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[23]

Having made a compact with Pirithous that they would marry daughters of Zeus, Theseus, with the help of Pirithous, carried off Helen from Sparta for himself, when she was twelve years old,1 and in the endeavor to win Persephone as a bride for Pirithous he went down to Hades. And the Dioscuri, with the Lacedaemonians and Arcadians, captured Athens and carried away Helen, and with her Aethra, daughter of Pittheus, into captivity;2 but Demophon and Acamas fled. And the Dioscuri also brought back Menestheus from exile, and gave him the sovereignty of Athens.3


1 See above, Apollod. 3.10.7, with the note. Diod. 4.63.2 says that Helen was ten years old when she was carried off by Theseus and Pirithous.

2 Compare Diod. 4.63.3, 5; Plut. Thes. 32 and Plut. Thes. 34; Paus. 1.17.5; Paus. 2.22.6. According to these writers, it was not Athens but Aphidna (Aphidnae) that was captured by the Dioscuri.

3 Menestheus was one of the royal family of Athens, being a son of Peteos, who was a son of Orneus, who was a son of Erechtheus. See Plut. Thes. 32; Paus. 2.25.6. That he was restored and placed on the throne by Castor and Pollux during the absence of Theseus is mentioned also by Paus. 1.17.6 and Ael., Var. Hist. iv.5. Compare Plut. Thes. 32ff.

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