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Location of Troezen

Troezen is a city of southeastern Argolis, on the Saronic Gulf.

First king

Troezen was first called Oraea after its first king Orus 1. He had a daughter Leis, who consorted with Poseidon and gave birth to a son Althepus. The origin of Orus 1 is unknown, but some have supposed that he was an Egyptian.


During the reign of Althepus, who inherited the kingdom from Orus 1 and renamed it Althepia after himself, Athena and Poseidon disputed about the patronage of this land, but were commanded by Zeus to hold it in common. That is the reason why the Troezenians worshipped both divinities, showing in their coins Poseidon's trident, and Athena's face. But some affirm that, in reality, the Troezenians considered Poseidon to be the patron god of their city.


Althepus was succeeded by Saron, after whom the Saronic Gulf was called. Saron drowned in the sea chasing a prey. For, being a great lover of hunting, he pursued a doe which had dashed into the sea. Yet the doe swam further and further from the shore, until both the beast and Saron came to open sea, where his strength failed him, causing him to drown in the waves.

Hyperenor 1 and Anthas

The names of the kings that succeeded Saron have fallen into oblivion, but at some point the land of Troezen came under the rule of Hyperenor 1 and Anthas. Hyperenor 1, son of Poseidon and the Pleiad Alcyone 1, reigned in Hyperea, which he himself founded, and his brother Anthas ruled Anthea.

Three kings

These brothers were succeeded by Aetius, son of Anthas. Having renamed Poseidonias one of the cities, he later received Troezen 1 and Pittheus (sons of Pelops 1 and Hippodamia 3), who came from the district of Pisatis in Elis. For some time then, the land was ruled by three kings (Aetius, Troezen 1 and Pittheus), though only nominally, for the sons of Pelops 1 enjoyed the real power. The evidence of this, they remark, is that after the death of Troezen 1, his brother Pittheus became the sole king, and having joined the villages of Hyperea and Anthea into one city, he called it Troezen after his brother.


It is told that many years afterwards, the descendants of Aetius were sent as colonists to Asia Minor, where they founded Halicarnassus and Myndus in Caria. The sons of Troezen 1, Anaphlystus and Sphettus, emigrated to Attica.

King Aegeus 1 at Delphi

Pittheus and Aegeus 1 were kings at the same time, the former in Troezen and the latter at Athens. Aegeus 1 married first Meta, daughter of Hoples; thereafter he married Chalciope 1, daughter of Rhexenor 1. But having remained childless after these two marriages, Aegeus 1 went to consult the oracle at Delphi, where he received this answer:

"The bulging mouth of the wineskin, loose not until you have reached Athens." (The Oracle of Delphi to Aegeus 1. Apollodorus, Library 3.15.5).

Aegeus 1 in Troezen

Aegeus 1 set out on his return to Athens without having understood the oracle, but for reasons unknown, or because he wanted the opinion of wise Pittheus about the oracle, he made a détour and came to Troezen, where he was lodged by King Pittheus, who, himself understanding the oracle, made him drunk, and arranged so that Aegeus 1 lay with his daughter Aethra 2.

Aegeus 1's instructions

When Aegeus 1 realized what he had done, he told Aethra 2 that if she gave birth to a male child she should rear it without telling him who his father was. He then left a sword and sandals under a heavy rock, instructing her to send the boy to Athens when he would be strong enough to roll away the rock, and take both sword and sandals up.

Theseus rules Troezen

Aegeus 1 then left for Athens, not knowing that in the same night Aethra 2 had also consorted with Poseidon. In time, Aethra 2 gave birth to Theseus, and when he became king of Athens, he also ruled over Troezen, where he went into voluntary exile for one year, having killed the Pallantides. For when Theseus was declared successor to the throne of Athens, the fifty sons of Pallas 5 (son of Pandion 4, son of Cecrops 2, son of Erechtheus, son of Pandion 2, son of Erichthonius 2 (see Athens), would not accept him as king, and therefore went to war, being defeated and killed by Theseus. After Theseus, the city of Troezen was ruled from Argos, their subjects being led, during the Trojan War, by Diomedes 2.

Sciron and Sinis

King Pittheus, who reared Theseus, had another daughter, Henioche 3, who married Canethus 3 and had by him a son Sciron, according to some, or Sinis, according to others. Sciron is said to have disputed about the throne with King Nisus 1 of Megara. Otherwise, Sciron is one of the malefactors that Theseus killed in his way to Athens. He is the one who compelled passers-by to wash his feet, and when they were washing he kicked them into the sea to be devoured by a big turtle. Some have said that the Isthmian games were instituted in honour of Sciron, and that Theseus thus made expiation for having killed the grandson of Pittheus, to whom he was related. But Sciron has been variously called son of Poseidon, or son of Pelops 1, or son of Pylas, the Megarian king who is said to have founded Pylos. As for Sinis, it is told that he forced the passers-by to keep bending pine-trees, but being too weak to do so, they were tossed up by the trees and perished. Sinis, who was killed by Theseus, is also said to be the son of Procrustes and Sylea. Procrustes was yet another bandit killed by the young Theseus, and Sylea was daughter of King Corinthus of Corinth.

