CLASSIC 45B Lecture 3: Theseus

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Andromache Karanika

Class: Classics 45B Topic: Theseus-founder of Athens Date: 1-18-17 Theseus ● Founder-hero ● ATHENIANS considered him to be a reformer who unified politically the greater region around Athens, ATTICA ● Son of Aegeus, king of Athens and Aethra ○ Aegeus is another form of Poseidon; connection with Aegean Sea ○ Poseidon as father of Theseus-DOUBLE BIRTH-MYSTERIOUS BIRTH ○ Childlessness of Aegeus ○ Consultation of Delphi Oracle:” not to undo wineskin’s mouth” until he returned home. Asked advice of Pittheus his host ○ Pittheus(king of Troezen) made Aegeus drunk and had his daughter Aethra lie with him. Had a child and Aethra is told by Aegeus not to tell their child his father’s identity. ■ Theme of hero who grows up without father ■ Was to send Theseus to Athens when old enough to lift rock where there would be his father’s tokens Theseus Growing up ● Theseus grows to maturity ● Father’s tokens: sword and sandals ● Grew up in Pittheus and become a super strong man ● Advised to travel by sea but preferred to travel by land from Troezen to Athens ○ This way had to go through “Labors of Theseus” ■ Journey to Athens ■ Hero of Attica ■ Associations with Heracles Theseus’s Six Labors ● Theseus’s Six Labors from Troezen to Athens ● 1. Periphetes or Corynetes, brigand and son of Hephaestus. club ● 2. Sinis or Pityocamptes, at Isthmus of Corinth, robber. Killed him ● 3. Killed Crommyon sow ● 4. Sciron and gigantic turtle ● 5. Cercyon and wrestling match ● 6. Procrustes the stretcher The Minotaur ● Androgeos killed in Attica bc of jealousy for winning all the contests in Panathenaic games
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