Erechtheus (Ἐρεχθεύς) in
Greek Mythologywas the name of a king of Athens, and a secondary name for two other characters
Homer's " Iliad" the name is applied to the earth-born son of Hephaestusmostly called Erichthonius by later writers. Accordingly this Erichthonius is sometimes called Erechtheus I.
#A second Erechtheus was son and heir to King
Pandion Iof Athens by Zeuxippe, this Pandion being son of Erichthonius/Erechtheus I. This later king Erechtheus distinguished as Erechtheus II
#Poseidon in Athens was generally known as "Poseidon Erechtheus" and the vestibule of Poseidon's temple was named the
The remainder of this article describes Erechtheus II.
Apollodorus, Erechtheus II had a twin brother named Buteswho married Erechtheus' daughter Chthonia. Erechtheus and Butes divided the royal power possessed by Pandion, Erechtheus taking the physical rule but Butes taking the priesthood of Athena and Poseidon, this right being passed on to his descendants.
Erechtheus was father, by his wife Praxithea, of several daughters:
Procris, Creusa, Chthoniaand Oreithyia.
His reign was marked by the war between Athens and
Eleusiswhen the Eleusians were commanded by Eumolpusof Thrace, who (accepting the most common genealogy) was son of Poseidonby Chionedaughter of Boreasby Oreithyia daughter of Erechtheus and was therefore Erechtheus' own great-grandson. An oracle declared that Athens' survival depended on the death one of the three daughters of Erechtheus. Perhaps three unmarried daughters is meant. But in one version it is Chthonia who is sacrificed. In another both Protogeneia and Pandora, the two eldest, offer themselves up. In any case the remaining sisters, or at least some of them, are said to kill themselves. These unfortunate daughters of Erechtheus became the Hyacinthides upon their death.
In the following battle between the forces of Athens and Eleusis, Erechtheus slew Eumolpus but then himself fell in battle, struck down by Poseidon's trident according to fragments of
Euripides' tragedy "Erechtheus". Or Zeus slew him with a thunderbolt at Poseidon's request.
Erechtheus is succeeded by
Cecrops II, his brother according to a fragment from the poet Castor but his son according to Apollodorus(3.15.1).
Other sons of Erechtheus sometimes mentioned are Orneus,
Metion, Pandorus, Thespius, and Eupalamus.
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