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[11] But Theseus succeeded to the sovereignty of Athens, and killed the sons of Pallas, fifty in number;1 likewise all who would oppose him were killed by him, and he got the whole government to himself.

1 Pallas was the brother of Aegeus (see above, Apollod. 3.15.5); hence his fifty sons were cousins to Theseus. So long as Aegeus was childless, his nephews hoped to succeed to the throne; but when Theseus appeared from Troezen, claiming to be the king's son and his heir apparent, they were disappointed and objected to his succession, on the ground that he was a stranger and a foreigner. Accordingly, when Theseus succeeded to the crown, Pallas and his fifty sons rebelled against him, but were defeated and slain. See Plut. Thes. 3 and Plut. Thes. 13; Paus. 1.22.2; Paus. 1.28.10; Scholiast on Eur. Hipp. 35, who quotes from Philochorus a passage about the rebellion. In order to be purified from the guilt incurred by killing his cousins, Theseus went into banishment for a year along with his wife Phaedra. The place of their exile was Troezen, where Theseus had been born; and it was there that Phaedra saw and conceived a fatal passion for her stepson Hippolytus, and laid the plot of death. See Eur. Hipp. 34ff.; Paus. 1.22.2. According to a different tradition, Theseus was tried for murder before the court of the Delphinium at Athens, and was acquitted on the plea of justifiable homicide (Paus. 1.28.10).

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