Famous places in Troezen

In Troezen, they say, was the place where Dionysus 2 had brought his mother Semele back from the Underworld, and the spot where Heracles 1 dragged up the hound of Hades. In historical times, the Troezenians could still show the tomb of King Pittheus, who was also said to have taught the art of rhetoric; for Pittheus had the reputation of being a man of knowledge and of the greatest wisdom; one of his maxims was:

"Payment pledged to a man who is dear must be ample and certain." (Pittheus. Plutarch, Parallel Lives Theseus 3.2).

Throne Succession in Troezen 


Orus 1




Hyperea & Anthea

Hyperenor 1, and Anthas

Three kings in what became Troezen

Aetius, Troezen 1, and Pittheus



Theseus (also king of Athens)

Troezen subject to Argos
Orus 1. The first king of the Troezenians, whose land was then called Oraea. He was succeeded by Althepus. Orus 1 had a daughter Leis who consorted with Poseidon (Pau.2.30.5).

Althepus. Son of Poseidon and Leis, daughter of Orus 1. Althepus renamed the land Oraea, which he ruled, and called it Althepia. These are the former names of the land about Troezen. He was succeeded by Saron (Pau.2.30.5).

Saron became king of Troezen after Althepus. He drowned in the open sea chasing a prey and they called the Saronic Gulf after him (Pau.2.30.7).

Hyperenor 1 (Hyperes). Son of Poseidon and Alcyone 1 (one of the PLEIADES) and founder of Hyperea, a city in Argolis where he ruled as king; his brother Anthas ruled in Anthea (see also Hypera) Apd.3.10.1; Pau.2.30.8).

Anthas (Anthus 2). Founder of Anthea or Anthedon (now Poros). Later he emigrated and founded Halicarnassus. While still a child he disappeared but her sister Hypera found him in Pherae in the house of Acastus. Anthas was son of Poseidon and the Pleiad Alcyone 1. He had a son Aetius (Pau.2.30.8, 9.22.5; Plu.GQ.19; Strab.8.6.14).

Aetius inherited the kingdoms of his father Anthas, named one of the cities Poseidonias and later received Troezen 1 and Pittheus, sons of Pelops 1, and for a time there were three kings (Pau.2.30.8).

Troezen 1. Son of Pelops 1 and Hippodamia 3. When he died, Pittheus called the city Troezen after his brother. Troezen 1 was father of Anaphlystus and Sphettus (Pau.2.30.8-9; Strab.8.6.14).

Pittheus united the inhabitants of Hyperea and Anthea into a new city, which he called after his brother Troezen. While he was king of Troezen he caused Aegeus 1, who had come to visit him, to lie with his daughter Aethra 2. Pittheus was son of Pelops 1 and Hippodamia 3, and his children were the aforementioned Aethra 2, and Henioche 3 (see Aegeus 1) (Apd.3.15.7; Eur.Hcl.207; Eur.Med.683; Pau.2.30.8; Plu.The.25.4; Strab.8.6.14).

Theseus, king of Athens, punished the bandits that infested the road between this city and Troezen; he slew the Minotaur in Crete, and thanklessly abandoned the woman who had helped him. He also cursed his son, carried off another woman, and having descended to the Underworld, sat there on the Chair of Oblivion. He died in exile, but when he still was a ruler, he piously aided the Argives in recovering for burial the bodies of those who had fallen during the war of the SEVEN AGAINST THEBES. Theseus was son of Aethra 2, his father being either Aegeus 1 or Poseidon (Apd.1.8.2, 1.9.16, 3.15.8; Apd.Ep.1.7, 1.18, 1.24; Cic.ND.3.45; CYP.11; Dio.4.28.3, 4.59.1; Eur.Hcl.208; Eur.Her. passim; Eur.Hipp. passim; Eur.Supp. passim; Hes.SH.181; Hom.Il.1.265; Hyg.Ast.2.5, 2.6, 2.7; Hyg.Fab.14; Lib.Met.27; Ov.Fast.3.460ff.; Ov.Met.12.227; Pau.1.17.6, 2.22.6-7, 10.25.7; Plu.Cim.8.5; Plu.PS.34; Plu.The.8.2, 20.2, 29.1-4, 31.3, 35.4; QS.13.497, 13.518; Soph.OC.1154 and passim; Stat.Theb.5.432).

Related sections Map of Greece, Theseus 

Apd.3.10.1, 3.15.7; Eur.Hcl.207; Eur.Med.683; Pau.2.30.5, 2.30.8-9, 9.22.5; Plu.GQ.19; Plu.The.25.4; Strab.8.6.14.