, with seven maidens, to Crete, to be devoured by the Minotaur. When they arrived at Crete, Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, became enamoured of Theseus, and provided him with a sword with which he slew the Minotaur, and a clue of thread by which he found his way out of the labyrinth. Having effected his object, Theseus sailed away, carrying off Ariadne. There were various legends about Ariadne; but according to the general account Theseus abandoned her in the island of Naxos on his way home. He was generally believed to have had by her two sons, Oenopion and Staphylus; yet this does not agree with the account in the Odyssey, which represents her as dying before her wedding with Theseus was brought about, and apparently after her union with Dionysus. As the vessel in which Theseus sailed approached Attica, he neglected to hoist the white sail which was to have been the signal of the success of the expedition; whereupon Aegeus, thinking that his son had perished, threw himself into the sea. Theseus thus became king of Athens. Other adventures followed, again repeating those of Heracles. Theseus is said to have assailed the Amazons before they had recovered from the attack of Heracles, and to have carried off their queen Antiope. The Amazons in their turn invaded Attica, and penetrated into Athens itself; and the final battle in which Theseus overcame them was fought in the very midst of the city. By Antiope Theseus was said to have had a son named Hippolytus or Demophoon, and after her death to have married Phaedra.
    Theseus figures in almost all the great heroic expeditions. He was one of the Argonauts (the anachronism of the attempt of Medea to poison him does not seem to have been noticed); he joined in the Calydonian hunt, and aided Adrastus in recovering the bodies of those slain before Thebes. He contracted a close friendship with Pirithous, and aided him and the Lapithae against the Centaurs. With the assistance of Pirithous he carried off Helen from Sparta while she was quite a girl, and placed her at Aphidnae, under the care of Aethra. In return he assisted Pirithous in his attempt to carry off Persephone from the lower world. Pirithous perished in the enterprise, and Theseus was kept in hard durance until he was delivered by Heracles. Meantime Castor and Pollux invaded Attica, and carried off Helen and Aethra, Academus having informed the brothers where they were to be found. Menestheus also endeavoured to incite the people against Theseus, who on his return found himself unable to re-establish his authority, and retired to Scyros, where he met with a treacherous death at the hands of Lycomedes. The departed hero was believed to have appeared to aid the Athenians at the battle of Marathon. In 469 the bones of Theseus were discovered by Cimon in Scyros, and brought to Athens, where they were deposited in a temple (the Theseum) erected in honour of the hero. A considerable part of this temple still remains, forming one of the most interesting monuments of Athens. A festival in honour of Theseus was celebrated on the eighth day of each month, especially in Pyanepsion.
    There can be no doubt that Theseus is a purely legendary personage. Nevertheless, in later times the Athenians came to regard him as the author of a very important political revolution in Attica. Before his time Attica had been broken up into twelve petty independent States or townships, acknowledging no head, and connected only by a federal union. Theseus abolished the separate governments, and erected Athens into the capital of a single commonwealth. The festival of the Panathenaea was instituted to commemorate this important revolution. Theseus is said to have established a constitutional government, retaining in his own hands only certain definite powers and functions. He is further said to have distributed the Athenian citizens into the three classes of Eupatridae, Geomori, and Demiurgi. It would be a vain task to attempt to decide whether there is any historical basis for the legends about Theseus, and still more so to endeavour to separate the historical from the legendary in what has been preserved. The Theseus of the Athenians was a hero who fought the Amazons, and slew the Minotaur, and carried off Helen. A personage who should be nothing more than a wise king, consolidating the Athenian commonwealth, however possible his existence might be, would have no historical reality. The connection of Theseus with Poseidon, the national deity of the Ionic tribes, his coming from the Ionic town Troezen, forcing his way through the Isthmus into Attica, and establishing the Isthmia as an Ionic Panegyris, rather suggest that Theseus is, at least in part, the mythological representative of an Ionian immigration into Attica, which, adding perhaps to the strength and importance of Ionian settlers already in the country, might easily have led to that political aggregation of the disjointed elements of the State which is assigned to Theseus.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Theseus, the great legendary hero of Attica, is one of those mythological personages, whose legends it is by no means easy to disentangle, and represent in their original shape. The later belief of the Athenians, adopted and strengthened by writers of authority, represented him as a very much more historical person than he really was; and, in consequence, the rationalistic mythologists took considerable pains to draw up a narrative of his life in which the supernatural should be kept as much as possible in the back ground, and the character in which the Athenians loved to regard him, as the founder of Attic nationality, be exhibited in as prominent a light as the received traditions allowed. This was avowedly the method upon which Plutarch proceeded.   According to the commonly received traditions Theseus was the son of Aegeus, king of Athens, and Aethra, the daughter of Pittheus, king of Troezen. Other legends, however, maintained their ground, which represented him as the son of Poseidon by Aethra (Plut. Thes. 6; Diod. iv. 59; Paus. i. 17.3) When no reached maturity, Theseus, by his mother's directions took the sword and sandals, the tokens which had been left by Aegeus, and proceeded to Athens. Eager to emulate Hercules, he went by land, displaying his prowess by destroying the robbers and monsters that infested the country. Periphetes, Sinis, Phaea the Cromyonian sow, Sciron, Cercyon, and Procrustes fell before the invincible hero. Arrived at Cephisus, he was purified by the Phytalidae. At Athens he was immediately recognised by Medea, who laid a plot for poisoning him at a banquet to which he was invited. By means of the sword which he carried, Theseus was recognised by Aegeus, acknowledged as his son, and declared his successor. The sons of Pallas, thus disappointed in their hopes of succeeding to the throne, attempted to secure the succession by violence, and declared war; but, being betrayed by the herald Leos, were destroyed.
