Six Labors of Theseus
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When Theseus was young, he was brought up in Troezen, which is a small city that lies to the south of Athens. He was raised by his mother, who never told him who his father was. Both Poseidon, the god of the sea, and King Aegeus, were suspected as being his father. Aethra, Theseus’s mother, told him that if he returned King Aegeus’ sandals and sword to him, he will then learn the true identity of his dad. The journey to where King Aegeus lived was filled with trials, six to be exact. Here’s the story of Theseus and the Six Labors he underwent while journeying to King Aegeus:
Labor 1 – Periphetes
Theseus met Periphetes, a son of Anticleia and Hephaestus, after reaching Epidaurus. According to some versions, Periphetes had one eye like a Cyclops and lame in one leg. He used to rob and kill the travelers with his bronze club while roaming on the road from Athens to Troezen. Theseus tricked Periphetes to ensure that his club was really made of bronze club and thrashed his head with it and killed him.
Labor 2 – Sinis
Sinis, an Isthmain, killed travelers by tieing them to two pine trees and bending them to the ground. The victim was torn apart, according to some versions, as Sinis used to tie them to the brought down branches of the two pine trees. Theseus killed Sinis by using the same method on him! He tied Sinis to two trees and used the momentum of the trees to bend him to the ground.
When Sinis was killed, Perigune, Sinis’ beautiful daughter, fled into the dense forest. Theseus searched her everywhere with a promise not to injure her and respect her. Later on, Theseus had sex with her and born Melanippus, his first male child. Afterwards she married to Oechalian Deioneus.
Labor 3 – The Crommyonian Sow
Crommyon, which was located in the northern part of Ancient Greece, in the north Isthmus was terrorized by a monstrous wild pig, named the Crommyonian Sow. This sow belonged to Phaea, who was an old witch. Some versions described theCrommyonian Sow as a child of Echidna and Typhon. Others credited the sow with different parentage. Theseus killed the Crommyonian Sow and its mistress as soon as he arrived in Crommyon.
Labor 4 – Sciron
Scrion, the son of Poseidon or Pelops and prohibited Isthmian, lived at a cliff on the Saronic coast, Sceironian Rocks, of the Corinth, Isthmus. He would kill travellers that were passing through these rocks by forcing them to wash their feet and then kicking them over the cliff. Theseus tricked Sciron by telling him to wash his feet. When Sciron bent over to do so, Theseus kicked him over the cliff.
Labor 5 – Cercyon
The king of Eleusis, Cercyon, was a strong man who challenged those passing through his lands to a wrestling match, passing through the roads around Eleusis. Although he promised to give his kingdom to the winner, the losers weren’t safe – they were killed. As you can imagine, there were never any winners! Theseus defeated the king skillfully instead of using his physical power and captured his kingdom after killing him.
Labor 6 – Procrustes
The son of Poseidon, Procrustes, controlled the path between Athens and Eleusis on Mount Korydallos, Erineus. He invited all those who traveled his way to help him with a blacksmithing task, which often resulted in the deaths of those who tried to help. Instead, Theseus beheaded him along with cutting his legs with his own axe.
As you can see, Theseus underwent man challenging on the way to finding King Aegeus in order to learn who his father was. In the end, Theseus ultimately learned that both Poseidon and King Aegeus were considered to be his father.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by GreekBoston.com