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Aphidnæ, however, was taken, and Athens itself in danger. Menestheus seized this opportunity of persuading the people to receive the Tyndaridæ into the city, and to treat them hospitably ; since they only levied war against Theseus, who was the aggressor, and were benefactors and deliverers to the rest of the Athenians. Their behaviour confirmed what he stated; for, though conquerors, they desired only to be admitted to the Mysteries, to which they had no less claim than Hercules o, since they were equally allied to the city. This request was easily granted them, and they were adopted by Aphidnus, as Hercules was by Pylius 93. They had also divine honours paid them, with the title of Anakes, which was given them, either on account of the truce [anoche] which they made, or because of their great care that no one should be injured, though there were so many troops in the city (for the phrase anakós echein signifies to keep, or take care of any thing; and for this reason, perhaps, kings are called Anaktes): some again say, they were called Anakes, because oothe appearance of their stars; for the Athenians use the words anekas and anekathen instead of ano and anothen, that is, above' or 'on high 98.'
We are told that Æthra (the mother of Theseus) who was now a prisoner, was carried to Lacedæmon, and thence with Helen to Troy; and that Homer confirms it when, speaking of those that waited upon Helen, he mentions
9For Castor and Pollux, like him, were sons of Jupiter, from whom the Athenians too pretended to derive their origin. It was necessary, however, that they should be naturalized before they were admitted to the Mysteries; and accordingly they were naturalized by adoption.
King of Thespiæ in Bæotia. * 94 Of these M. Ricard prefers the second, as best confirmed by the name given to kings. *
The beauteous Clymene,
Others reject this verse, as not Homer's 95; as they do also the story of Munychus, who is said to have been the fruit of a secret commerce between Demophoon and Laodice, and brought up by Æthra at Troy. But Ister, in the thirteenth book of his History of Attica, gives an account of Æthra different from all the rest. He was informed (it seems) that after the battle, in which Alexander or Paris was routed by Achilles and Patroclus in Thessaly near the river Sperchius, Hector took and plundered the city of Træzene, and carried off Æthra, who had been left there. But this is highly improbable.
It happened that Hercules, in passing through the country of the Molossi, was entertained by Aïdoneus the king; who accidentally made mention of the bold attempts of Theseus and Pirithöus, and of the manner in which he had punished them when discovered. Hercules was much disturbed to hear of the inglorious death of the one, and the danger of the other. As to Pirithöus however, he thought it vain to make any expostulations; but he begged to have Theseus released, and Aïdoneus granted his request. Theseus, thus set at liberty, returned to Athens, where his party was not yet entirely suppressed: and whatever temples and groves the city had assigned to him, he consecrated
95 It appears indeed scarcely probable, that Helen should have as a waiting-maid one, who was her mother-in-law and had been a queen : and yet this story of Æthra's captivity seems not a little corroborated by a picture, which existed at Delphi, where she was to be seen shaven as a slave, and her grandson Demophoon is represented as meditating the means of her delirer (Pausan. X. 25:) *
them all, except four, to Hercules, and called them (as Philochorus relates) instead of Thesea, Heraclea 9. But desiring to preside in the commonwealth, and direct it as before, he found himself encompassed with turbulence and sedition : for those who were his enemies before his departure, had now added to their hatred a contempt of his authority; and he beheld the people so generally corrupted that, instead of silently executing his commands, they wished to be flattered into their duty. Upon attempting to reduce them by force, he was overpowered by the prevalence of faction: finding his affairs therefore desperate, he privately sent his children into Eubæa to Elephenor, the son of Chalcodon; and after uttering solemn execrations against the Athenians at Gargettus, where there is still a place thence called Araterion, he himself sailed to Scyros”. There he imagined he should find hospitable treatment, as he had a paternal estate in that island. Lycomedes was then king of the Scyrians. To him therefore he applied, and desired to be put in possession of his lands, as intending to settle there. Some say, he asked assistance of him against the Athenians. But Lycomedes, either jealous of the glory of Theseus, or willing to oblige senestheus 98, having led him to the highest cliffs of the country on pretence of thence showing him his lands, threw him down headlong from the rocks, and
96 This consecration of Theseus is represented by Euripides, in his Hercules Raving, as promising to his deliverer. *
97 This island is opposite to Eubea. The ungrateful Athenians were in process of time made so sensible of the effects of his curse, that to appease his ghost they appointed solemn sacrifices and divine honours to his memory.
