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date: 03 February 2023



  • Herbert Jennings Rose
  •  and Jenny March


Aethra, in mythology daughter of *Pittheus, king of Troezen, and mother of *Theseus by *Aegeus. Since Theseus was often said to be son of *Poseidon, various explanations were given: Aethra was sent by *Athena (hence called Apaturia, ‘the Deceitful’) to the island of Hiera or Sphaeria, where Poseidon came to her (Paus. 2. 33. 1); Poseidon visited her the same night as Aegeus (Apollod. 3. 15. 7, Hyg. Fab. 37. 1); it was a tale invented by Pittheus to save her reputation (Plut. Thes. 6). In the Iliad (3. 144) she is mentioned as waiting-maid to *Helen; a story as old as the *Epic Cycle (Iliu Persis fr. 4 Davies) and illustrated on the chest of *Cypselus (Paus. 5. 19. 3) says that she was carried off by the *Dioscuri when they came to rescue Helen from her abduction by Theseus (Apollod. 3. 10. 7, Epit.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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