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Statue of Theseus slaying the Minotaur in Athens

Theseus was a legendary hero and the founder as well as a king of Athens in Greek mythology.


The Minotaur and Ariadne

As one of the Greek mythology's legendary heroes, many stories were attached to Theseus. The best known story is possibly of how he slew the Minotaur in the labyrinth below the Knossos Palace in Krete. King Minos of Krete commanded Athenians to send fourteen of their finest men and women annually to feed to the beast.[1] In time, this included Theseus, who swore to slay the Minotaur.[2]

When Theseus arrived in Krete, he met Minos' daughter, Ariadne. They fell in love, and Ariadne gave Theseus thread to help him find his way in the labyrinth. After Theseus' success, Ariadne joined him on his ship, and they set sail for Athens together.[2] However, they stopped at Naxos Island to celebrate. Theseus left the island alone, either because he abandoned Ariadne, or because she forgot to return to his ship in time.[2][3]

Before leaving for Krete, Theseus had promised his father, king Aegeus, to had the sails of his ship changed from black to white if he was successful. However, Theseus forgot to do this, and thus his father cast himself into the sea, believing his son was dead.[2]

Phaidra and Hippolytos

Later on, Theseus married Phaidra. However, she fell in love with Theseus' son, Hippolytos. When the feelings weren't mutual, Phaidra told Theseus that Hippolytos had violated her, and in anger Theseus invoked the god Poseidon. Poseidon sent a sea monster, and Hippolytos died in the Sinkholes of Herakles region of Argolis while driving in his chariot.[4]

Other adventures

Theseus was said to have killed the Argive bandit Periphetes,[5] the king of Eleusis Kerkyon,[6] as well as Sinis[7], and caused the deaths of the Amazons Antiope [8]and Hippolyta.[9] Theseus also helped king Adrastos bury the Seven Against Thebes.[10]

At some point, Medea attempted to poison Theseus.[11]

Final years

After his adventures, Theseus returned to Athens to reclaim his home, but found that the city had been seized by the rival factions. Deciding to leave the city, Theseus returned to Skyros, where he was betrayed by King Lykomedes and thrown off a cliff to his death.[12]


By the 5th century BCE, the story of Theseus' end was preserved in memory, as the Spartan misthios Kassandra visited the site of his death, named Hero's Fall. Theseus also had an armor set allegedly attributed to him and pair of bracers.[13]





  1. Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece – "Knossos" – Reparation
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece – "Knossos" – The Minotaur's Death
  3. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyNaxos Island: Deathbed of Ariadne
  4. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyArgolis: Chariot of Hippolytos
  5. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyArgolis: Bronze Club of Periphetes
  6. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyAttika: Kerkyon Wrestling Ground
  7. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyKorinthia: Sinis Torture Grounds
  8. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyAttika: Memorial of the Amazons
  9. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyMegaris: Tomb of the Amazons
  10. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyAttika: Tomb of the Epigones
  11. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Long Game
  12. Assassin's Creed: OdysseySkyros: Statue of Theseus
  13. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
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