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Aethra bore to Aegeus a son Theseus, and when he was grown up, he pushed away the rock and took up the sandals and the sword,1 and hastened on foot to Athens. And he cleared2 the road, which had been beset by evildoers. For first in Epidaurus he slew Periphetes, son of Hephaestus and Anticlia, who was surnamed the Clubman from the club which he carried. For being crazy on his legs he carried an iron club, with which he despatched the passers-by. That club Theseus wrested from him and continued to carry about.3


1 The tokens of paternity left by his human father Aegeus. See above, Apollod. 3.15.7.

2 Literally, “tamed.” As to the adventures of Theseus on his road to Athens, see Bacch. 17(18).16ff., ed. Jebb; Diod. 4.59; Plut. Thes. 8ff.; Paus. 1.44.8; Paus. 2.1.3ff.; Scholiast on Lucian, Jupiter Tragoedus 21, pp. 64ff., ed. H. Rabe; Ov. Met. 7.433ff.; Ovid, Ibis 407ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 38.

3 Compare Diod. 4.59.2; Plut. Thes. 8.1; Paus. 2.1.4; Ov. Met. 7.436; Hyginus, Fab. 38. Periphetes dwelt in Epidaurus, which Theseus had to traverse on his way from Troezen to the Isthmus of Corinth. No writer but Apollodorus mentions that this malefactor was weak on his legs; the infirmity suggests that he may have used his club as a crutch on which to hobble along like a poor cripple, till he was within striking distance of his unsuspecting victims, when he surprised them by suddenly lunging out and felling them to the ground.

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