Troezen is a city of southeastern Argolis, on
the Saronic Gulf.
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.
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
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.
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:
pledged to a man who is dear must be ample and
certain." (Pittheus. Plutarch, Parallel
Lives Theseus 3.2).