Study Guide

Theseus: Birth and Early Adventures Aegeus

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Aegeus is Theseus's mortal father and the King of Athens. He's kind of a dead-beat dad for the first part of Theseus's life, since he ditches Theseus's mom, Aethra, to head back to Athens. Of course, he does leave his sword and sandals for Theseus, and he embraces Theseus when the young hero eventually shows up in Athens. So, no harm no foul (we guess). Besides the myths of Theseus, Aegeus also pops up as a character in Medea, the tragedy by Euripides. Today Aegeus's name lives on in the Aegean Sea, which was supposedly named for him after he killed himself by jumping into it.

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