Greek Hero: Theseus

The heroes of Greek myth are more than human, yet less than gods. However, using their supernatural powers for protection and war, they are and were praised as religious symbols, giving them a demigod-like status. Many of the prominent Greek heroes such as Achilles and Odysseus were involved in the famous Trojan War, in which the Achaeans (Greeks) waged war on the city of Troy after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta.

MythDen.com - Theseus Image

Theseus is said to be the greatest hero of Athens, yet there is some confusion surrounding his who his parents were. Many fables say that he is the son of Aegeus and Aethra, however, others suggest that Aethra waded out to the island of Sphairia and slept with Poseidon. Theseus was the king of Athens and an important political figure, responsible for the unification of ancient Attica under the single banner of Athens. Theseus came of age whilst still living in his birthplace of Troizen, he proved himself by lifting the boulder under which his father had left him a pair of sandals and a sword...

Theseus then traveled to Athens in a disguise where Medea, Aegeus' wife, was the only one to recognise him. Medea wanted Theseus dead, so she convinced Aegeus that he should force Theseus to fight the Marathonian Bull, a battle which he unexpectedly won. Theseus returns successfully and so Medea offers him poisoned wine, at which point, Aegeus recognises his sword and hits the goblet from his hand. After returning to Athens, Theseus realised that the tensions between Aegeus and Minos (son of Zeus) had escalated into war. An oracle then demanded that compensation be paid to Minos in the form of seven maidens and seven youths being sacrificed every nine years for the Minotaur. Theseus then sailed to Crete and killed the Minotaur, however, upon sailing back to Athens he forgot to raise the white flag for victory, at which sight Aegeus threw himself into the sea and died (the Aegean sea is namedafter him).