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Listed 15 sub titles with search on: Mythology  for wider area of: "MARATHONAS Town ATTICA, EAST" .

Mythology (15)

Ancient myths

The bull of Marathon

  The seventh labour he (Eurystheus) enjoined on him (Hercules) was to bring the Cretan bull. Acusilaus says that this was the bull that ferried across Europa for Zeus; but some say it was the bull that Poseidon sent up from the sea when Minos promised to sacrifice to Poseidon what should appear out of the sea (see Apoll. 3.1.3 & 3.1.4). And they say that when he saw the beauty of the bull he sent it away to the herds and sacrificed another to Poseidon; at which the god was angry and made the bull savage. To attack this bull Hercules came to Crete, and when, in reply to his request for aid, Minos told him to fight and catch the bull for himself, he caught it and brought it to Eurystheus, and having shown it to him he let it afterwards go free. But the bull roamed to Sparta and all Arcadia, and traversing the Isthmus arrived at Marathon in Attica and harried the inhabitants. (Apoll. 2.5.7)
...Athens celebrated the games of the Panathenian festival, in which Androgeus, son of Minos, vanquished all comers. Him Aegeus sent against the bull of Marathon, by which he was destroyed. But some say that as he journeyed to Thebes to take part in the games in honor of Laius, he was waylaid and murdered by the jealous competitors.(1) But when the tidings of his death were brought to Minos, as he was sacrificing to the Graces in Paros, he threw away the garland from his head and stopped the music of the flute, but nevertheless completed the sacrifice; hence down to this day they sacrifice to the Graces in Paros without flutes and garlands.(Apoll. 3.15.7)
  But not long afterwards, being master of the sea, he attacked Athens with a fleet and captured Megara, then ruled by king Nisus, son of Pandion, and he slew Megareus, son of Hippomenes, who had come from Onchestus to the help of Nisus. Now Nisus perished through his daughter's treachery. For he had a purple hair on the middle of his head, and an oracle ran that when it was pulled out he should die; and his daughter Scylla fell in love with Minos and pulled out the hair. But when Minos had made himself master of Megara, he tied the damsel by the feet to the stern of the ship and drowned her. When the war lingered on and he could not take Athens, he prayed to Zeus that he might be avenged on the Athenians. And the city being visited with a famine and a pestilence, the Athenians at first, in obedience to an ancient oracle, slaughtered the daughters of Hyacinth, to wit, Antheis, Aegleis, Lytaea, and Orthaea, on the grave of Geraestus, the Cyclops; now Hyacinth, the father of the damsels, had come from Lacedaemon and dwelt in Athens.3 But when this was of no avail, they inquired of the oracle how they could be delivered; and the god answered them that they should give Minos whatever satisfaction he might choose. So they sent to Minos and left it to him to claim satisfaction. And Minos ordered them to send seven youths and the same number of damsels without weapons to be fodder for the Minotaur...(Apoll. 3.15.8)
...Medea, being then wedded to Aegeus (see Apoll. 1.9.28), plotted against him (Theseus) and persuaded Aegeus to beware of him as a traitor. And Aegeus, not knowing his own son, was afraid and sent him against the Marathonian bull. And when Theseus had killed it, Aegeus presented to him a poison which he had received the selfsame day from Medea. But just as the draught was about to be administered to him, he gave his father the sword, and on recognizing it Aegeus dashed the cup from his hands. And when Theseus was thus made known to his father and informed of the plot, he expelled Medea. And he was numbered among those who were to be sent as the third tribute to the Minotaur... (Apoll. E.1.5 & E.1.6)

  The land of the Cretans and especially that by the river Tethris was ravaged by a bull. It would seem that in the days of old the beasts were much more formidable to men, for example the Nemean lion, the lion of Parnassus, the serpents in many parts of Greece, and the boars of Calydon, Eryrmanthus and Crommyon in the land of Corinth, so that it was said that some were sent up by the earth, that others were sacred to the gods, while others had been let loose to punish mankind. And so the Cretans say that this bull was sent by Poseidon to their land because, although Minos was lord of the Greek Sea, he did not worship Poseidon more than any other god. They say that this bull crossed from Crete to the Peloponnesus, and came to be one of what are called the Twelve Labours of Heracles. When he was let loose on the Argive plain he fled through the isthmus of Corinth, into the land of Attica as far as the Attic parish of Marathon, killing all he met, including Androgeos, son of Minos. Minos sailed against Athens with a fleet, not believing that the Athenians were innocent of the death of Androgeos, and sorely harassed them until it was agreed that he should take seven maidens and seven boys for the Minotaur that was said to dwell in the Labyrinth at Cnossus. But the bull at Marathon Theseus is said to have driven afterwards to the Acropolis and to have sacrificed to the goddess; the offering commemorating this deed was dedicated by the parish of Marathon.(Paus. 1.27.9)

