Theseus Picture

Theseus was born to a princess of Troezen and the king of Athens, who had passed through on a journey to Delphi. The king, named Aegeus, burieda sword and a pair of sandals under a heavy rock. Then he told the princess that if she had a son strong enough to lift the heavy rock, she should send him with the tokens to Athens. At age sixteen, Theseus was exceedingly strong,very clever, and most ambitious. He lifted the rock, recovered the tokens, and set off at once for Athens. Aegeus was happy to see son, but he was also very troubled. Every nine years, Aegeus was forced to send seven young women, and seven young men to Minos, the powerful king of the island nation of Crete. Minos wanted the young people as food for the Minotaur, his horrible half-man, half-bull monster. Any day now, the black-sailed ship from Crete would pick up the unlucky fourteen. At once Theseus volunteered to go, much to the admiration of his fellow Athenians. But Theseus had a plan: he intended to kill the Minotaur. He confided this to his farther, and said that if he succeeded he would replace the black sail from the Cretan ship with a white sail so his farther could see that his son was alive. Theseus went off to Crete, and every day his anxious father scanned the seas for a white sail. When Theseus arrived in Crete, Minos' daughter Ariadne fell deeply in love with the bold young man. And she pitied him. She knew that even if he killed the Minotaur there would be no hope: the Minotaur lived in a complex maze, called the Labyrinth, which no living man had ever left. Still, Ariadne was determined to help her newfound love, and she went to clever Daedalus, who had built the maze. He told her to give Theseus a large ball of thread. Theseus then tied one end of the thread to the entrance and wound his way through the maze, until at last he came to the dreaded Minotaur. But Theseus was lucky: the Minotaur was fast asleep. Theseus immediately leapt on the sleeping monster and beat it to death. Together with his companions, Theseus followed the thread out the maze. But tragedy followed triumph. Theseus deserted Ariadne, who begged to go with him. He neglected to rasie a white sail on the ship, so that his farther, seeing a black sail on the horizon, threw himself into the sea. And after many years as it's king, Theseus was banished from Athens. But when Theseus died, and forever after, and he was honored as Athens' savior.
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