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Lecture 9

CS100 Lecture 9: Theseus and Myths of Athens

Computer Science
Course Code
Alexandra Boutros

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Theseus and Myths of Athens
Early kings of Athens
Autochthony (sprang from the ground)
Cecrops culture hero who was autochthon (sprung from the ground
o (cf. Cadmus and the Spartoi)
o King who was produced by the union of Hephaestus and Athena
o Local culture hero: Panathenaia, wooden statue of Athena
Panathenaia the games where all people of Athens could come and play
in the game, created by Erichthonius
Wooden statue of Athena made by Erichthonius (very important statue)
o War with Eleusis first war for Athenians
o Grandson of Erichthonius?
o Eumolpus son of Poseidon
Eleusinians had him as a hero to help them
So Erechtheus to save the Athens was to sacrifice his daughter/daughters
and in the end he won the battle
Erechtheus killed Eumolpus and then Poseidon was very angry
One version said Poseidon went to Zeus and Zeus blasted him
Another version was Poseidon drove his trident into him that he
went into the ground
o Creusa (daughter of Erechtheus) had a son, Ion, by Apollo
Creusa kept the child secret from her father and exposed to child so
Apollo was like wtf
Told Hermes to go get the child
Apollo then raised the child in the temple
o Creusa later married Xuthus (son of Hellen) and discovered Ion
They could not have children
So Xuthus goes to Apollo and asks why he couldn’t have a child
Then Apollo said he would have to greet the first person he met and treat
him as his son
So Xuthus met Ion and took him home
Creusa was then going to kill Ion but Athena was like stop he is not
Xuthus’s illegitimate son, he is your son
o So then Ion was part of the royal family and later became the king of the Ionian
Theseus, King of Athens
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o Theseus was the son of Aegeus
o Aegeus had a threat and this was his brother Pallas who had 50 sons
o Aegeus had zero sons
o So Aegeus went to Apollo and asked how to have a son
Apollo gives him the prophecy of ‘do not undo the wineskin’s mouth until
you return home’
Aegeus did not know what it meant so he went to Pittheus of Troezen
Pittheus knew what it said (the next person you mate with will become
pregnant) and so Pittheus got him drunk and made him mate with his
daughter Aethra
So Aegeus told Aethra that under a huge rock was some stuff and when
his son was able to lift it, he should come to Athens since Aegeus would
recognise him
o Aethra’s rape by Poseidon
After mating with Aethra, she went to do something but was then raped by
6 Labours (Heracles against animals, Theseus against mainly mortals)
o Periphetes/Corynetes (clubber)
Theseus took the club from the person and clubbed him to death
Similar of Heracles
o Sinis
(the pine bender)
So Theseus pine bended Sinis
o Sow of Crommyon
Killed the sow
o Sciron (and the giant turtle)
Territory of Megory had a narrow pass
Guy guarding it would rob the people and make them clean feet then kick
them over the cliff = turtle eats them
Theseus did the same thing to Sciron
o Cercyon (the wrestler)
He would wrestle people beat and kill them
So Theseus beat him and killed him
Cercyon was also the leader of Eleusis
o Procrustes
When Theseus is about to get into Athens
Put a bed out and he would put them onto the bed and fixed a person until
they would fit
Theseus did this to Procrustes
o Significance: justice and Order
Theseus kills the anti-civilized forces
At Athens
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