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1. Third, he slew at Crommyon the sow that was called Phaea after the old woman who bred it;1 that sow, some say, was the offspring of Echidna and Typhon. [2] Fourth, he slew Sciron, the Corinthian, son of Pelops, or, as some say, of Poseidon. He in the Megarian territory held the rocks called after him Scironian, and compelled passers-by to wash his feet, and in the act of washing he kicked them into the deep to be the prey of a huge turtle. [3] But Theseus seized him by the feet and threw him into the sea.2 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.3 [4] Sixth, he slew Damastes, whom some call Polypemon.4 He had his dwelling beside the road, and made up two beds, one small and the other big; and offering hospitality to the passers-by, he laid the short men on the big bed and hammered them, to make them fit the bed; but the tall men he laid on the little bed and sawed off the portions of the body that projected beyond it.

So, having cleared the road, Theseus came to Athens. [5] But Medea, being then wedded to Aegeus, plotted against him5 and persuaded Aegeus to beware of him as a traitor. And Aegeus, not knowing his own son, was afraid and sent him against the Marathonian bull. [6] And when Theseus had killed it, Aegeus presented to him a poison which he had received the selfsame day from Medea. But just as the draught was about to be administered to him, he gave his father the sword, and on recognizing it Aegeus dashed the cup from his hands.6 And when Theseus was thus made known to his father and informed of the plot, he expelled Medea. [7]

And he was numbered among those who were to be sent as the third tribute to the Minotaur; or, as some affirm, he offered himself voluntarily.7 And as the ship had a black sail, Aegeus charged his son, if he returned alive, to spread white sails on the ship.8 [8] And when he came to Crete, Ariadne, daughter of Minos, being amorously disposed to him, offered to help him if he would agree to carry her away to Athens and have her to wife. Theseus having agreed on oath to do so, she besought Daedalus to disclose the way out of the labyrinth. [9] And at his suggestion she gave Theseus a clue when he went in; Theseus fastened it to the door, and, drawing it after him, entered in.9 And having found the Minotaur in the last part of the labyrinth, he killed him by smiting him with his fists; and drawing the clue after him made his way out again. And by night he arrived with Ariadne and the children10 at Naxos. There Dionysus fell in love with Ariadne and carried her off;11 and having brought her to Lemnos he enjoyed her, and begat Thoas, Staphylus, Oenopion, and Peparethus.12 [10]

In his grief on account of Ariadne, Theseus forgot to spread white sails on his ship when he stood for port; and Aegeus, seeing from the acropolis the ship with a black sail, supposed that Theseus had perished; so he cast himself down and died.13 [11] But Theseus succeeded to the sovereignty of Athens, and killed the sons of Pallas, fifty in number;14 likewise all who would oppose him were killed by him, and he got the whole government to himself. [12]

On being apprized of the flight of Theseus and his company, Minos shut up the guilty Daedalus in the labyrinth, along with his son Icarus, who had been borne to Daedalus by Naucrate, a female slave of Minos. But Daedalus constructed wings for himself and his son, and enjoined his son, when he took to flight, neither to fly high, lest the glue should melt in the sun and the wings should drop off, nor to fly near the sea, lest the pinions should be detached by the damp. [13] But the infatuated Icarus, disregarding his father's injunctions, soared ever higher, till, the glue melting, he fell into the sea called after him Icarian, and perished.15 But Daedalus made his way safely to Camicus in Sicily. [14] And Minos pursued Daedalus, and in every country that he searched he carried a spiral shell and promised to give a great reward to him who should pass a thread through the shell, believing that by that means he should discover Daedalus. And having come to Camicus in Sicily, to the court of Cocalus, with whom Daedalus was concealed, he showed the spiral shell. Cocalus took it, and promised to thread it, and gave it to Daedalus; [15] and Daedalus fastened a thread to an ant, and, having bored a hole in the spiral shell, allowed the ant to pass through it. But when Minos found the thread passed through the shell, he perceived that Daedalus was with Cocalus, and at once demanded his surrender.16 Cocalus promised to surrender him, and made an entertainment for Minos; but after his bath Minos was undone by the daughters of Cocalus; some say, however, that he died through being drenched with boiling water.17 [16]

