The Death of Aigeus and the Sons of Pallas (page 277 upper with art)

Chapter 9: Theseus’ Later Exploits

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Σ Hipp 35 – Scholia to Euripides, Hippolytos  Scholia in Euripidem. 2, pp. 9-10, ed. E. Schwartz. Berlin 1891.

Fleeing blood pollution: Philochoros says that the Pallantidai were destroyed by Theseus in the following way [frg. 108].  “When Pallas had in mind to attack the Athenians, he openly set out with his force towards the city, taking the route from Sphettos.  Meanwhile his sons, in accordance with their father’s plan, set up an ambush at Gargettos with their companions.  The intention was for Pallas to make a synchronized attack, when the sons made their sortie against the Athenians.  With this first assault, they hoped to take the city.  A man who acted as herald for Pallas, informed Theseus of what was happening. Theseus immediately attacking with his companions, annihilated them.”  The story goes like this: Nisos and Pallas and Aigeus were three brothers, all sons of Pandion. Nisos dwelt at Megara, while Aigeus and Pallas came from separate districts since synoecism had not yet taken place in Attika.  It is said that Theseus, who was first cousin of the sons of Pallas, destroyed one of them who was plotting to claim the kingdom.  [Others told the story thus.  They say that Theseus destroyed the Pallantid sons, while they were lying in ambush in order to attack the city.]  But there was a law that, because of the pollution, those who shed the blood of kindred and relatives should suffer a year’s banishment: he therefore made himself an exile. He also transferred his wife to nearby Troizen (where he had kindred), separating himself from her and from the whole Peloponnese.  It was customary for those avoiding trial for murder to spend one year in exile from the fatherland.  (Transl. Mary Emerson)  Greek Text 

same as

Philochoros 328F108 FGrH – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker pt. 3 B, p. 130, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

See above for Translation.  Greek Text

ApB 1.6.2 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

As for the other giants, Ephialtes was shot by Apollo with an arrow in his left eye and by Hercules in his right; Eurytus was killed by Dionysus with a thyrsus, and Clytius by Hecate with torches, and Mimas by Hephaestus with missiles of red-hot metal. Enceladus fled, but Athena threw on him in his flight the island of Sicily; and she flayed Pallas and used his skin to shield her own body in the fight. Polybotes was chased through the sea by Poseidon and came to Cos; and Poseidon, breaking off that piece of the island which is called Nisyrum, threw it on him.  Greek Text

Athens, east frieze of Hephaisteion, Theseus battling the Pallantidai?



Pls. 78b and 82a from C.H. Morgan, “The Sculptures of the Hephaisteion II. The Friezes,” Hesperia vol. 31.3, 1962

iconiclimc image

Matthew Lahanas, Greek Temples

Perseus Art & Archaeology Artifact Browser (on design of temple)


East facade of Hephaisteion, with east frieze visible over columns of temple’s front porch, Wikimedia Commons

DS 4.60.4-5 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

As for the sons of Minos, Androgeos came to Athens at the time of the Panathenaic festival, while Aegeus was king, and defeating all the contestants in the games he became a close friend of the sons of Pallas. 5 Thereupon Aegeus, viewing with suspicion the friendship which Androgeos had formed, since he feared that Minos might lend his aid to the sons of Pallas and take from him the supreme power, plotted against the life of Androgeos. Consequently, when the latter was on his way to Thebes in order to attend a festival there, Aegeus caused him to be treacherously slain by certain natives of the region in the neighbourhood of Oenoê in Attica. Greek Text

Paus 1.22.2 – Pausanias, Description of Greece

Afterwards Pallas and his sons rebelled against Theseus. After putting them to death he went to Troezen for purification.  Greek Text

Paus 1.28.10 – Pausanias, Description of Greece

At Delphinium are tried those who claim that they have committed justifiable homicide, the plea put forward by Theseus when he was acquitted, after having killed Pallas, who had risen in revolt against him, and his sons.  Greek Text

Thes 13 – Plutarch, Theseus

Now the sons of Pallas had before this themselves hoped to gain possession of the kingdom when Aegeus died childless. But when Theseus was declared successor to the throne, exasperated that Aegeus should be king although he was only an adopted son of Pandion and in no way related to the family of Erechtheus, and again that Theseus should be prospective king although he was an immigrant and a stranger, they went to war. [2] And dividing themselves into two bands, one of these marched openly against the city from Sphettus with their father; the other hid themselves at Gargettus and lay in ambush there, intending to attack their enemies from two sides. But there was a herald with them, a man of Agnus, by name Leos. This man reported to Theseus the designs of the Pallantidae. [3] Theseus then fell suddenly upon the party lying in ambush, and slew them all. Thereupon the party with Pallas dispersed.  Greek Text

ApB 3.15.5 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

While Pandion was at Megara, he had sons born to him, to wit, Aegeus, Pallas, Nisus, and Lycus. But some say that Aegeus was a son of Scyrius, but was passed off by Pandion as his own.  Greek Text

ApE 1.11 – Apollodoros, Epitome

But Theseus succeeded to the sovereignty of Athens, and killed the sons of Pallas, fifty in number; likewise all who would oppose him were killed by him, and he got the whole government to himself.  Greek Text

Σ Hipp 35 – Scholia to Euripides, Hippolytos  Scholia in Euripidem, 2, pp. 9-60, ed. E. Schwartz. Berlin 1891.

See text and translation above

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Edited by Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, July 2016. Literary sources updated by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, April 2023.

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