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In Greek mythology, Aegeus
Aegeus
(Ancient Greek: Αἰγεύς, translit. Aigeús) or Aegeas (Αιγέας, translit. Aigéas), was an archaic figure in the founding myth of Athens. The "goat-man" who gave his name to the Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
was, next to Poseidon, the father of Theseus, the founder of Athenian institutions and one of the kings of Athens.

Contents

1 The Myth

1.1 His reign 1.2 Conflict with Crete 1.3 Theseus
Theseus
and the Minotaur

2 Legacy 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

The Myth[edit]

Themis and Aegeus. Attic red-figure kylix, 440–430 BC

His reign[edit] Upon the death of the king, Pandion II, Aegeus
Aegeus
and his three brothers, Pallas, Nisos, and Lykos, took control of Athens
Athens
from Metion, who had seized the throne from Pandion. They divided the government in four and Aegeus
Aegeus
became king. Aegeus' first wife was Meta,[1] and his second wife was Chalciope. Still without a male heir, Aegeus
Aegeus
asked the oracle at Delphi
Delphi
for advice. Her cryptic words were "Do not loosen the bulging mouth of the wineskin until you have reached the height of Athens, lest you die of grief."[2] Aegeus
Aegeus
did not understand the prophecy and was disappointed.

Thésée reconnu par son père by Antoine-Placide Gibert (1832)

This puzzling oracle forced Aegeus
Aegeus
to visit Pittheus, king of Troezen, who was famous for his wisdom and skill at expounding oracles. Pittheus understood the prophecy and introduced Aegeus
Aegeus
to his daughter, Aethra, when Aegeus
Aegeus
was drunk.[3] They lay with each other, and then in some versions, Aethra waded to the island of Sphairia (a.k.a. Calauria) and bedded Poseidon. When Aethra became pregnant, Aegeus
Aegeus
decided to return to Athens. Before leaving, he buried his sandal, shield, and sword under a huge rock and told her that, when their son grew up, he should move the rock and bring the weapons to his father, who would acknowledge him. Upon his return to Athens, Aegeus
Aegeus
married Medea, who had fled from Corinth and the wrath of Jason. Aegeus
Aegeus
and Medea
Medea
had one son named Medus. Conflict with Crete[edit] While visiting in Athens, King Minos' son, Androgeus
Androgeus
managed to defeat Aegeus
Aegeus
in every contest during the Panathenaic Games. Out of envy, Aegeus
Aegeus
sent him to conquer the Marathonian Bull, which killed him.[4] Minos
Minos
was angry and declared war on Athens. He offered the Athenians peace, however, under the condition that Athens
Athens
would send seven young men and seven young women every nine years to Crete
Crete
to be fed to the Minotaur, a vicious monster. This continued until Theseus
Theseus
killed the Minotaur
Minotaur
with the help of Ariadne, Minos' daughter.

Arrival or departure of a young warrior or hero, maybe Theseus arriving at Athens
Athens
and being recognized because of his sword by Aegeus. Apulian red-figured volute-krater, ca. 410–400 BC, from Ruvo (South Italy).

Theseus
Theseus
and the Minotaur[edit] Main article: Theseus In Troezen, Theseus
Theseus
grew up and became a brave young man. He managed to move the rock and took his father's weapons. His mother then told him the identity of his father and that he should take the weapons back to him at Athens
Athens
and be acknowledged. Theseus
Theseus
decided to go to Athens
Athens
and had the choice of going by sea, which was the safe way, or by land, following a dangerous path with thieves and bandits all the way. Young, brave and ambitious, Theseus
Theseus
decided to go to Athens
Athens
by land. When Theseus
Theseus
arrived, he did not reveal his true identity. He was welcomed by Aegeus, who was suspicious about the stranger who came to Athens. Medea
Medea
tried to have Theseus
Theseus
killed by encouraging Aegeus
Aegeus
to ask him to capture the Marathonian Bull, but Theseus
Theseus
succeeded. She tried to poison him, but at the last second, Aegeus
Aegeus
recognized his son and knocked the poisoned cup out of Theseus' hand. Father and son were thus reunited, and Medea
Medea
was sent away to Asia.[5] Theseus
Theseus
departed for Crete. Upon his departure, Aegeus
Aegeus
told him to put up white sails when returning if he was successful in killing the Minotaur. However, when Theseus
Theseus
returned, he forgot these instructions. When Aegeus
Aegeus
saw the black sails coming into Athens, mistaken in his belief that his son had been slain, he killed himself by jumping from a height : according to some, from the Acropolis or another unnamed rock[6]; according to some Latin authors, into the sea which was therefore known as the Aegean Sea.[7] Sophocles' tragedy Aegeus
Aegeus
has been lost, but Aegeus
Aegeus
features in Euripides' Medea. Legacy[edit] At Athens, the traveller Pausanias was informed in the second-century CE that the cult of Aphrodite Urania
Aphrodite Urania
above the Kerameikos
Kerameikos
was so ancient that it had been established by Aegeus, whose sisters were barren, and he still childless himself.[8] See also[edit]

Catullus, LXIV. Plutarch, Theseus.

References[edit]

^ Compare Metis. ^ Plutarch, Vita of Theseus; Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke 3,15.6. ^ Scholion on Euripides' Hippolytus, noted by Karl Kerenyi, The Heroes of the Greeks (1959) p 218 note 407. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke 3.15.7. The identification of the festival as the Panathenaia
Panathenaia
is an interpolated anachronism. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Epitome of the Bibliotheke, 1.5–7; First Vatican Mythographer, 48. ^ Diodorus Siculus 4.61.4; Plutarch, Vita of Theseus
Theseus
17 and 22; Pausanias 1.22.5; Catullus
Catullus
64.215–245 ^ Hyginus, Fabula 41, 43; Servius on the Aeneid 3.74. ^ Pausanias, 1.14.6.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aegeus.

 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Aegeus". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.  Theoi Project - Aegeus

Regnal titles

Preceded by Pandion II King of Athens Succeeded by Theseus

v t e

Medea

Family

Aeëtes
Aeëtes
(father) Chalciope (sister) Apsyrtus (brother) Jason
Jason
(1st husband) Aegeus
Aegeus
(2nd husband) Mermeros and Pheres (sons) Alcimenes and Tisander (sons) Medus (son) Thessalus (son)

Films

A Dream of Passion
A Dream of Passion
(1978) Medea
Medea
(1969) Medea
Medea
(1988) Médée
Médée
(2001) Medea
Medea
(2005) Medea
Medea
Miracle (2007)

Operas

Médée
Médée
(1693, Charpentier) Medea
Medea
(1775, Benda) Médée
Médée
(1797, Cherubini) Medea
Medea
in Corinto (1813, Mayr) Medea
Medea
(1843, Pacini) Medea
Medea
(2010, Reimann)

Plays

Medea
Medea
(431 BC) Médée
Médée
(1635) Médée
Médée
(1946) The Hungry Woman (1995)

Ballets

Jason
Jason
et Médée
Médée
(1763) La hija de Cólquide
La hija de Cólquide
(1944) Medea
Medea
(1946)

Musicals

Medea, the Musical (1994) Marie Christine
Marie Christine
(1999)

Music

Medea's Dance of Vengeance (1956)

Art

Medea
Medea
(painting) Jason
Jason
and Medea
Medea
(painting) Medea
Medea
statue

Other depictions

Medea
Medea
(character) " Medea
Medea
Culpa"

Authority control

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