Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Aethra

                        In Greek mythology, Aethra was described as the daughter of king Pittheus of Troezen and mother of Theseus. Aethra was old enough to marry, Bellerophon started counting her. Unfortunately he was banished from Corinth after he had been unjustly accused of trying to seduce the queen of Arogos, and was not very likely to return.
           
Aethra
                              King Aegeus of Athens came to Troezen after he had taken a journey to oracle at Delphi. Still without a male heir Aegeus asked the oracle of Delphi for advice but did not understand the puzziling prophecy made by oracle. Pittheus was famous for his wisdom and skill at expounding oracle, so Ageus came to take advice from him. Pittheus understood the prophecy, whose prospects for a son-in-law had recently vanished. Pittheus got Aegeus drunk on unmixed wine and send him into his daughter (Aethra) bed chamber. 
                    
Aethra and Aegeus


Drunk Aegeus had sex with Aethra and then both fell asleep. The goddess Athena appeared in Aethra dream and told her to pour libations by the tomb of Sphaegus, who had been her grandfather Pelop's charioteer. In middle of night, Aethra left the sleeping Aegeus and waded across to the island of Sphairia that lay close to Troezen's shore and did as she had been told. Just before she was about to wade back to the mainland, sea god Poseidon appeared and had sex with her, who had tricked her to the island by sending Athena. 
Aethra at island of Spharia at midnight


Aethra then went back to castles and to sleeping Aegeus.  When Aegeus awoke and saw where he was, he placed as birth token a sword and a pair of sandals under a large rock, telling Aethra that if she bore a son who could lift the rock she should send him to Athens with the items. 
Aethra and Theseus

           Aethra gave birth to Theseus, who when the time came lifted the rock retrieved the token and went to Athens, and the following years he had gone through many adventure. At the age of about fifty, Theseus fell in love with the young girl Helen. Theseus  with his friend Pirithous kidnapped  Helen and locked her into a tower, intending to keep her until she was old enough to marry. 
Aethra and child Helen

The two man went to underworld and left Helen with Aethra. Helen brothers, Castor and Pollux found the two woman, rescued Helen and made Aethra her slave. They the went to Sparta. Aethra remained with Helen even after she had married Menelaus. Later when Paris took Helen to Troy, Aethra accompanied them. According to some versions, Aethra had actually encouraged Helen to elope with Paris. After the fall of Troy, Theseus's sons Acamos and Demophon brought Aethra back to Athens.   

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