THESEUS GOT A B+ (89%)In Greek mythology, Theseus can truely be thought of as the greatest Athenian hero. He was the son of Aegeus, king of Athens, and Aethra, princess of Troezen, and daughter ofPittheus, king of Troezen. Before Theseus was born his father Aegeus left Aethra in Troezen of Argolis andreturned to Athens before he was born. But before he left king Aegeus put his sword and hispair of sandals under a large rock and said to Aethra that when Theseus was old enough to liftthe heavy rock that Theseus should take the sword and sandals and come to see him inAthens. At the age of 16 after being brought up in Troezen, Theseus was finally able to lift theheavy rock. Theseus with his long blond hair then took the sword and the sandals and beganhis journey to Athens to claim Aegeus as his father.

The young Theseus made his hazardousjourney by the coast road along the Isthmus, clearing the road of six villains, murderers, and monsters which inhabited the road. Theseus killed these villains by the same method by whichthey had murdered their own victims. Among the villains that Theseus killed, were Sciron,Sinis, Procrustes and Phaea.Theseus arrived in Athens wearing a sword and a pair of sandals that Aegeus had leftfor him in Troezen. He was thengreeted by his father Aegeus and his stepmother Medeawho was a sorceress.

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But she was jealous of his influence over Aegeus so Medea tried to killhim by sending him to kill a wild bull. But Theseus succeeded and sacrificed the bull to Apollo. He then returned to Athens and was almost poisoned by Medea, but as soon as Aegeus gotwind of her plot, he proclaimed Theseus his son and heir to the thrown and banished Medeafrom Athens and she escaped to what is now Asia.According to legend, the people of Athens had to send seven youths and sevenMaidens every year as a tribute to Minos, the king of Create, to be eaten by the Minitor, whowas a terrible monster, half man and half bull. Theseus decided to go as one of the youths and try to kill the minitor. When hereached Create, Ariadne, the beautiful daughter of Minos fell in love will him and helped him kill the Minitor by giving him a sword which he killed the Minitor with and a ball of thread tohelp him find his way out of the labyrinth in which the Minitor lived. Theseus then left Createwith Ariadne but dumped her on the way back to Athens.

On his return from Create to Athens, however, in his hurry to get home, he forgot tohoist a white sail signaling his success against the Minotaur. So when Aegeus saw a blacksail, he believed that his son was dead and was so sad that he threw himself from a highrocky cliff into the sea, which has ever since been known as the Aegean Sea in his honor.Theseus then became the King of Athens. And as king of Athens, Theseus was wiseand generous, and united the many small communitties of the Attic plain into a strong andpowerful nation and brought prosperity and civilization to the people.But he kept his love of danger and adventure and during a war with the AmazonWomen he abducted the Amazon Hippolyta, who bore him a son who was named Hippolytus.

He took part in the Calydonian boar hunt and in the quest of the Argonauts for the GoldenFleece. He was a devoted friend of Pirithous, king of the Lapithae, whom he accompanied tothe underworld to rescue the goddess Persephone. Both men were imprisoned by the godHades for their rash deed, but Theseus was subsequently rescued by Hercules.Returning to Athens, Theseus found his kingdom in disarray, torn by rebellion and corruption.Unable to reestablish authority, he sent his children away and sailed to the island of Skyros,where Lycomedes, king of Skyros, murdered him by throwing him from a cliff into the sea.

Later the Delphic oracle commanded the Athenians to gather Theseus’s bones and bring themback to Athens. The Athenians then paid him great honor by building him a tomb dedicated tothe poor and helpless whom he had befriended.Category: Mythology

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