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[希腊神话52]特修斯

2006-02-28 00:00

  Theseus

  Just as Heracles was the chief hero of Peloponnesus,so Theseus was the most famous half god of Attlca.His father was king Aegeus of Athens and his mother a princess of Troezen.When he was still an infant his father left him in the care of his mother  and went back to his own kingdom.Before he left,Aegeus buried his sword and sandals under a huge stone,and told his mother to direct him to Athens as soon as he was big enough to lift the rock and take the hidden gifts with him. At the age of sixteen he became a strong young man,intelligent and with lots of nerve.Taking the sword from under the rock,he joyfully set out to look for his father.It was a journey of adventures.But he cleared the roads of various monsters he met and appeared harmless in his father's palace at Athens.Little did he suspect that here would be an attempt on his life there.

  King Aegeus had recently married Medea,a bad woman.She was anxious to have the Athenian throne  for her own child. She had persuaded the king to poison the newcomer at a feast.As the feast was in progress,King Aegeus saw Theseus' sword and recognized his son in the young man . Quickly pushing the poisoned cup aside,he took his son in his arms and declared him his successor.Thus troubled by her own evil designs,Mede fled in her dragon drawn carriage,never to return.for a time Theseus stayed with his father at Athens.When the Cretan bull escaped into the area of Marathon he set out alone to fight with the beast and offered it up as a sacrifice to the gods.

  At this time the city of Athens was bothered by the respect it had promised to pay to King Minos of Crete . The Cretans had come to attack Athens,and the gods had ordered that the Athenians would have to meet the demand of the Cretan king that seven boys and seven girls be sent to Crete every year to feed the half man,half bull Minotaur.Determined to kill the Minotaur and save his people from further grief,Theseus decided to go as one of the fourteen chosen victims.Before he left he promised his father that if he succeeded in his work he would change the black sails of his ships to white ones.He went,and with the help of princess Ariadne of Crete,he killed the Minotaur and carried the Princess with him on his way back.At Naxos he left the girl in her own care.For when he neared Athens he forgot to put up the promised white sails,and his anxious father,standing on a hill-top,saw the black sails,threw himself down into the sea in despair.So stricken with grief was Theseus that he never recovered from regret.He succeeded his father as king,and introduced many good measures to improve the life of his people.To rid his kingdom of the threat by the Amazons,he led an expedition into the woman country and took its queen prisoner.The queen,Antiope by name,ws in fact so passionately in love with him that she agreed to marry him.At a later date the Amazons came to lay attack on Athens on the excuse of recovering their queen.In the battle that followed,the queen was wounded by a chance arrow and died,leaving Theseus a sad widower.

  Theseus' friendship with Pirithous,king of the Lapithae,grew from a dramatic beginning.Pirithous was invading Attica and Theseus was marching his men out to meet him. In the first personal encounter between the two heroes each was so filled with admiration for the other that they both laid down their weapons and became faithful friends.

  At the wedding of Pirithous,to which Theseus and Heracleswere invited,a number of horsemen present were angry with the shining beauty of the bride,so that they attempted to take her by force.Both Theseus and Heracles were enraged at their wild behaviour .In what was known as the coldblooded fight between the horsemen and the Lapithae they beat the horsemen and saved the bride.But she did not have long to live.

  Both Theseus and Pirithous were full of the ambition of marrying a lady of holy birth.At one time they got Helen by force,she was the beautiful daughter of Zeus,but as she was not yet of marriageable age,Theseus left her with his mother.Later she was rescued by her brothers,Castor and Pollux.So proud were the two friends that they were now planning to invade the lower world and carry Persephone up by force,for Pirithous was eager for her beauty.They went,but they found it impossible to get out again. One of them,Pirithous,was bound to a turning wheel while Theseus himself was chained to a rock.If it had not been for Heracles,who came in for Cerberus,Theseus would never have been able to return to the upper air again.

  When he returned to Athens he was quite old and unhappy with life.As king he acted like a tyrant  and went successfully away from his people. He was sent away to the island of Scyros,where he fell into sea from a cliff. Nothing more was heard of him until the battle of Marathon centuries later.When the Athenians saw a mighty soldier leading them in their ruthless attack against the invading Persians,they recognized him as Theseus and after the war they devoted a grand temple to his memory and offered sacrifice at his altar.