  The capture of the Marathonian bull was the next exploit of Theseus. It was this same enterprise in which Androgeos, the son of Minos, had perished. When the occasion returned on which the Athenians had to send to Minos their tribute of seven youths and seven maidens, Theseus voluntarily offered himself as one of the youths, with the design of slaying the Minotaur, or perishing in the attempt. When they arrived at Crete, Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, became enamoured of Theseus, and provided him with a sword with which he slew the Minotaur, and a clue of thread by which he found his way out of the labyrinth. Having effected his object, and rescued the band of victims, Theseus set sail, carrying off Ariadne (For the variations in the story, given by Cleidemus, the reader is referred to Plut. Thes. 1). There were various accounts about Ariadne, but most of them spoke of Theseus as having either lost or abandoned Ariadne on the island of Naxos. He was generally believed to have had by her two sons, Oenopion and Staphylus. As the vessel in which they sailed approached Attica, they neglected to hoist the white sail, which was to have been the signal that the expedition had had a prosperous issue. The neglect led to the death of Aegeus. A vessel was in existence up to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, which it was pretended was the very ship in which Theseus had sailed to Crete. It was this vessel which was sent every year to Delos with the sacred envoys. It is worth noting, that although Homer mentions Ariadne as having been carried off by Theseus from Crete (Od. xi. 321), he says nothing about the Minotaur. All that part of the story is probably a later addition. The expedition to Crete was probably, in its original form, only one of the somewhat numerous amatory adventures of Theseus. several of which are noticed by Plutarch (Thes. 29). Soon after he landed, Theseus is said to have instituted the festival termed Oschophoria (see Oschophoria). The origin of the Pyanepsia, and the reinstitution of the Isthmian games, were also ascribed to Theseus.
  One of the most renowned of the adventures of Theseus was his expedition against the Amazons. He is said to have assailed them before they had recovered from the attack of Hercules, and to have carried off their queen Antiope. The Amazons in their turn invaded Attica, and penetrated into Athens itself, the final battle in which Theseus overcame them having been fought in the very midst of the city. Of the literal truth of this fact Plutarch (Thes. 27) finds evidence in the names of the localities and the tombs of the fallen Amazons. Cleidemus pretended even to point out the precise position of the contending forces and the fluctuatins of the combat (Compare the remarkable passage of Aeschylus, Eumen. 685).
  By Antiope Theseus was said to have had a son named Hippolytus or Demophoon, and after her death to have married Phaedra. Theseus figures in almost all the ancient heroic undertakings. He was one of the Argonauts (the anachronism of the attempt of Medea to poison him does not seem to have been noticed); he joined in the Calydonian hunt, and aided Adrastus in recovering the bodies of those slain before Thebes. He contracted a close friendship with Peirithous, and aided him and the Lapithae against the Centaurs. Aided by Peirithous he carried off Helen from Sparta while she was quite a girl, and placed her at Aphidnae under the care of Aethra. In return he assisted Peirithous in his attempt to carry off Persephone from the lower world. Peirithous perished in the enterprise, and Theseus was kept in hard durance until he was delivered by Hercules. Later writers endeavored to turn this legend into history by making Peirithous attempt to carry off Core, the daughter of Aidoneus, a king of the Molossians. Meantime Castor and Pollux invaded Attica, and carried off Helen and Aethra, Academus having informed the brothers where they were to be found. Menestheus also endeavoured to incite the people against Theseus, who on his return found himself unable to re-establish his authority, and retired to Scyros, where he met with a treacherous death at the hands of Lycomedes.
