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Erechtheus(ĕrĕk`thēəs), in Greek mythology, king of Athens. On the advice of an oracle he sacrificed one of his daughters during the battle between the Athenians and the Eleusinians. This enabled him to win the battle, but Poseidon later destroyed him and all his house. Erechtheus is often confused with ErichthoniusErichthonius
, in Greek mythology, son of Hephaestus and Athena, half man and half serpent. After his birth Athena concealed him in a chest that she gave to the daughters of Cecrops to keep. They opened it and were so frightened by Erichthonius' shape that they killed themselves.
..... Click the link for more information. , his grandfather. Both were associated with the worship of Athena; one or the other is said to have built a temple which was the forerunner to the ErechtheumErechtheum
[for Erechtheus], Gr. Erechtheion, temple in Pentelic marble, on the Acropolis at Athens. One of the masterpieces of Greek architecture, it was constructed between c.421 B.C. and 405 B.C. to replace an earlier temple to Athena destroyed by the Persians.
..... Click the link for more information. built in the 5th cent. B.C., and to have established the Panathenaea (see AthenaAthena
, or Pallas Athena
, in Greek religion and mythology, one of the most important Olympian deities. According to myth, after Zeus seduced Metis he learned that any son she bore would overthrow him, so he swallowed her alive.
..... Click the link for more information. ).
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inventor of chariots. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 91]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.