Theseus: The Greek Hero Who Defeated the Minotaur


     Theseus was, in Greek Mythology, known as Executioner of Minotaur. Perhaps he was one of the most popular demigods of his time. Know your Myth and Summary below.

Theseus in Greek Mythology:

     Theseus was, in Greek Mythology, a great Athenian hero. It corresponds, for Attica, to what Doric Heracles was for the Peloponnese. His name means "the strong man par excellence". Although there are no historical records that indisputably prove that Theseus existed, some historians assume that he ruled Athens between 1,234 and 1,204 BC, as shown in the traditional list of the Kings of Athens, according to Jerome de Estridão's calculations.

     His father, Aegean, was the son of Pandião II and was born, as well as his brothers Palas, Niso and Lico, in Mégara. Pandion had been king of Athens, but he was expelled by the metionides, sons of Metion, and took refuge in Megara; when King Pilas went to the Peloponnese, Pandião II, married to a daughter of Pilas, became king of Megara.

Birth of Theseus:

     Aegean married two women, Meta, daughter of Hoples and Chalkiope, daughter of Rexenor, but had no children with any of them; fearing to lose the kingdom to his brothers (Palas, Niso and Lico), Aegean consulted Pythia, but did not understand her answer. On the way back to Athens, Aegean stayed at Trezena, whose king Pythea, son of Pelope, comprising the oracle, caused Aegean to get drunk and lie down with his daughter Etra. On the same night, however, Posidão also slept with Etra.

     Aegean asked Etra that if she gave birth to a boy, she would only reveal to her son who her father was when he cut down to take the sword and sandals he had hidden under a huge stone. After that he secretly strayed to Athens, carrying his father's sword and putting on his sandals.

     Aegean had to return to Athens to celebrate the Panateniense festival, where Androgeu, son of Minos, defeated all competitors. Androgyne was killed; according to one version, Aegean added against Androgeu the Marathon bull, which killed him, or Androgeu traveled to Thebes, to participate in the funeral games in honor of Laius, and was assassinated by the competitors.

     When the news of Androgeu's death reached Minos, he was sacrificing on Graces in Paros: he threw away the garland he used and interrupted the music of the flutes, a custom that started to be adopted in Paros, in the sacrifices to Graces, made without flutes and garlands. A boy was born, who grew up vigorous and strong as a hero. At sixteen his physical vigor was so impressive that Etra decided to tell him who his father was and what was expected of him. Theseus then raised a huge stone previously moved by Aegean, retrieved a sword and sandals from his father and went to Athens.

Theseus in Athens:

     When Theseus arrived in Athens he was already known for his deeds, but King Aegean did not know that he was his son. Medeia already installed in the royal palace after fleeing Corinth after the murder of four people, including his two children. Medea knew of the hero's identity, but did not tell Aegean but convinced him to kill the stranger, who could be a threat to his reign. She put poison in the wine and offered it to the distinguished visitor. Theseus drew a sword for his comfort at the table and Aegean recognized him, thus preventing his death. Medeia was once again expelled from a kingdom, only this time he returned to Colchis.

     Variants of the myth say that Medea sent her stepson on a mission to capture a brave bull that lived near Athens, on the Marathon plain. This bull would be that of Crete, from the 7th work of Heracles. After the bull was killed, a sacrifice was made for Apollo and, when Theseus drew his sword, he was recognized by his father. On the eve of the hunt a lady hosted Theseus in her humble home and promised Zeus a sacrifice if he returned alive and victorious. When she returned to see her hostess, whose name was Hécale, Theseus found her dead and instituted a cult to Zeus Hecalésio in honor of her.

     Before becoming king, Theseus must face his own animal fury in the form of a bull. The same bull was responsible for the meeting of Theseus with Ariadne, daughter of Minos, the beginning of his downfall. Upon learning that his cousins, the fifty Palantids, wanted to take away his father's throne, Theseus resolved to end them. The cousins ​​split up to ambush, but Theseus was warned by herald Leos. Then Theseus had to go into exile for a year in Trezena.

Theseus and the Minotaur:

     To fight the bull of Crete, the young Androgeu, who was the son of Minos and his wife Pasífae, kings of Crete, was previously sent by Aegean. They say that the reason was the envy for the performance of the young person in the games of Athens. As the young man perished trying to kill the bull, his father Minos decided to make a war against Athens, of which he won. A variant of the myth gives Androgeu's death for political reasons, as this criterion is joined to the Palantids, who were enemies of Aegean.

     Minos headed for Megara with his powerful squadron and soon set out to surround Athens. During the war, a plague sent by Zeus against the Athenians caused the defeat of the Aegean, which led King Minos to charge a fee every nine years. The fee was in the form of seven Athenian boys and seven girls sent to Crete, where they occurred in the labyrinth to be devoured by their monstrous son, the Minotaur. In the third batch of young people, Theseus was present and decided to intervene in the problem. He entered the place of a young man and left for Crete to enter the Labyrinth. In the match, he switches on black sails to sail and his father handed him a set of white sails, to use in case he emerged victorious in the mission.

     Indeed, a beautiful Ariadne, daughter of the mighty Minos, fell in love with Theseus and arranged with him a way to find a way out of the terrible labyrinth. A very simple medium: just a ball of yarn. Ariadne would stand at the entrance to the palace, holding the romance Theseus would unfold as she progressed through the maze. To get back to the starting point, he would just have to go following the thread that Ariadne would hold tightly. Theseus stepped forward and killed the monster with a single blow to the head.

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