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[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.1 Thence he was driven by Menestheus and went to Lycomedes, who threw him down an abyss and killed him.2

1 As to Theseus and Pirithous in hell, and the rescue of Theseus by Hercules, see above, Apollod. 2.5.12 with the note. The great painter Polygnotus painted the two heroes seated in chairs, Theseus holding his friend's sword and his own, while Pirithous gazed wistfully at the now useless blades, that had done such good service in the world of light and life. See Paus. 10.29.9. No ancient author, however, except Apollodorus in the present passage, expressly mentions the Chair of Forgetfulness, though Horace seems to allude to it (Hor. Carm. 4.7.27ff.), where he speaks of “the Lethaean bonds” which held fast Pirithous, and which his faithful friend was powerless to break. But when Apollodorus speaks of the heroes growing to their seats, he may be following the old poet Panyasis, who said that Theseus and Pirithous were not pinioned to their chairs, but that the rock growing to their flesh held them as in a vice (Paus. 10.29.9). Indeed, Theseus stuck so fast that, on being wrenched away by Hercules, he left a piece of his person adhering to the rock, which, according to some people, was the reason why the Athenians ever afterwards were so remarkably spare in that part of their frame. See Suidas, s.v. Λίσποι; Scholiast on Aristoph. Kn. 1368; compare Aulus Gellius x.16.13.

2 Compare Plut. Thes. 35; Paus. 1.17.6; Diod. 4.62.4.

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