The Library of History

Page 159

Page 159


The Acts of Theseus. The Minotaur in Crete. Androgeus the Son of Minos murther'd by Egeus. Ariadna Daughter of Minos, in love with Theseus. Ariadna's Crown. Aegeus King of Athens kills himself. Theseus's Death. The War of Thebes by the Seven Captains. The Epigoni renew the War. The Pedigrees of the Heroes at Troy. Of the Centaurs, and Lapithae. The Pedigrees of Aesculapius, Aeacus, Ajax, Pelops, Tantalus, Oenomeus. Dardanus's Posterity to Priam King of Troy.

SInce we have spoken of Hercules and his Posterity, it remains that we say something of Theseus, because he seem'd to imitate Hercules in his brave and noble Actions.

He was the Son of Aethra, the Daughter of Pittheus, by Neptune, and brought up in Traezena, with Pittheus his Mothers Father. Having afterwards found (as is reported) the Tokens hid under a Stone by Aegeus, he resolv'd to go to Athens: As he travell'd along the Sea-Coasts in the Isthmos, his Mind was full of Thoughts how to imitate the Valour of Hercules, and to perform some glorious and honourable Enterprizes.

1. First therefore he kill'd Corynetes, who us'd to carry a Club call'd Coryne, which he us'd as defensive Arms, and with the same Weapon knockt all Passengers and Travellers on the Head.

2. Then next he slew Sinnis, who haunted the Isthmos, and us'd to bend down Two Pine-Trees, one to meet another, and bind one Arm to one of the Trees, and another to the other, of such as he took passing that way; and when he had done, then to let them spring up on a suddain, which by their force and violence so rent in Pieces the Bodies of the poor Miserable Creatures, that they dy'd in most horrid pain and torment.

3. The Third thing remarkable that he did, was the Killing of the Crommyonion Sow, a most vast and fierce Creature which destroy'd many.

4. The Fourth was the Killing of Sciron, who lay lurking amongst the Rocks, call'd from him the Scyronian Rocks: His manner was, that he would force Passengers to wash his Feet upon the top of a steep Rock, and then kick them down head-long into the Sea, near Chelone.

5. Next he slew Cercyon at Eleusina, who kill'd all that he overcame in Wrestling.

6. Afterwards he kill'd one Procrustes, who resided in Corydallus in Attica: His Custom was to force all that past that way, to lye down upon a Bed, and if they were longer than it, to cut off so much of their Legs, as reacht beyond the Bed; if they were shorter, then he wrackt and stretcht out their Limbs, till they reacht the full length; thence he was nam'd * Procrustes.

Having perform'd these notable Exploits, he came to Athens, and by the Tokens which he brought along with him, he was known and owned by Aegeus.

7. Afterwards he master'd the Marathonian Bull (which Hercules in performance of one of his Labours, brought from Crete into Peloponesus) and led the Monster in Triumph into Athens, which Aegeus sacrific'd to Apollo.

And now it remains that we speak of the Minotaur which was kill'd by Theseus: But for the clearer understanding of the History, it's necessary that we first ascend to things done some time before, that have a Reference to the Narration.

Tectamus the Son of Dorus, the Son of Hellen, the Son of Deucalion, arriving in Crete, with the Aeolians and Pelasgians, reign'd there as King, and marrying the Daughter of Cretheus, had by her Asterius; in the time of whose Reign, they say Jupiter having carry'd away Europa out of Phaenicia, transported her upon a

Bibliotheca Historica

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