  正如海格立斯是珀罗普妮萨斯的大英雄,特修斯当之无愧地成了安提卡闻名遐尔的人神。他的父亲是雅典国王埃尔忒斯,而他的母亲是特隆泽的一位公主。当他还在襁褓中时,他父亲就把他交给了母亲,返回自己的王国去了。临行前,埃尔忒斯将剑和凉鞋埋在一块巨石之下;并告诉他母亲说:一旦特修斯长大了能搬起了石头,就拿出埋藏的礼物,然后指点他到雅典来。特修斯16岁时就长成了身强体壮的年轻人,他智慧超群但却性情急燥。当他从巨石下拿出宝剑时,就激动地起程去寻找他的父亲。旅途惊险至极,他清除了路上所遇的各种怪物猛兽,最终安然无恙地来到父亲在雅典的王宫里。他丝毫没有预料到王宫里竟隐藏着杀害他的阴谋。

  国王埃尔忒斯新近娶了梅底。梅底是个心地歹毒的女人。她一心想让自己的孩子继承雅典王国的王位。她已说服国王让他毒死宴会上的这个陌生人。宴会上,埃尔忒斯国王看见了特修斯的剑,立刻认出原来这个年轻人是自己的儿子。他迅速推开那杯毒酒,拥抱他,并宣布他为自己的王位继承人。梅底为自己的歹毒计划扰得心神不安,于是驾上龙车逃掉了,从此再没有回来。特修斯在雅典与父亲住了一段时间。当克里坦的公牛跑到马拉松地区时,特修斯单枪匹马前去向那只猛兽挑战,最终将它作为祭品献给了众神。

  那段时间,雅典城一直为自己曾许诺向克里特国王米诺斯进贡一事而困扰不安。克里特人曾进攻雅典,众神命令雅典人满足克里坦所提的条件。也就是每年须向克里特王国进贡七对童男童女来喂养半人半牛的怪物。为了杀死怪物,使同胞们免遭更大的悲痛,特修斯决定作为被选送牺牲品的一员前往克里特。临行前,他向父亲保证,一旦成功,他将把船上的黑帆换成白帆。他走了,在克里特公主阿瑞安得妮的帮助下,他杀死了半人半牛的怪物并带着公主一同返回。他把姑娘留在了纳克松斯,让她自己照顾自己。但是当他的船驶近雅典时,他忘记换上约定好的白帆。他焦虑的父亲站在山顶上看到远处的黑帆时,就绝望地跳海自尽了。特修斯懊悔万分,再也没能从自责中缓过来。

  他接替父亲当了国王。他引进了许多好方法来改善人民的生活。为了使国家不再受亚马孙族女战士的威胁,他带队远征这个女人国,并俘虏了它的王后。王后名叫安提诺波。事实上,她狂热地爱上了特修斯并答应嫁给他。后来,亚马孙族人借口要夺回王后派兵攻打雅典。在接着的战斗中,王后被一只乱箭射中,不幸丧命,留下特修斯一人独自悲伤。

  特修斯与拉皮塞国王皮瑞塞斯的友谊有着戏剧般的开端。皮瑞塞斯入侵安提卡。特修斯带兵出城迎战。在两人正面交锋的第一个回合中,两人相互之间钦佩不已,以致最后都放下武器成了忠实的朋友。

  皮瑞塞斯结婚时,特修斯和海格拉斯都受到了邀请。在场的许多骑兵被新娘那闪光夺目的美丽所激怒。他们决定用武力把她抢过来。特修斯和海格拉斯对他们的野蛮行径怒不可遏。在这场众所周知的冷血战争中,他们痛击了骑兵并夺回了新娘。可惜她很快就离开人世了。

  特修斯和皮瑞塞斯都雄心勃勃想娶一位出身圣洁的淑女。他们一度夺来了海伦。她是宙斯美丽的女儿,但她未到婚嫁年龄,于是特修斯让母亲照看她。后来,海伦的兄弟卡斯特和波鲁克斯救出了她。两位朋友如此骄傲便决定去进攻人间,把珀耳塞福涅抢来。因为皮瑞塞斯喜爱她的美貌。他们出发了,但他们却发现自己已无法逃脱,皮瑞塞斯被绑到了一个旋转的车轮上了,而特修斯则被拴在了石头上。要不是海格立斯,特修斯肯定就不能再回到天上了。

  当特修斯回到雅典时,他老态龙钟,生活也不如意。作为一个国王他独断专横,结果被人民赶下了台。他被流放到塞库鲁斯岛。在那儿,他失足从悬崖上栽到了海里。从那以后,他杳无音信。几百年后特洛伊战争爆发。雅典人看到一个身材高大的士兵带领他们勇敢无情地攻击着入侵的波斯人,他们认出他就是特修斯。战争结束后,雅典人为纪念他建造了一座大寺庙,并给他的祭坛贡奉祭品。

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