Theseus: The hero of Athenians
Theseus was the son of Aethra daughter of king Pitheus and King of Troezen. He was raised by Aegeus but his true father might also be Poseidon, because Aethra lay with both of them in one night. According to the myth Pittheus got Aegeus drunk and put him to bed with his daughter. Athena came to Aethras dreams and instructed her to go to the shore close to Troeze’s beach. She left the sleeping Aegeus and waded across to the island of Sphairia were she was possessed by Poseidon. Hence Theseus was of mortal as well as divine origin.
When Aethra became pregnant, Aegeus returned to Athens alone in fear that his young son might be harmed by his enemies. But before he left, he buried his sandals and sword under a huge rock and told her that if their son was of true royal patronage and destined to be a hero, he would one day lift the boulder and take his sandals and sword.
Therefore Theseus was hence raised by his mother. When he came of age and became stronger, he as foreseen lifted the rock and recovered his father's armaments. Aethra sure of his heroic potential told him the truth about his true lineage and instructed him to return to Athens and claim his royal rights.
All heroes choose the hard way ahead:
Theseus heroic journey starts when he decides not to follow the easy path to Athens by the sea but go by land, taking a perilous and dangerous path around the Saronic Gulf, where he came across a string of six entrances to the Underworld, each guarded by a chthonic enemy in the form of thieves and bandits. Brave and ambitious, Theseus decided to go alone by foot, and defeating each foe he faced.
At Epidaurus he defeated Perifetes who killed passing people with his giant stuff and kept his weapon. This later became his trademark.
At the isthmian entrance he defeated Sinis the Pitiocamptis who would tie the legs of the travelers between two tree branches and then let them loose, cutting them in two.
At Crommyon he defeated a giant wild pig, bred by Phaea who terrorized the area of Megarida.
At Megara he defeated Skiron, who threw people of a cliff at a giant turtle to be devoured.
At Eleysina he fought and killed Cercyon who would challenge travelers in a wrestling match and killed them.
Finally he killed the bandit Procrustes. He offered travelers a bed to rest only to stretch them apart to match to the size of the bed or cut off their feet.
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