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Athens is a city in Attica in mainland Greeceand its natives are called Athenians. The district of Attica was formerly called Acte or Actaea in the time of Actaeus, and Cecropia in the times of Cecrops, since usually tyrants, who love honours, call many things after themselves.

The Athenians were called "sons of the soil", which means they have belonged to the land eternally. "Son of the Soil" is not the same as "Son of Earth (Gaia)". The children of the soil have neither father nor mother, and therefore they just arise from the ground like a plant does. A descendant of Deucalion, Amphictyon, took over power in Athens for twelve years, but otherwise the "sons of the soil" ruled almost without interruptions until Melanthus became king.

Some have mentioned Colaenus as first ruler of Attica, but others say that the first king of Attica was Actaeus, and that he reigned before “The Flood” in the age of Deucalion. His daughter Aglaurus married Cecrops, who in this way inherited the throne and became the first king of Athens.

King Cecrops, who had a body compounded of man and serpent, was a so called “son of the soil”. The land which was formerly called Acte, he named Cecropia after himself. During his time, the gods competed with each other to gain the patronage of the cities. In Athens this competition took place between Poseidon and Athena. Because Cecrops witnessed that Athena had been the first to plant the olive, the twelve gods who had been appointed as arbiters by Zeus, decided in her favour.

Some say that Cecrops was a pious king because he was the first to acknowledge Zeus as the Supreme God, and refused to sacrifice anything living, but instead burnt cakes on the altar. He was a contemporary of the utterly impious Lycaon 2, who sacrificed a human baby on the altar of Zeus. Cecrops had by Aglaurus one son Erysichthon and three daughters: Aglaurus 2, Herse 2 and Pandrosus. Erysichthon never inherited the kingdom as his father survived him. And he was childless, so Cranaus, another “son of the soil” but in reality the most powerful of the Athenians, came to the throne, and it was during his reign that “The Flood” in the age of Deucalion took place.

Cranaus married the Lacedaemonian girl Pedias, who gave birth to Cranae, Cranaechme and Atthis. When Atthis died in her youth, Cranaus called the country Atthis after her. Cranaus was dethroned by Amphictyon, something for a son-in-law to do, for Amphictyon was Atthis’ husband. However some say that Atthis died a maid. Cranaus fled from Athens to Lamptrae, another location in Attica, and there he died and was buried. Amphictyon was, according to some, a so called “son of the soil”, but according to others he was the son of Deucalion and Pyrrha. Amphictyon reigned during twelve years, but then he and his seditious rebels were banished by Erichthonius 2.

The parentage of Erichthonius 2 is uncertain. It has been said that he is the son either of Hephaestus and Atthis, or of Hephaestus and Athena, or of Hephaestus & Gaia, and he also has been called a “son of the soil”. It is also said that his body’s lower part was snake-formed. Erichthonius 2 married the naiad Praxithea 2, and his child by her, Pandion 2, became king of Athens when Erichthonius 2 died.

It is during the reign of Pandion 2 that both Demeter and Dionysus 2 came to Attica, the former being welcomed by Celeus 1, king of Eleusis, and Dionysus 2 by Icarius 2. Under Pandion 2, Athens was at war with Thebes, which at the time was ruled by Labdacus 1 (grandfather of Oedipus), for a matter of boundaries. For the purpose of defeating the Thebans, Pandion 2 asked military assistance from the Thracian king Tereus 1, who helped to bring the war to a successful close.

But Tereus 1, having received from the grateful Pandion 2 one of his daughters as wife, seduced the other, pretending the first was dead. Tereus 1, after marrying Procne, fell in love with her sister Philomela 1. He seduced her, saying that Procne was dead, as he concealed her in the country. So he married Philomela 1, but cruel as he was, he cut out her tongue. Yet, by weaving characters in a garment, she revealed to Procne her own grief. After having found her sister, Procne killed her son Itys 1, boiled him, and served him up for dinner to the unwitting Tereus 1. Having done this horrible deed, the sisters fled pursued by Tereus 1. On being overtaken at Daulis in Phocis, the sisters prayed to the gods to be turned into birds, and Procne became a nightingale, and Philomela 1 a swallow. Tereus 1 also was changed into a bird, turning into a hoopoe.

At the death of Pandion 2, his sons divided their inheritance, Erechtheus becoming king of Athens, and Butes 2 receiving the priesthood of Athena and Poseidon. During the reign of Erechtheus, war broke out against the Eleusinians. Erechtheus inquired of the oracle how the Athenians might win victory, and the oracle answered that they would win the war if he would sacrifice one of his daughters. When this had been done, his other daughters killed themselves, as they had taken an oath to perish together. On the Eleusinian side, there was Eumolpus 1, who attacked Athens because, as he put it, that land belonged to his father Poseidon. However he was defeated and killed by Erechtheus along with Eumolpus 1’s son Ismarus 2, who commanded the troops. Some say that Poseidon demanded then that Erechtheus’ daughter be sacrificed to him, so that Erechtheus would not rejoice at the death of Eumolpus 1. In any case Chthonia 1, Erechtheus’ daughter, was sacrificed. And some affirm that Zeus killed Erechtheus with a thunderbolt at Poseidon’s request.

