Erechtheus

Erechtheus (Ἐρεχθεύς) in Greek Mythology was the name of a king of Athens, and a secondary name for two other characters

#In Homer's "Iliad" the name is applied to the earth-born son of Hephaestus mostly called Erichthonius by later writers. Accordingly this Erichthonius is sometimes called Erechtheus I.
#A second Erechtheus was son and heir to King Pandion I of Athens by Zeuxippe, this Pandion being son of Erichthonius/Erechtheus I. This later king Erechtheus distinguished as Erechtheus II
#Poseidon in Athens was generally known as "Poseidon Erechtheus" and the vestibule of Poseidon's temple was named the Erechtheion.

The remainder of this article describes Erechtheus II.

According to Apollodorus, Erechtheus II had a twin brother named Butes who married Erechtheus' daughter Chthonia. Erechtheus and Butes divided the royal power possessed by Pandion, Erechtheus taking the physical rule but Butes taking the priesthood of Athena and Poseidon, this right being passed on to his descendants.

Erechtheus was father, by his wife Praxithea, of several daughters: Procris, Creusa, Chthonia and Oreithyia.

His reign was marked by the war between Athens and Eleusis when the Eleusians were commanded by Eumolpus of Thrace, who (accepting the most common genealogy) was son of Poseidon by Chione daughter of Boreas by Oreithyia daughter of Erechtheus and was therefore Erechtheus' own great-grandson. An oracle declared that Athens' survival depended on the death one of the three daughters of Erechtheus. Perhaps three unmarried daughters is meant. But in one version it is Chthonia who is sacrificed. In another both Protogeneia and Pandora, the two eldest, offer themselves up. In any case the remaining sisters, or at least some of them, are said to kill themselves. These unfortunate daughters of Erechtheus became the Hyacinthides upon their death.

In the following battle between the forces of Athens and Eleusis, Erechtheus slew Eumolpus but then himself fell in battle, struck down by Poseidon's trident according to fragments of Euripides' tragedy "Erechtheus". Or Zeus slew him with a thunderbolt at Poseidon's request.

Erechtheus is succeeded by Cecrops II, his brother according to a fragment from the poet Castor but his son according to Apollodorus (3.15.1).

Other sons of Erechtheus sometimes mentioned are Orneus, Metion, Pandorus, Thespius, and Eupalamus.


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  • Erechtheus — (auch Erechtheus II.; altgriech. Ερεχθεύς = Erderschütterer), der Sohn des Pandion und der Zeuxippe, wurde nach dem Tod seines Vaters König von Attika, während sein Zwillingsbruder Butes oberster Priester der Athene wurde. Seine Schwestern waren… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Erechtheus — {{Erechtheus}} König von Athen, Sohn des Pandion*, Enkel des Erichthonios*, Bruder des Butes* sowie der Prokne* und der Philomela*, Vater der Prokris*, der Oreithyia*, der Kreusa und der Chthonia, die er opferte, als ihm ein Orakel verkündete,… …   Who's who in der antiken Mythologie

  • Erechtheus — legendary first king and founder of Athens, from L. Erechtheus, from Gk. Erekhtheos, lit. render, shaker (of the earth), from erekhthein to rend, break, shatter, shake. Hence, Erechtheum, the name of a temple on the Athenian acropolis …   Etymology dictionary

  • Erechtheus — Erechtheus, 1) E. I., Sohn des Hephästos u. der Erde od. Atthis, aus unvollkommener Zeugung entstanden, oben war er Mensch, unten Drache. Athene wollte ihn heimlich erziehen u. unsterblich machen; in eine Kiste gelegt, übergab sie ihn den… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Erechtheus — Erechtheus, mythischer König von Athen, ursprünglich identisch mit Erichthonios (s.d. 2), nach Homer ein Sohn der Erde und Pflegling der Athene, der er als Polias (Stadtgöttin) den nach ihm Erechtheion (s.d.) benannten Tempel auf der Akropolis… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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  • Erechtheus — Legendary god king of Athens. According to Homer s Iliad, he was born from the earth and raised by Athena, who established him in her temple at Athens. Later tradition associates him with a huge snake that was thought to live in the temple. In a… …   Universalium

  • Erechtheus — Erẹchtheus,   griechischer Erechtheus, griechischer Mythos: athenischer Heros und König mit einer Kultstätte im Erechtheion, wo ihm mit Poseidon geopfert wurde. Er galt als aus der Heimaterde geboren (autochthon). Nach dem Mythos siegte er im… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Erechtheus — Erẹ|ch|theus (griechische Sagengestalt) …   Die deutsche Rechtschreibung

  • Erechtheus (Mythologie) — Erechtheus (Mythologie), ein Sohn des atheniensischen Königs Pandion, oberhalb Mensch, unterhalb Schlange, Minervens Liebling, die ihn unsterblich machen und heimlich erziehen lassen wollte, weßhalb sie ihn der Pandrosos, Tochter des Königs… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon


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