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In Greek mythology, Pittheus was a son of Pelops and father of Aethra. He was the founder and the King of Troezen. He was a wise man and understood the words of Aegeus' prophesy when no one else did.

Sources

Pausanias

When Theseus was about to marry Phaedra, not wishing, should he have children, Hippolytus either to be their subject or to be king in their stead, sent him to Pittheus to be brought up and to be the future king of Troezen. Pausanias 1.22.1

One of the Troezenian legends about Theseus is the following. When Heracles visited Pittheus at Troezen, he laid aside his lion's skin to eat his dinner, and there came in to see him some Troezenian children with Theseus, then about seven years of age. The story goes that when they saw the skin the other children ran away, but Theseus slipped out not much afraid, seized an axe from the servants and straightway attacked the skin in earnest, thinking it to be a lion. This is the first Troezenian legend about Theseus. Pausanias 1.27.1

Across the Cephisus is an ancient altar of Zeus Meilichius (Gracious). At this altar Theseus obtained purification at the hands of the descendants of Phytalus after killing brigands, including Sinis who was related to him through Pittheus. Pausanias 1.37.4

...When Troezen and Pittheus came to Aetius there were three kings instead of one, but the sons of Pelops enjoyed the balance of power. Here is evidence of it. When Troezen died, Pittheus gathered the inhabitants together, incorporating both Hyperea and Anthea into the modern city, which he named Troezen after his brother. Many years afterwards the descendants of Aetius, son of Anthas, were dispatched as colonists from Troezen, and founded Halicarnassus and Myndus in Caria. Anaphlystus and Sphettus, sons of Troezen, migrated to Attica, and the parishes are named after them Pausanias.2.30.8

Behind the temple is the tomb of Pittheus, on which are placed three seats of white marble. On them they say that Pittheus and two men with him used to sit in judgment. Not far off is a sanctuary of the Muses, made, they told me, by Ardalus, son of Hephaestus. This Ardalus they hold to have invented the flute, and after him they name the Muses Ardalides. Here, they say, Pittheus taught the art of rhetoric, and I have myself read a book purporting to be a treatise by Pittheus, published by a citizen of Epidaurus Pausanias 2.31.1

Ovid Metamorphoses VIII, 622,


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