The Legendary Theseus of Athens

Greece has always been one of those great countries you must visit. It has always been a country of story and of legends. It is here that artists, and poets told stories about great heroes, and as important as Athens is in Greece there is only one famous hero of this amazing city, and that is Theseus.

Who Was Theseus of Athens

Theseus was the son of the then King of Athens, called king Aegeus and Aethra the daughter of King of Troezen in Peloponnese. For a long time Aegeus had two wives but did not beget a son from either. One night when he stayed in Troezen he impregnated Aethra. When Aegeus went home he left a pair of sandals and a sword under a rock near the town. If Aethra born a son, then when that son came of age he was to go and get them and take them to Athens. Aegeus told Aethra to have him travel in secret, because he feared his brother Pallas’s 50 sons would look for him and kill him so there would be no inheritor by Aegeus to the throne.

The Legendary Heroes Traveled to Athens

As predicted when Theseus became of age he traveled to Athens to meet his father. He collected the sword and shoes from the rock and headed out. His maternal grandfather tried to persuade him to take the safer, if longer sea route as the roads were infested with robbers. But Theseus wanted to go by land, and had many adventures on his trip. Many of these adventures tend to resemble those of another Hero Heracles.

When the prince arrived in Athens there were many trials and tribulations. There was a sorceress that was favored by Aegeus who had replaced his wives. The sorceress recognized Theseus, and filled Aegeus mind with suspicion against the young stranger. She wanted to send Theseus to his death by having him capture bull from a Marathon. She thought he would be killed but Theseus managed to capture the bull.

She then tried to poison him with a herb that was watered by the three headed watchdog of Hades called Cerberus. But luckily Aegeus recognized the swords with which the young man was cutting the meat and realized his mistake. Aegeus threw the poisoned drink out of his hand and acknowledge Theseus as his son, and drove the sorceress out.

Afterwards the sons of Pallas went to war to prevent Theseus from taking their rightful inheritance but he also defeated them. Once this was done he decided to help the Athenians even more by delivering the city from a burden it had been paying for a long time to the King of Minos. When the time came to send the normal tribune of seven youths and seven maidens, Theseus volunteered to be one of the youths. When he arrived in Crete, the youths and maidens were taken to Minos, and exhibited in front of Ariadne the king’s daughter, who fell in love with Theseus. Because of her love she gave him a sword to face the Minotaur, and a ball of thread so he could find his way out of the labyrinth. Theseus slew the Minotaur and got out of the labyrinth. He escaped with Ariadne and sailed back to Athens.

While sailing back they put in at Naxos and there Theseus left Ariadne claiming that Athena had come to him in a dream and told him to leave her. He had also forgotten to signal his father of his return, and failed to put up white sails when he came to Attica. The king thought his son had died, and so threw himself from the rocks and died. So, Theseus found himself to be king of Athens. He took the throne and killed the fifty sons of Pallas so their would be no rivalry. Then he united several small areas throughout Attica in one state and founded it all on Acropolis, laying the foundation for a great Athens.

**Related Articles Theseus -The Hero of Athens