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Δεκελέων repeats and emphasizes Δεκελεῆθεν; cf. ix. 92 ἀνδρὸς Ἀπολλωνιήτεω, Ἀπολλωνίης δέ, vii. 80. For Decelea cf. c. 15. 1 n.


The old Attic myth is but loosely connected with the anecdotes of Sophanes; cf. vi. 121. It is probably a temple legend serving to explain the worship of the Dioscuri in Athens (as Anakes in the Anakeion, near the precinct of Aglauros; cf. viii. 53. 1 n.). It is given in fuller if later forms by Plutarch (Theseus, 31 f.), Diodorus (iv. 63), Pausanias (i. 17. 5), and was treated by the poets Alcman (Paus. i. 41. 4), Stesichorus (Paus. ii. 22. 6), Pindar (Paus. i. 41. 5), and on the chest of Cypselus (Paus. v. 19. 3; Dio Chrys., p. 163). Theseus, with his comrade Peirithous, seized the girl Helen as she was dancing at the feast of Artemis Orthia, and placed her under the care of his mother Aethra in the hill-fort of Aphidna. Whilst he was away, having gone with Peirithous to carry off Persephone, the Dioscuri came to Attica to rescue their sister.

Δεκελός, eponymous hero of Decelea, may have had treachery imputed to him on account of his name (δεικνύναι); the insolence (ὕβρις) of Theseus consisted in his deposition of the local princes and unification of Attica under one ruler (Plut. loc. cit.). The later versions (cf. Plut. l. c.), which made the Dioscuri besiege Athens itself (following Alcman), substitute Academus for Decelus, and the Academy as the spot spared by the Spartans.

Ἀφίδνας (Ἀφίδνα), one of the twelve Cecropian townships (Strabo 396), a deme of the tribe Acantis, is probably the ruined fortress on the isolated hill Kotroni, six miles east of Decelea (Frazer, Paus. ii. 163).

Τιτακός: eponymous hero of the deme Τιτακίδαι, not far from Aphidna; like all the deme heroes he is regarded as autochthonous.


προεδρίη: seats of honour at public games, and ἀτελείη, exemption from the tax on foreigners, were often granted as marks of honour to benefactors; cf. i. 54. 2; Hicks 89, 126, 134, 165. Here they are regarded as such distinctive marks of friendship that H. rather ungrammatically attaches to them the crowning proof of Sparta's favour, abstention from wasting the land of Decelea in the Peloponnesian war.

ἐς τὸν πόλεμον. H. elsewhere (vii. 137. 1) refers in similar terms to the Peloponnesian war, implying it was going on while he was writing. The sparing of Decelea no doubt refers to the five early invasions (431-425 B. C.); in 431 at least Archidamus wasted the country surrounding it; cf. Thuc. ii. 23. H. did not live to see Decelea occupied by Agis (413 B. C.); cf. Introd. § 8 f.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.41.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.41.5
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.22.6
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.19.3
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.23
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