Definitions for erectheus
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The Nuttall Encyclopedia
or Erichthonius, the mythical first king of Athens; favoured and protected from infancy by Athena, to whom accordingly he dedicated the city; he was buried in the temple of Athena, and worshipped afterwards as a god; it is fabled of him that when an infant he was committed by Athena in a chest to the care of Agraulos and Herse, under a strict charge not to pry into it; they could not restrain their curiosity, opened the chest, saw the child entwined with serpents, were seized with madness, and threw themselves down from the height of the Acropolis to perish at the foot.
Erechtheus in Greek mythology was the name of an archaic king of Athens, the founder of the polis and, in his role as god, attached to Poseidon, as "Poseidon Erechtheus". The mythic Erechtheus and an historical Erechtheus were fused into one character in Euripides' lost tragedy Erechtheus. The name Erichthonius is carried by a son of Erechtheus, but Plutarch conflated the two names in the myth of the begetting of Erechtheus. Athenians thought of themselves as Erechtheidai, the "sons of Erechtheus". In Homer's Iliad he is the son of "grain-giving Earth", reared by Athena. The earth-born son was sired by Hephaestus, whose semen Athena wiped from her thigh with a fillet of wool cast to earth, by which Gaia was made pregnant. In the contest for patronship of Athens between Poseidon and Athena, the salt spring on the Acropolis where Poseidon's trident struck was known as the sea of Erechtheus.
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