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September 23    Scripture

Mythology & Beliefs: Aethra
In Greek and Roman Mythology, Aethra was the mother of Theseus.

Aethra in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (*Ai)/qra). 1. A daughter of king Pittheus of Troezen. Bellerophon sued for her hand, but was banished from Corinth before the nuptials took place. (Paus. 2.31.12.) She was surprised on one occasion by Poseidon in the island of Sphaeria, whither she had gone, in consequence of a dream, for the purpose of offering a sacrifice on the tomb of Sphaerus. Aethra therefore dedicated in the island a temple to Athena Apaturia (the Deceitful), and called the island Hiera instead of Sphaeria, and also introduced among the maidens of Troezen the custom of dedicating their girdles to Athena Apaturia on the day of their marriage. (Paus. 2.33.11.) At a later time she became the mother of Theseus by Aegeus. (Plut. Thes. 3; Hyg. Fab. 14.) In the night in which this took place, Poseidon also was believed to have been with her. (Apollod. 3.15.7; Hyg. Fab. 37.) According to Plutarch (Plut. Thes. 6) her father spread this report merely that Theseus might be regarded as the son of Poseidon, who was much revered at Troezen. This opinion, however, is nothing else but an attempt to strip the genuine story of its marvels. After this event she appears living in Attica, from whence she was carried off to Lacedaemon by Castor and Polydeuces, and became a slave of Helen, with whom she was taken to Troy. (Plut. Thes. 34; Hom. Il. 3.144.) At the taking of Troy she came to the camp of the Greeks, where she was recognised by her grandsons, and Demophon, one of them, asked Agamemnon to procure her liberation. Agamemnon accordingly sent a messenger to Helen to request her to give up Aethra. This was granted, and Aethra became free again. (Paus. 10.25.3; Dict. Cret. 5.13.) According to Hyginus (Hyg. Fab. 243) she afterwards put an end to her own life from grief at the death of her sons. The history of her bondage to Helen was represented on the celebrated chest of Cypselus (Paus. 4.19.1 Dion Chrysost. Orat. 11), and in a painting by Polygnotus in the Lesche of Delphi. (Paus. 10.25.2.) - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.

Aethra in Wikipedia In Greek mythology, Aethra or Aithra (Ancient Greek: Αἴθρα, the "bright sky"[1]) was a name applied to three individuals: Æthra was a daughter of King Pittheus of Troezen and, with the king Aegeus of Athens — or in some versions, Poseidon —father of Theseus. Ægeus went to Troezen, a city southwest of Athens that had as its patrons Athena and Poseidon, where Pittheus got Ægeus drunk on unmixed wine and put him to bed with his daughter. Following the instructions of Athena in a dream, she left the sleeping Ægeus and waded across to the island of Sphairia that lay close to Troezen's shore. There she poured a libation to Sphairos, Pelops' charioteer, and was possessed by Poseidon in the night. When she was thus doubly pregnant, Ægeus decided to go back to Athens. Before leaving, he covered his sandals, shield and sword under a huge rock, that served as a primitive altar to Strong Zeus, and told her that when their son would grow up, he should move the rock and bring his weapons back. Aethra did as she was told, and Theseus, recovering the weapons that were his birthright, grew to be a great hero, killing the Minotaur, among other adventures...

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