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date: 08 February 2023


, Athenian hero


, Athenian hero
  • Emily Kearns


Aegeus, Athenian hero, father of *Theseus. As son of *Pandion and brother of *Pallas (2), *Nisus (1), and *Lycus (1), he received at the division of *Attica the area around Athens, although in Beazley, ARV2 259. 1 his place is taken by Orneus, indicating that he may be a latecomer in this group. When king of Athens, he consulted the *Delphic oracle about his childlessness, but failing to understand the reply (a figurative injunction to abstain from sex until his return home) fathered Theseus on *Aethra, daughter of Pittheus, king of Troezen. Later he married *Medea, who attempted to poison Theseus on his arrival in Athens, and was therefore driven out by him. When Theseus returned from Crete, he or his steersman forgot to raise the agreed sign on the ship, and Aegeus, thinking his son was dead, threw himself off the acropolis or into the sea (in this version called ‘Aegean’, Αἰγαῖον πέλαγος, after him).


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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