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[6] After the death of Pandion his sons marched against Athens, expelled the Metionids, and divided the government in four; but Aegeus had the whole power.1 The first wife whom he married was Meta, daughter of Hoples, and the second was Chalciope, daughter of Rhexenor.2 As no child was born to him, he feared his brothers, and went to Pythia and consulted the oracle concerning the begetting of children. The god answered him:“ The bulging mouth of the wineskin, O best of men,
Loose not until thou hast reached the height of Athens.3
” Not knowing what to make of the oracle, he set out on his return to Athens.


1 Compare Paus. 1.5.4, Paus. 1.39.4, according to whom Aegeus, as the eldest of the sons of Pandion, obtained the sovereignty of Attica, while his brother Nisus, relinquishing his claim to his elder brother, was invested with the kingdom of Megara. As to the fourfold partition of Attica among the sons of Pandion, about which the ancients were not agreed, see Strab. 9.1.6; Scholiast on Aristoph. Lys. 58, and on Wasps 1223.

2 Compare Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 494, who may have copied Apollodorus.

3 As to the oracle, the begetting of Theseus, and the tokens of his human paternity, see Plut. Thes. 3 and Plut. Thes. 6; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 494; Hyginus, Fab. 37. As to the tokens, compare Diod. 4.59.1, 6; Paus. 1.27.8; Paus. 2.32.7. Theseus is said to have claimed to be a son of Poseidon, because the god had consorted with his mother; and in proof of his marine descent he dived into the sea and brought up a golden crown, the gift of Amphitrite, together with a golden ring which Minos had thrown into the sea in order to test his claim to be a son of the sea-god. See Bacch. 16(17).33ff. , ed. Jebb; Paus. 1.17.3; Hyginus, Ast. ii.5. The picturesque story was painted by Micon in the sanctuary of Theseus at Athens Paus. 1.17.3, and is illustrated by some Greek vase-paintings. See Frazer, commentary on Pausanias; vol. ii. pp. 157ff.

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