Or, as others state, having detected him in his endeavours to corrupt the loyalty of his subjects, and the chastity of his
killed hiṁ. Others say he fell of himself, missing his step, as he took a walk according to his custom after supper: At that time his death was disregarded, and Menestheus quietly possessed the kingdom of Athens; while the sons of Theseus attended Elephenor, as private persons, to the Trojan war. But, Menestheus dying in the same expedition, they returned and recovered the kingdom. In succeeding ages, the Athenians honoured Theseus as a demi-god; induced to it as well by other reasons, as because, when they were fighting the Medes at Marathon, a considerable part of the army thought they saw the apparition of Theseus completely armed, and bearing down before them upon the barbarians.
After the Median war, when Phædon was archon", the Athenians consulting the oracle of Apollo were ordered by the priestess to take up the bones of Theseus, and lay them in an honourable place at Athens, where they were to be preserved with
Codrus, the seventeenth king of Athens, contemporary with Saul, devoted himself to death for the sake of his country, in the contest with the Dorians and Heraclidæ, B. C. 1070; having learned, that the oracle had promised victory to those, whose chief should fall in battle. His subjects, upon this account, conceived such veneration for him, that they esteemed none worthy to bear the royal title after him: and therefore committed the management of the state to elective magistrates, to whom they gave the title of Archons;' choosing Medon, the eldest son of Codrus, to this new dignity. These were at first for life, and of this description there were thirteen, who governed for the space of 316 years. After the death of Alcmxon, the last of them, the office was made decennial, still however continuing in the same family, till the death of Eryxias (or, according to others, of Thesias) the seventh of this second class of supreme magistrates. In him the family of Codrus (the Medontidae) ending, the Athenians created annual Archons, and instead of one-appointed nine every year. Of these state-officers see a farther account, in the Notes on the Life of Solon. VOL, I.
the greatest care
But it was difficult to take them up, or even to discover the grave, on account of the savage and inhospitable disposition of the barbarians who dwelt in Scyros 101. Nevertheless, Cimon having taken the island (as is related in his Life) and being very desirous to find out the place where Theseus was buried, by chance saw an eagle, on a certain eminence, breaking the ground, we are told, and scratching it up with his talons. This he considered as divine direc tion; and, digging there, found the coffin of a man of extraordinary size, with a lance of brass and a sword lying by it. When these remains were brought to Athens in Cimon's galley, the Athenians received them with splendid processions and sacrifices; and were as much transported, as if Theseus himself had returned to the city. He lies interred in the middle of the town, near the Gymnasium: and this is a place of refuge for servants and all persons of mean condition, who fly from men in power 102; as Theseus, while he lived, was a humane and benevolent patron, who graciously received the petitions of the indigent. The chief sacrifice is offered to him on the eighth of Pyanepsion, the day upon which he returned with the young men from Crete. They sacrifice to him likewise on each eighth day of
100 How nearly superstition and infidelity are allied! Who does not recollect, in a more modern instance, the solecistic mummery of bones transferred by atheists to a Pantheon; and that divinity conferred by apotheosis upon mortals, which was denied to God!
101 This account of the Scyrians can hardly be admitted by those, who recollect that Achilles had been sent, seven centuries before the age of Cimon, to the court of Lycomedes; and that Scyros, from it's proximity to Euboea, must necessarily have had some intercourse with Greece. *
102 Could he have had a nobler monumenti*