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THESEUS.

structed of horizontal layers of massive Btone blocks, projecting one over the other. This circular chamber was used probably for services in honour of the dead. The actual resting-place of the body was a square room adjoining. The large room at Mycenae is fifty feet in diameter, and about the same in height. It consists of thir­teen courses, the uppermost of which was only a single stone. It was decorated with hundreds of bronze plates, the holes for the nails being still visible.

Theseus. The Heracles of Ionian-Attic fable; son of jEthra and the Athenian king jEgeus or, according to another%story, Poseidon. JCgeus, having consulted the oracle at Delphi, in consequence of both his marriages proving childless, and having received an obscure reply, applied to the wise Pittheus of Troezen, who gave him his daughter .SSthra in marriage. On his return to Athens he laid his sword and shoes under a rock, and charged vEthra, as soon as his son was able to lift it, to send him with these tokens to Athens. When Theseus, who had been educated by his grandfather, had attained the age of six­teen, and had dedicated his forelocks to the Delian or Delphic Apollo, his mother con­ducted him to the stone ; he lifted it with ease, and set out to go to his father at Athens, bearing the sword and shoes. On the way he had a series of adventures with various monsters,^from which he emerged victorious. At Epidaurus he vanquished Perlphetes (q.v.); on the Isthmus of Corinth, Sims (q.v.); at Crommyon, not far from Megara, the wild sow Phsea (i.e. " the gray one"); on the borders of Megara and Attica, the robber SKiron(q.v.). In Eleusis he overcame and slew Cercyon (q.v.). Farther on he rid the land of the monster Damastes (}.«.). He then proceeded on his way to jEgeus at Athens, being purified of bloodshed by the Phytalidae (see phytalus) on reaching the Cephissus. His father had meanwhile married Medea, who had fled to him from Corinth, and who recognised Theseus as the son of the house, and per­suaded jEgeus to poison the stranger during a meal. The father, however, recognised his son in time, by means of the sword which Theseus used to cut up his meat, and Medea disappeared through the air with Medus, her son by .ffigeus. When Pallas, who had deprived his brother of the throne, heard of what had happened, he and his fifty gigantic sons hastened to Athens; but they were all slain by the young hero, who

was warned in time by the herald Leos. After this he seized the bull of Marathon (see heracles), which had devastated the country, and sacrificed it to Apollo Del-phinius at Athens. When the time drew near for the third payment of the tribute of seven youths and seven maidens, exacted by Minos (q.v.) for the Minotaur, he volun­teered to accompany them, and to deliver his country from this horrible tribute by slaying the monster. Through Aphrodite's favour he gained the love of Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, who gave him a thread that she had received from Daedalus, by means of which he was able to find his way into the Labyrinth to the Minotaur, and emerge again in safety after having slain the monster. Ariadne allowed him to carry her away on his return home with the rescued youths and maidens. But in the island of Dia (sec ahiadne) he forsook her, either from faithlessness or (according to another account) at the special command of the gods. In his joy at his success, he forgot the signal agreed upon with jEgeus, that if he succeeded in his enterprise a white sail should be hoisted in place of the black one, and he was thus the cause of his father's death. (See ./egeus.)

As king of Athens, he justified his right to the significant name of " founder," by inducing the independent Attic communi­ties to recognise Athens as the capital and centre of the whole country; and in this manner he became the founder of the Attic State. To commemorate this event he is said to have instituted the feast of the union of the tribes (Synoikla or Metoikia), and to have caused the Athencea, a festival instituted by Erichthfinius, to be cele­brated by all Attica, under the name of Panathenaea (the festival of united Athens). In the same way the institution of the Isthmian games is attributed to him in commemoration of his victory over Sinis. He is also said to have taken part in the Argonautic expedition and in the Caly-donian Hunt, as well as in the expedition undertaken by Heracles against the Ama­zons. In reward for the bravery which he displayed on this occasion, Antifipe, the sister of the queen of the Amazons, was bestowed upon him; she became the mother of Hippolytus. According to another tra­dition, he and his friend Plrithous, king of the Lapithas, carried her away, and, to avenge the deed, the Amazons invaded Attica. (See antiope, 2.) After Antiope's

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