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[3] But Theseus seized him by the feet and threw him into the sea.1 Fifth, in Eleusis he slew Cercyon, son of Branchus and a nymph Argiope. This Cercyon compelled passers-by to wrestle, and in wrestling killed them. But Theseus lifted him up on high and dashed him to the ground.2


1 Compare Bacch. 17(18).24ff., ed. Jebb; Diod. 4.59.4; Plut. Thes. 10; Paus. 1.44.8; Scholiast on Eur. Hipp. 979; Scholiast on Lucian, Jupiter Tragoedus 21, p. 65, ed. H. Rabe; Ov. Met. 7.443ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 38; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Theb. i.333; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 52, 117 (First Vatican Mythographer 167; Second Vatican Mythographer 127). Curiously enough, the Second Vatican Mythographer attributes the despatching of Sciron, not to Theseus, but to the artist Daedalus. The Megarians, as we learn from Plutarch, indignantly denied the defamatory reports current as to the character and pursuits of their neighbour Sciron, whom they represented as a most respectable man, the foe of robbers, the friend of the virtuous, and connected by marriage with families of the highest quality; but their efforts to whitewash the blackguard appear to have been attended with little success. The Scironian Rocks, to which Sciron was supposed to have given his name, are a line of lofty cliffs rising sheer from the sea; a narrow, crumbling ledge about half way up their face afforded a perilous foothold, from which the adventurous traveller looked down with horror on the foam of the breakers far below. The dangers of the path were obviated about the middle of the nineteenth century by the construction of a road and railway along the coast. See Frazer's note on Paus. 1.44.6 (vol. ii. pp. 546ff. ).

2 Compare Bacch. 17(18).26ff., ed. Jebb; Diod. 4.59.5; Plut. Thes. 11; Paus. 1.39.3; Scholiast on Lucian, Jupiter Tragoedus 21, p. 65, ed. H. Rabe; Ov. Met. 7.439; Hyginus, Fab. 38, who calls Cercyon a son of Vulcan (Hephaestus). The place associated with the story, known as the wrestling-school of Cercyon, was near Eleusis, on the road to MegaraPausanias, 1.39.3). The Scholiast on Lucian, l.c. says that it was near Eleutherae, but he is probably in error; for if the place were near Eleutherae, it must have been on the road from Eleusis to Thebes, which is not the road that Theseus would take on his way from the Isthmus of Corinth to Athens.

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