Θησέας or Theseus was the son of Aegus and Poseidon. Having a mix of one immortal and one mortal father is not uncommon for Greek heroes. His father Aegeus placed sandals and a sword under a huge rock and told Theseus’s mother that when his son grew up he should move the rock as evidence of his royal blood.
Theseus did move the rock and recovered the items. That started the journey to bring them back to King Aegeus. Theseus decided to take the long journey following a heroic path where he would encounter a string of six entrances to the underworld each guarded by a powerful enemy.
The six entrances to the underworld included a bandit named Periphetes who clubbed his opponents into the earth. An entrance where a thief named Sinis would capture travelers tie them between two pine trees and tear his victims apart. One called Crommvon where he had to kill a giant pig. An entrance called Megara where an older man named Sciron kicked travelers off of a cliff where they were eaten by a sea monster. An entrance named Cercvon where a King challenged people to a wrestling match and when he beat them he killed them. The last entrance to the underworld he fought a man named Procrustes who was known as the Stretcher. He had two beds that he would make people fit into by stretching them or by cutting off their feet. Because he had two beds of different lengths nobody would fit so everyone was killed there. Theseus killed him by cutting off his legs and decapitating him with his own ax.
Aegeus’s wife Medea worried that Theseus would be chosen as heir to the kingdom instead of her own son so she tried to arrange to have him killed by asking him to capture the Marathonian Bull. Theseus wrestled and then killed the bull with his bare hands.
King Minos of Crete demanded that every nine years 14 young Athenians were to be devoured by a Minotaur. A Minotaur is a half man half bull monster that lived in a labyrinth.
Theseus killed the Minotaur by stabbing the beast in the throat with his sword. After decapitating the Minotaur he escaped the labyrinth and saved the young children.
Theseus’s best friend was Pirithous. At Pirithous’s wedding Centaurs were guests. When the Centaurs got drunk and tried to abduct the women at the party Theseus was forced to kill the centaurs.
Theseus kidnapped Helen when she was young and intended to keep her until she was old enough to marry.
Theseus enters Hades and sits down on a rock to rest. He tried to get up but he could not because he was attached to the rock. He was saved by his friend Heracles.
Theseus went to the land of the female warrior Amazons who sent their queen Hippolyta to his ship bearing gifts. Theseus claimed her as his bride and this sparked a war between the Amazons and the Athenians.
Phaedra was Theseus’s second wife.
Theseus began to go on foolish adventures and started to make bad decisions. He became unpopular in Athens. Eventually Theseus died in exile from Athens. When he died Athens decided not to not bring his body home. The Athenian general Cimon found his bones and returned them to Athens where he was reburied in a magnificent tomb that also served as a sanctuary for the defenseless.