Apparently not all daughters perished on that occasion. At least not Procris 2, with whom King Erechtheus had committed incest. Procris 2 married Cephalus 1, who some call King of Athens. But she let herself be bribed by a golden crown, taking a lover. Having being detected by Cephalus 1, she fled to King Minos 2 of Crete. But also Minos 2 fell in love with her. The case was that if any woman made love to Minos 2, it was impossible for her to escape with life, because Minos 2 had been bewitched by her wife Queen Pasiphae, and whenever he took a mistress, he caused her death. But Minos 2 had a Swift Dog and a Dart-That-Flew-Straight. Accepting these wonderful gifts, Procris 2 let herself be bribed again, and became his mistress. However, she took care to make him drink the Circaean root so that he might not harm her. After some time, fearing the queen, she returned to Athens and to her husband Cephalus 1, with whom she was reconciled. But later, while they were hunting she was by accident killed by the above mentioned Dart-That-Flew-Straight.

For this death, Cephalus 1 was tried in the Areopagus, found guilty and banished. Cephalus 1 settled in Thebes and there he met another exile, Amphitryon, and together they waged war against the Taphians, who lived in the islands off the coast of Acarnania. The island of Cephallenia is called after this Cephalus 1, father of Arcisius, father of Laertes, father of Odysseus, king of Ithaca and Cephallenia.

Some say that the successor of Erechtheus was Cecrops 2, the eldest of his sons. Cecrops 2 married Metiadusa, daughter of Eupalamus, son of Erechtheus. Cecrops 2 was succeeded by his son Pandion 4, who reigned in Athens until he was expelled by the sons of Metion 1, and having emigrated to Megara, he was later proclaimed king of that city.

The sons of Metion 1 were in turn expelled by Pandion 4’s son Aegeus 1, who became king. Aegeus 1 consorted with Aethra 2, who gave birth to Theseus, and later he married Medea, by whom he had a son Medus. During the reign of Aegeus 1, Athens had to pay a hard tribute to Crete. The expedition of Theseus to Crete liberated Athens from this subjection, but as Aegeus 1 thought Theseus to be dead, he threw himself into the sea and perished.

Because of Theseus’ adventure with Helen, he lost the kingdom and Menestheus 1 became king of Athens, while Theseus, as an exile, went to Scyros where he met his death. Menestheus 1 was son of Peteos. This Peteos was originally an Egyptian, who later obtained Athenian citizenship. Peteos was, nevertheless, pursued during the reign of Aegeus 1 and migrated from Attica to Phocis. However, some say that Peteos’ father was Orneus 1, after whom the Orneae was called, and that Orneus 1 was son of Erechtheus. Menestheus 1 was one of the Suitors of Helen, and bound by the oath of Tyndareus, he became leader of the Athenians against Troy. After the sack of Troy, Menestheus 1 went to Melos and reigned as king, because the king there, Polyanax, had died.

The throne was then inherited by Demophon 1, son of Theseus and Phaedra. Demophon 1 also fought in the Trojan War, and is one of those who hid inside the “WOODEN HORSE”. After the war, Demophon 1 asked Agamemnon for the freedom of his grandmother Aethra 2 and Agamemnon granted his request after receiving Helen’s consent. Demophon 1 is considered the cause of the suicide of Phyllis 1, daughter of the king of the Thracian Bisaltians, to whom he made love promises. Demophon 1 was himself thrown off by his horse, and fell on his sword and died.

The last of the Athenian kings descended from Theseus was Thymoetes 2, son of Oxyntes. Thymoetes 2 was deposed by Melanthus 1, who had been expelled from Messenia by the Heraclides Temenus 2 and Cresphontes. Melanthus 1 was son of Andropompus 1, son of Borus 3, son of Penthilus 2, son of Periclymenus 1, son of Neleus, a descendant of Deucalion 1 and founder of Pylos.

After Melanthus 1, Codrus 1 became king of Athens. During his reign the Peloponnesians made an expedition against the city, and in the war that ensued Codrus 1 was killed. His son Medon 11 succeeded him on the throne. Otherwise the sons of Codrus 1 began the Ionian colonization of Asia Minor: Neileus was leader of an expedition; Androclus has been called founder of Ephesus; Cyaretus founded Myus (a city in Caria, southern Asia Minor); Damasichthon 3, one the Ionian leaders, was killed by his brother Promethus, who himself died in Naxos; Andraemon 5 founded Lebedus in Caria; Naoclus, who was a bastard son of Codrus 1, led an Attic contingent of Ionian colonists in Asia Minor.