Gods and Heroes of the Greeks: The Library of Apollodorus

By Michael Simpson; Leonard Baskin et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT
The Kings of Athens (3. 14. 1-3. 15.8)

BOOK 3 14 Cecrops, who was born from the earth and had the body of a man and of a snake, was the first king of Attica. The land formerly called Acte he named Cecropia after himself. In his time, they say, the gods decided to assign cities to themselves in which each would receive his own honors. Poseidon came first to Attica. He struck the ground in the middle of the Acropolis with his trident, producing the sea which they now call Erechtheis. Athena came after him and, making Cecrops a witness, took possession of Attica by planting an olive tree which can still be seen in the Pandrosium. When the two of them, Athena and Poseidon, fought over the land, Zeus stopped the fight and appointed the twelve gods as judges, not Cecrops and Cranaus, as some said, nor Erysichthon. They decided to award the land to Athena because Cecrops testified that she was the first to plant the olive. Athena therefore called the city Athens after herself. Poseidon in a rage flooded the Thriasian plain and put Attica under water.1

Cecrops married Agraulus, the daughter of Actaeus, and had a son, Erysichthon, who died childless, and daughters named Agraulus, Herse, and Pandrosus.2 Agraulus had a daughter Alcippe by Ares. Halirrhothius, the son of Poseidon and a nymph Euryte, tried to rape her, but Ares caught him and killed him. Accused by Poseidon, Ares was tried in the Areopagus before the twelve gods and acquitted.3

2

Herse had by Hermes a son Cephalus, with whom Dawn fell in love. She carried him off and, after having intercourse with him in Syria, bore a son, Tithonus, who in turn had a son, Phaethon, the father of Astynous.4 He in turn had a son Sandocus, who traveled from Syria to Cilicia and there founded Celenderis, married Pharnace, the daughter of Megassares the king of Hyria, and had a son, Cinyras. Cinyras went to Cyprus with people, founded Paphos, and there married

3

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