Theseus joined Hercules in his expedition against the Amazons and carried off Antiope, or, as some say, Melanippe; but Simonides calls her Hippolyte.18 Wherefore the Amazons marched against Athens, and having taken up a position about the Areopagus19 they were vanquished by the Athenians under Theseus. And though he had a son Hippolytus by the Amazon, [17] Theseus afterwards received from Deucalion20 in marriage Phaedra, daughter of Minos; and when her marriage was being celebrated, the Amazon that had before been married to him appeared in arms with her Amazons, and threatened to kill the assembled guests. But they hastily closed the doors and killed her. However, some say that she was slain in battle by Theseus. [18] And Phaedra, after she had borne two children, Acamas and Demophon, to Theseus, fell in love with the son he had by the Amazon, to wit, Hippolytus, and besought him to lie with her. Howbeit, he fled from her embraces, because he hated all women. But Phaedra, fearing that he might accuse her to his father, cleft open the doors of her bed-chamber, rent her garments, and falsely charged Hippolytus with an assault. [19] Theseus believed her and prayed to Poseidon that Hippolytus might perish. So, when Hippolytus was riding in his chariot and driving beside the sea, Poseidon sent up a bull from the surf, and the horses were frightened, the chariot dashed in pieces, and Hippolytus, entangled in the reins, was dragged to death. And when her passion was made public, Phaedra hanged herself.21 [20]

Ixion fell in love with Hera and attempted to force her; and when Hera reported it, Zeus, wishing to know if the thing were so, made a cloud in the likeness of Hera and laid it beside him; and when Ixion boasted that he had enjoyed the favours of Hera, Zeus bound him to a wheel, on which he is whirled by winds through the air; such is the penalty he pays. And the cloud, impregnated by Ixion, gave birth to Centaurus.22 [21]

“ And Theseus allied himself with Pirithous,23 when he engaged in war against the centaurs. For when Pirithous wooed Hippodamia, he feasted the centaurs because they were her kinsmen. But being unaccustomed to wine, they made themselves drunk by swilling it greedily, and when the bride was brought in, they attempted to violate her. But Pirithous, fully armed, with Theseus, joined battle with them, and Theseus killed many of them.

Zenobius, Cent. v. 33.

Caeneus was formerly a woman, but after that Poseidon had intercourse with her, she asked to become an invulnerable man; wherefore in the battle with the centaurs he thought scorn of wounds and killed many of the centaurs; but the rest of them surrounded him and by striking him with fir trees buried him in the earth.24 [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,25 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;26 but Demophon and Acamas fled. And the Dioscuri also brought back Menestheus from exile, and gave him the sovereignty of Athens.27 [24] But when Theseus arrived with Pirithous in Hades, he was beguiled; for, on the pretence that they were about to partake of good cheer, Hades bade them first be seated on the Chair of Forgetfulness, to which they grew and were held fast by coils of serpents. Pirithous, therefore, remained bound for ever, but Hercules brought Theseus up and sent him to Athens.28 Thence he was driven by Menestheus and went to Lycomedes, who threw him down an abyss and killed him.29 2.

Tantalus is punished in Hades by having a stone impending over him, by being perpetually in a lake and seeing at his shoulders on either side trees with fruit growing beside the lake. The water touches his jaws, but when he would take a draught of it, the water dries up; and when he would partake of the fruits, the trees with the fruits are lifted by winds as high as the clouds. Some say that he is thus punished because he blabbed to men the mysteries of the gods, and because he attempted to share ambrosia with his fellows.30 [2]

Broteas, a hunter, did not honor Artemis, and said that even fire could not hurt him. So he went mad and threw himself into fire.31 [3]

Pelops, after being slaughtered and boiled at the banquet of the gods, was fairer than ever when he came to life again,32 and on account of his surpassing beauty he became a minion of Poseidon, who gave him a winged chariot, such that even when it ran through the sea the axles were not wet.33 [4] Now Oenomaus, the king of Pisa, had a daughter Hippodamia,34 and whether it was that he loved her, as some say, or that he was warned by an oracle that he must die by the man that married her, no man got her to wife; for her father could not persuade her to cohabit with him, and her suitors were put by him to death. [5] For he had arms and horses given him by Ares, and he offered as a prize to the suitors the hand of his daughter, and each suitor was bound to take up Hippodamia on his own chariot and flee as far as the Isthmus of Corinth, and Oenomaus straightway pursued him, in full armour, and if he overtook him he slew him; but if the suitor were not overtaken, he was to have Hippodamia to wife. And in this way he slew many suitors, some say twelve;35 and he cut off the heads of the suitors and nailed them to his house.36 [6]

