Theseus (Myths and Legends of the World)
Theseus, a hero of Greek mythology, is best known for slaying a monster called the Minotaur. His life and adventures illustrate many themes of Greek myths, including the idea that even the mightiest hero cannot escape tragedy, if that is his fate.
Mysterious Origins. Like many other heroes of myth and legend, Theseus was born and raised in unusual and dramatic circumstances. His mother was Aethra, daughter of King Pittheus of Troezen. Although some accounts name as his father, most say that Theseus was the son of King Aegeus of Athens, who had stopped at Troezen after consulting the oraclepriest or priestess or other creature through whom a god is believed to speak; also the location (such as a shrine) where such words are spoken at Delphi.
The oracle had warned Aegeus not to get drunk or father a child on his way home to Athensr one day he would die of sorrow. However, at Troezen, Aegeus ignored the warnings and became Aethra's lover. Before leaving for Athens, he placed his sandals and sword under a boulder and told Aethra that if she bore a son who could lift the boulder, that son would inherit the throne of Athens.
Theseus grew into a strong young man, and one day he easily lifted the boulder and retrieved the sandals and the sword. He then set off for Athens to claim his heritage. On the way,...
(The entire section is 990 words.)
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