The adventures of Theseus (II)



Theseus kills the Minotaur, Attic amphora 540-530 BC, Louvre

Theseus and Minotaur

Athens after a long war with king Minos of Krete, was forced to make a treaty, paying as a tribute every nine years, seven maidens and seven youths, who were sacrificed to the Minotaur, a beast with the body of a man and the head of the bull.
When the time came to make the third payment of the tribute, Theseus volunteered to take the place of one of them, in order to kill Minotauros and deliver Athens. King Aegeus after a lot of hesitation gave his permission and told his son that if he was successful in his mission to change the black sails of the ship with white, in his return to Athens.

Theseus is killing the Minotaur, while his father is pleading for his son life. krater 470 BC.

In Krete, Theseus met Ariadne, who fell in love with him. Ariadne helped Theseus to kill the Minotaur, advising him to use a ball of string before entering the Labyrinth, where the Minotaur was living. This was a building with complicated corridors, from which nobody could not find his way out, work of the famous architect Daidalos.  Theseus tied the string at the entrance of the labyrinth and with a sword which Ariadne gave him, entered the labyrinth and killed the Minotaur.

Coin of Knossos with the Labyrinth, 470-430 BC Athena orders Theseus to leave the sleeping Ariadne in the island of Naxos, lekythos 460 BC.

Taking the Athenian youths with him and Ariadne left during the night and sailed to Athens.
During his return trip, he stopped at the island of Naxos, where he left Ariadne, when goddess Athena ordered him.  

Theseus abandons the sleeping Ariadne in the island of Naxos while Hermes is watching, kylix 490-480 BC.

From Naxos Theseus sailed to Athens, but he forgot to change the black sails with the white ones. When his father saw the ship entering the Cape of Sounion with the black sails, he fell from the cliffs into the sea and from that time the sea took his name, Aegaeon.



Theseus, wearing a Corinthian helmet, is fighting the Amazon's queen, Hippolyte, lekythos found in Athens, 430 BC

Theseus and the Amazons

Theseus accompanied Herakles in the expedition to take the belt of Hippolyte. Theseus fall in love with the Amazon Antiope, whom later took to Greece and had a son with her, Hippolytos. Later the Amazons came to Athens for revenge, where a battle took place and they were defeated. Antiope who fought at the side of her husband Theseus was killed.

Theseus kidnaps the amazon Antiope with Perithous right, by Myson 500-490 BC, Louvre.


Theseus with the help of Peirithous is fighting the amazon Andromache, while is trying to defend herself with an ax. Three other amazons on horses are watching, including the queen Hippolyte, 450 BC, London Museum.




Theseus is fighting the Centaurs, the Kleitias crater 570-560 BC, Florence

The battle of Lapiths and Centaurs

In the marriage of his friend Perithous with Deiadameia, guests were also the Centaurs, who after getting drunk became insolent by laying hands on the women of the Lapiths. Theseus and Perithous killed many of them on the spot and the rest defeated in a battle later and driven out of the country.

Theseus is fighting a Centaur, who tries to kill him with a vase, while Perithous is fighting another. A lapith girl has fallen to the ground. krater 475 BC, Florence.




Theseus abducts Helen of Sparta, Athens Archaeological Museum. Dioskouroi, Kastor and Polydeukes,are protecting their sister Helen, lekythos 530 BC, Athens Archaeological Museum.

Theseus in Hades

When Theseus reached the age of fifty years old, decided with his friend Perithous who had lost his wife, to marry again. At first, they went to Sparta, where they kidnapped the beautiful Helen and then went to Hades to take Persephone. But Pluto tricked them and made them sit on the throne of Lethe, where it was impossible to escape.  Theseus was lucky, because soon after Herakles descended to Hades and set him free.

Herakles is trying to help Theseus to get up from his seat, where Hades placed him with Peirithoos, because they tried to abduct Persephone, lekythos 475-450 BC.

Theseus was assassinated in the island of Skyros, by his friend king Lykomedes, who threw him off the cliffs.



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