Theseus Maze - In the Labyrinth and More

If it's a Greek heroic myth, Theseus had a hand in it (probabaly)

Theseus was the Athenian hero who volunteered to be one of the victims of the Minotaur. An Ionian founder-hero (in contrast with the Dorian hero Hercules), Theseus reorganized the country of Attica. Theseus played an important role in the poetry of Bacchylides, and the drama of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Theseus was as popular as Hercules for 5th century vase painters. He was involved in so many adventures that a proverbial expression translates as "Theseus had a hand in it." Whereas Hercules fought mostly monsters in his 12 Labors, Theseus faced mostly human foes who troubled travelers.

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Theseus - Glossary Entry

Theseus and the Minotaur
Theseus and the Minotaur. CC one_dead_presidentat
Theseus was a legendary hero and king of the Athenians. His mortal father and sons were the eponymous heroes of two of the tribes of Athens. Theseus also had a divine father, Poseidon. Theseus' mother was Aethra, daughter of the king of Troezen, and a descendant of Pelops.

Theseus (at 50) and Pirithous abducted Helen for Theseus and then went to the Underworld to get another extraordinary woman (Queen Persephone) for Pirithous. There the foolish mortal pair ran into trouble.... While fetching Cerberus for his 12th labor, Hercules saw his friends Theseus and Pirithous bound to chairs in the Underworld. More »

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Where Does "Sword and Sandals" Come From?

The typical Greek footwear was the sandal, so "sword and sandal" now means an epic movie with lots of fighting between sandaled, toga- or tunic-clad Greeks or Romans, but it comes from the legend of Theseus.
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The Legend of Theseus and the Minotaur

Theseus and the Minotaur
Theseus and the Minotaur. CC tiredcynic at
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Theseus, the Heroes, and the Amazons

Plutarch reports on various versions of the stories told about Theseus and the Amazons. By the Amazon Antiope, Theseus had a tragic son, Hippolytus.
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Periphetes was the first of the brigands Theseus killed in his clearing the road from Troezen to Athens. More »
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Theseus and Sinis. Tondo of an Attic red-figure kylix, 490-480 B.C.
Theseus and Sinis. Tondo of an Attic red-figure kylix, 490-480 B.C. Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich, Germany. PD Courtesy of Bibi Saint-Pol.
Sinis the pine-bender was the next major villain Theseus encountered on his journey to Athens on whom he turned the tables. More »
Plutarch says Theseus established the Isthmian Games in imitation of Hercules. One explanation for their creation is that Theseus wished to expiate the death of Sciron or to honor Sinis.
  • Lycaea - To Honor Lycaon Zeus
More »
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Theseus King of Athens

Theseion or Temple of Hephaestus, in Athens. CC Flickr User peuplier

The Athenians had been instructed by the Delphic Oracle to gather the bones of Theseus and honor them, so Cimon of Athens brought back the body of Theseus from the pirates on the island of Scyros. An Athenian slave who felt himself to be mistreated could take santuary in the temple of Theseus.

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People in the Life of Theseus

Euthymides Red-Figure Amphora
Euthymides Red-Figure Amphora Showing Theseus' abduction of Helen on both sides of an amphora (Munich 2309;) Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich, Germany. Public Domain Courtesy of Bibi St-Pol
  • Dioscuri: Castor and Pollux or Polydeuces
  • Helen
  • Cercyon the Arcadian - Theseus killed him in a wrestling match.
  • Crommyonian sow (Phaea) - a wild beast or robber woman whom Theseus killed.
  • Hippolytus and Phaedra
  • Medea
  • Perigune - Daughter of Sinis whom Theseus impregnated. Mother of Melanippus.
  • Perithous
  • Phaedra
  • Pittheus
  • Procrustes
  • Sciron - A murderous robber whom Theseus killed on one of his journeys.
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Theseus in Literature

In this look at "Theseus had a hand in it" you'll find the hero visiting the Underworld for less than noble purposes. More »
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Your Citation
Gill, N.S. "Theseus Maze - In the Labyrinth and More." ThoughtCo, Aug. 11, 2016, Gill, N.S. (2016, August 11). Theseus Maze - In the Labyrinth and More. Retrieved from Gill, N.S. "Theseus Maze - In the Labyrinth and More." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 18, 2017).