  The departed hero was believed to have appeared to aid the Athenians at the battle of Marathon. In B. C. 469 a skeleton of large size was found by Cimon in Sevros, and brought to Athens. It was believed to be that of Theseus, in whose honour a temple was erected, in which the bones were deposited. A considerable part of this temple still remains, forming one of the most interesting monuments of Athens. A festival in honour of Theseus was celebrated on the eighth day of each month, especially on the eighth of Pyanepsion. Connected with this festival were two others: the Connideia, in memory of Connidas, the guardian of Theseus; and the Cybernesia, having reference to his voyage (see Theseia). There can be little question that Theseus is a purely legendary personage, as thoroughly so as his contemporary Hercules. Nevertheless, in later times the Athenians came to regard him as the author of a very important political revolution in Attica. Before his time Attica had been broken up into a number of petty independent states or townships (twelve is the number generally stated) acknowledging no head, and connected only by a federal union. Theseus, partly through persuasion, partly by force, abolished the separate council chambers and governments, did away with all separate political jurisdiction, and erected Athens into the capital of a single commonwealth. The festival of the Synoecia was celebrated in commemoration of this change. The festival which was called Athenaea was now reinstituted and termed the Panathenaea (Thucyd. ii. 15). Theseus is said to have established a constitutional government, retaining in his own hands only cartain definite powers and functions. The citizens generally he is said to have distributed into the three classes of. Eupatridae, Geomori, and Demiurgi (Plut. Thes. 24-26). That this consolidation took place some time or other, there can be no doubt. Whether is was accomplished by Theseus is another question. The authority of Thucydides has usually been allowed to settle the matter. Thucydides, however, did but follow the prevailing opinion of his countrymen ; and if his belief raises Theseus to the rank of an historical king, it must also make the Trojan war a matter of history. It is a vain task now to attempt to decide whether there is any historical basis for the accounts of Theseus that were handed down, and still more so to endeavour to separate the historical from the legendary in what has been preserved. The Theseus of the Athenians was a hero who fought the Amazons, and slew the Minotaur, and carried off Helen. A personage who should be nothing more than a wise king, consolidating the Athenian commonwealth, however possible his existence might be, would have no historical reality. It has been urged that we have no ground for denying the personality of Theseus. In matters of this kind the question is rather " Have we any ground for affirming it ?" And for this we find nothing but the belief of the Athenians. The connection of Theseus with Poseidon, the national deity of the Ionic tribes, in various ways (the name Aegeus points to Aegae, the sanctuary of Poseidon), his coming from the Ionic town Troezen, forcing his way through the Isthmus into Attica, and establishing the Isthmia as an Ionic Panegyris, rather suggest that Theseus is, at least in part, the mythological representative of an Ionian immigration into Attica, which, adding perhaps to the strength and importance of Ionian settlers already in the country, might easily have led to that political aggregation of the disjointed elements of the state which is assigned to Theseus. It was probably from the relation in which he stood to the Athenian commonwealth as a whole, that his name was not connected with any particular phyle. (Plut. Theseus; Diod. l. c.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Theseus is the most famous of the legendary kings of Athens, the Attic hero par execellence, the counterpart of the Dorian Heracles. He is said to have lived one generation before the Trojan war in which his two sons, Demophon and Acamas, took part. He was the son of Aegeus, a great-grandson of Erechtheus, and of Aethra, whose grandfather was Pelops, son of Tantalus and grandson of Zeus. But, according to other sources, he was the son of Poseidon himself.
   Aegeus consulted the oracle of Delphi because he was unable to have children from his wives. On his way back, unable to understand the answer of the god, he payed a visit to Pittheus, a son of Pelops who was king of Troezen and renowed for his wisdom. Pittheus, reading through the oracle which ordered Aegeus to “loose not the wine-skin's jutting neck” until he would be back in Athens, managed to make him drunk and to have him sleep with his daughter Aethra. Theseus was born of this union after Aegeus had returned to Athens and was raised at the court of his grandfather in Troezen.
  Before leaving Troezen, Aegeus had hidden under a heavy rock, unknown to everybody except Aethra, a sword and a pair of sandals that his son should take with him back to Athens when grown up, if he were able to lift the rock, to make himself recognized. When he was sixteen, he was already so strong that his mother told him the secret. Theseus lifted the rock, took the stuff and decided to go to Athens. Rather than going by sea, as recomended by his mother and grandfather, Theseus decided to take the land road through the Isthmus of Corinth, which was by then infested by monsters of all kinds unchecked because Heracles was in captivity in Lydia, slave of Queen Omphale; he indeed wanted to take advantage of this state of affairs to emulate Heracles.