So Pelops also came a-wooing; and when Hippodamia saw his beauty, she conceived a passion for him, and persuaded Myrtilus, son of Hermes, to help him; for Myrtilus was charioteer to Oenomaus. [7] Accordingly Myrtilus, being in love with her and wishing to gratify her, did not insert the linchpins in the boxes of the wheels,37 and thus caused Oenomaus to lose the race and to be entangled in the reins and dragged to death; but according to some, he was killed by Pelops. And in dying he cursed Myrtilus, whose treachery he had discovered, praying that he might perish by the hand of Pelops. [8]

Pelops, therefore, got Hippodamia; and on his journey, in which he was accompanied by Myrtilus, he came to a certain place, and withdrew a little to fetch water for his wife, who was athirst; and in the meantime Myrtilus tried to rape her.38 But when Pelops learned that from her, he threw Myrtilus into the sea, called after him the Myrtoan Sea, at Cape Geraestus39; and Myrtilus, as he was being thrown, uttered curses against the house of Pelops. [9] When Pelops had reached the Ocean and been cleansed by Hephaestus,40 he returned to Pisa in Elis and succeeded to the kingdom of Oenomaus, but not till he had subjugated what was formerly called Apia and Pelasgiotis, which he called Peloponnesus after himself.41 [10]

The sons of Pelops were Pittheus, Atreus, Thyestes, and others.42 Now the wife of Atreus was Aerope, daughter of Catreus, and she loved Thyestes. And Atreus once vowed to sacrifice to Artemis the finest of his flocks; but when a golden lamb appeared, they say that he neglected to perform his vow, [11] and having choked the lamb, he deposited it in a box and kept it there, and Aerope gave it to Thyestes, by whom she had been debauched. For the Mycenaeans had received an oracle which bade them choose a Pelopid for their king, and they had sent for Atreus and Thyestes. And when a discussion took place concerning the kingdom, Thyestes declared to the multitude that the kingdom ought to belong to him who owned the golden lamb, and when Atreus agreed, Thyestes produced the lamb and was made king. [12] But Zeus sent Hermes to Atreus and told him to stipulate with Thyestes that Atreus should be king if the sun should go backward; and when Thyestes agreed, the sun set in the east; hence the deity having plainly attested the usurpation of Thyestes, Atreus got the kingdom and banished Thyestes.43 [13] But afterwards being apprized of the adultery, he sent a herald to Thyestes with a proposal of accommodation; and when he had lured Thyestes by a pretence of friendship, he slaughtered the sons, Aglaus, Callileon, and Orchomenus, whom Thyestes had by a Naiad nymph, though they had sat down as suppliants on the altar of Zeus. And having cut them limb from limb and boiled them, he served them up to Thyestes without the extremities; and when Thyestes had eaten heartily of them, he showed him the extremities, and cast him out of the country.44 [14] But seeking by all means to pay Atreus out, Thyestes inquired of the oracle on the subject, and received an answer that it could be done if he were to beget a son by intercourse with his own daughter. He did so accordingly, and begot Aegisthus by his daughter. And Aegisthus, when he was grown to manhood and had learned that he was a son of Thyestes, killed Atreus, and restored the kingdom to Thyestes.45 [15] “ But46 the nurse took Agamemnon and Menelaus
to Polyphides, lord of Sicyon,47
who again sent them to Oeneus, the Aetolian.
Not long afterwards Tyndareus brought them back again,
and they drove away Thyestes to dwell in Cytheria,
after that they had taken an oath of him at the altar of Hera, to which he had fled.
And they became the sons-in-law of Tyndareus by marrying his daughters,
Agamemnon getting Clytaemnestra to wife,
after he had slain her spouse Tantalus, the son of Thyestes,
together with his newborn babe, while Menelaus got Helen.
” [16]

And Agamemnon reigned over the Mycenaeans and married Clytaemnestra, daughter of Tyndareus, after slaying her former husband Tantalus, son of Thyestes, with his child.

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