(1) This account of the murder of Androgeus is repeated almost verbally by the Scholiast on Plat. Minos 321a. Compare Diod. 4.60.4ff.; Zenobius, Cent. iv.6; Scholiast on Hom. Il. xviii.590. All these writers mention the distinction won by Androgeus in the athletic contests of the Panathenian festival as the ultimate ground of his undoing. Serv. Verg. A. 6.14 and Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Achill. 192 say that, as an eminent athlete who beat all competitors in the games, Androgeus was murdered at Athens by Athenian and Megarian conspirators. Paus. 1.27.10 mentions the killing of Androgeus by the Marathonian bull. According to Hyginus, Fab. 41, Androgeus was killed in battle during the war which his father Minos waged with the Athenians.

Bull of Marathon in the art

Kylix: Theseus and the Bull of Marathon. Collection: Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Cup. Theseus captures the Bull of Marathon, looping a rope around the bull's horns and feet; the bull is collapsing forwards onto its face. As in the other scenes, Theseus has hung his clothing and sword in a tree, and fights in heroic nudity; his traveler's cap is shown in the field. Collection: Paris, Musee du Louvre

Stamnos: Theseus and the bull. Collection: University Museum, University of Pennsylvania

Cup: In a rocky landscape, Theseus dressed in chitoniskos and fillet with petasos at the back, runs to the right with his club, approaching the bull of Marathon, which is being held back by a satyr. Collection: Paris, Musee du Louvre

Hydria: On the shoulder of the vase, Theseus binds the bull of Marathon. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Stemless cup: The exploits of Theseus. Nude Theseus advancing 3/4-view to the right, leaning back, with his left leg bent and raised, and his weight on his straight right leg, wearing a scabbard band over his right shoulder, wields an axe in his right hand and reaches out his left arm to the right, to restrain the Marathonian bull; the bull is rearing profile to the right, and raises its head and left foreleg; a female figure. Collection: Verona, Museo Archeologico al Teatro romano (Museo Civico)

Attic Red-Figure Bell-Krater Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Edward L. Diefenthal, Metairie, Louisiana

Gods & heroes related to the location


Androgeus. Androgeos. A son of Minos, king of Crete, by Pasiphae. Visiting Athens at the first celebration of the Panathenaea, he won victories over all the champions, when King Aegeus, out of jealousy, sent him to fight the bull of Marathon, which killed him. According to another account he was slain in an ambush. Minos avenged his son by making the Athenians send seven youths and seven maidens every nine years as victims of the Minotaur.
More on this article see Cnosus

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

Marathon, the hero eponymus of the Attic town of Marathon. According to some traditions, he was a son of Epopeus; and being driven from Peloponnesus by the violence of his father, he went to Attica. After his father's death, he returned to Peloponnesus, divided his inheritance between his two sons, and then settled in Attica (Paus. ii. 1.1, 15.4, 32,4). According to others, Marathon was an Arcadian, and took part with the Tyndaridae in their expedition against Attica, and in pursuance of an oracle, devoted himself to death before the beginning of the battle (Plut. Thes. 32; comp. Philostr. Vit. Soph. ii. 7).

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



Corinthus, son of Marathon or Zeus, gives his name to Corinth



Macaria. The daughter of Heracles and Deianira. When Eurystheus, after the death of Heracles, made war upon the Heraclidae and their allies, the Athenians, an oracle declared that the descendants of Heracles would be victorious if one of them should devote himself to death. This lot Macaria voluntarily accepted, and the oracle was fulfilled in the success of the Athenians by whom Macaria was therefore held in great honour. A fountain at Marathon was called by her name.

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

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