  Theseus was credited with many wondrous deeds on his way to Athens and after reaching it and being recognized as Aegeus' son. The most famous of these is his victory over the Minotaur, which freed Athens from the obligation to send Minos in Crete a tribute of seven youths and seven maidens every nine years as a condition for peace following a war waged earlier against this king. After his victory, he fled from Crete with his companions still alive and Ariadne, the daughter of Minos and Pasiphae, who had fallen in love with him and helped him by giving him the thread that allowed him to leave the Labyrinth after killing the Minotaur. But he abandonned her in the island of Naxos on the way back, no one knows exactly why. On his way back to Athens, Theseus forgot to change the black sails of his ship for white sails that were supposed to let Athens know of his victory. So, when his father Aegeus saw the black sail on the horizon, he thought his son was dead and jumped into the sea to his death. The sea took his name thereafter, being called the Aegean Sea. The boat in which Theseus made the trip to Crete and back was still preserved in Athens in the time of Socrates and Plato. Theseus and his companions had vowed to Apollo that, were they to return home alive, they would send an annual mission to Delos in thanksgiving. This tradition was still alive in the time of Socrates.
  One of Theseus' exploits on his way to Athens from Troezen was the slaying of Sciron, a robber who used to stop travellers on the road nearby Megara in a place where it was going through cliffs overlooking the sea, and ask them to wash his feet, only to push them in the sea while they were doing so.
  After he had become king of Athens, Theseus married Phaedra, the sister of Ariadne and daughter of Minos and Pasiphae. But, in order to do so, he repudiated his former wife, an Amazon named Antiope, and this led to a war between Athens and the Amazons, which Theseus won. Later, Phaedra fell in love with Hippolytus, the son that Theseus had had from Antiope. As the young man, who was fond of hunting but had nothing to do with women, turned her down, Phaedra, afraid that he might tell the truth to his father, simulated a rape and accused him in front of Theseus. Theseus, unwilling to kill his son himself, asked Poseidon, who was supposed to grant him three wishes, to help him get rid of Hippolytus. Soon after, a monster came out of the sea and frightened Hippolytus' horses so that he was thrown to the ground and pulled by the reins till he died. Learning about this, Phaedra hanged herself.
  There is also the story that Theseus and his friend Peirithous vowed to offer one another daughters of Zeus for wives. As a result, they both took part in the abduction of Helen in Sparta when she was not yet of marriageable age (that is, long before another abduction, by Paris this time, which led to the Trojan War). Theseus brought Helen back in Attica and entrusted her to his mother, hiding them both in a secret place in Attica (in Aphidnae), unknown to everybody. Then, he embarked with his friend Peirithous for Hades, in the hope of capturing Persephone, another of Zeus' daughters, for Peirithous. They reached the place but couldn't leave it. Theseus was eventually set free by Heracles, but not Peirithous.
  While Theseus was away Helen's brothers, Castor and Pollux, invaded Attica with an army of Lacedaemonians, to get their sister back. At first, they simply asked for her, but when the Athenians answered they didn't know where she was, they set for war. Yet, an Athenian by the name of Academus, who somehow knew of Theseus' secret, told Helen's brothers where she hid. Castor and Pollux then took Aphidnae, freed their sister and took Theseus' mother Aethra prisonner to Sparta. During this campaign, Castor and Pollux also helped sit Menestheus, a great-grandson of Erechtheus who had taken the lead of Attic noblemen angry against Theseus' reforms, on the throne of Athens in place of Theseus' sons. So, when Theseus came back from Hades, he found that he was no longer welcome there and, unable to recapture his throne, left for the island of Skyros, where he died, or was assassinated by the king of the place, as a private citizen.
  After Menestheus' death, his sons Demophon and Acamas, back from the Trojan War, regained their throne at Athens. During the battle of Marathon, many Athenian soldiers pretended they had seen Theseus fight at their head. After the Medean Wars, the oracle of Delphi ordered the Athenians to recover the bones of Theseus and give him a decent grave in Athens. Cimon fulfilled the order after taking the island of Skyros in 473, led to the grave by an eagle. His grave in Athens became a place of asylum and he was honored has the first champion of democracy.

Bernard Suzanne (page last updated 1998), ed.
This extract is cited July 2003 from the Plato and his dialogues URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.


Antiope. An Amazon, a sister of Hippolyte, who married Theseus (Paus. i. 2,1, 41.7). According to Servius(ad Aen. xi. 661), she was a daughter of Hippolyte. Diodorus (iv. 16) states, that Theseus received her as a present from Heracles.When subsequently Attica was invaded by the Amazons, Antiope fought with Theseus against them, and died the death of a heroine by his side (Comp. Diod. iv. 28; Plut. Thes. 26, 27). According to Hyginus (Fab. 241) Antiope was a daughter of Ares, and was killed by Theseus himself in consequence of an oracle.


Theseus: Plutarch, Lives (ed. Bernadotte Perrin)


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