Theseus was the son of the Athenian King and everyone considered him a great hero. He didnt spend his childhood in Athens, he lived with his mother. His father, many years ago, placed in a hollow a sword and a pair of shoes and covered them with a big stone. He told his wife that when the boy was strong enough to move the stone and take the sword and the shoes, he could come to Athens to see his father. The boy was stronger than other boys in his age and lifting the stone didnt cause him any trouble at all.
Theseus refused to go to Athens by water, he preferred land, he wanted to experience danger immediately. His journey was dangerous, there was a lot of bandits, which he all killed. He had his own justice, he did to everyone what they had done to others.
When he came to Athens, all the people heard about him. The King invited him to a banquet in order to poison him, because he didnt know Theseus was his son and he was afraid that popular young man can become king and get rid of him. The King wasnt the one who thought of that, it was Medea, who knew the truth and didnt want Theseus to take her influence on the King. But his father recognized him because he saw the sword and Medea had to escape again. The King immediately claimed Theseus his son and heir.
There was something Theseus could do to make himself popular amongst Athenians. Minos, the ruler of the Crete, had lost his only son while he was visiting the Athenian king many years ago. This was the King´s fault and Minos invaded Athens after this and made the King send him 7 young boys and 7 girls every 9 years. When they reached Crete, they were given to the Minotaur.
The Minotaur was half bull, half human, he was son of Minos´ wife and a bull that Poseidon gave to him. He was supposed to sacrifice it but he kept it and Poseidon as a punishment, made his wife fall in love with it.
When the Minotaur was born, Minos had Daedalus, the famous architect to build him the Labyrinth, from which was impossible to escape. Theseus offered to be one of the victims, he wanted to try to kill Minotaur. He promised his father that if he succeeded, he would change the black sail on his ship to white so the King knows if his son was safe.
When the victims came to the Crete, they were shown to the inhibitants on their way to the Labyrinth. Minos´ daughter, Ariadne fell in love with Theseus at first sight. She made Daedalus show her a way to get out of the Labyrinth. She told Theseus she would help him if he promised her to take her to Athens and marry her. He promised her so and she gave him a ball of thread to fasten at one end to the inside of the door and unwind as he went on. He did that and he could retrace his steps whenever he chose. He found Minotaur and killed him with his fists, because he didn´t have any weapon. Theseus, with the help of ball of thread, found a way out of labyrinth. He took others and Ariadne to the ship and they sailed.
There are two versions of what happened next. One says that Theseus sailed away without Ariadne when she fell asleep on the island Nexos and the other says that she was seasick and he left her recover while he was doing some other job on his ship. The wind carried him away and when he came back, Ariadne was dead.
Theseus, when they were close to Athenes, forgot to hoist the white sail. His father, thinking he lost his only son, killed himself, so Theseus became the King of Athens. He was a wise and fair king. He wanted a people´s government where all would be equal. Athens became, with him as a king, the happiest and most prosperous in the world. He fought in the great War of the Seven against Thebes, he was with Oedipus when he dies, he supported Hercules when he killed his wife and children. He went to the Amazons country and brought one of them to Athenes, he had a son with her, the other Amazons came to rescue her and invaded Attica. Theseus defeated them and no enemy entered Attica till Theseus´ death.
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