Dēmos · Classical Athenian Democracy · a Stoa Publication
→ The individual heroes: Kekrops.
Amy C. Smith, edition of January 18 2003
page 10 of 16
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Aristophanes (Aristoph. Wasps).
Euripides (Eur. Ion.).
Euripides (Eur. Ion).
Aristophanes (Aristoph. Pl.).
Tacitus (Tac. Ann.).
Xenophon (Xen. Mem.).
Plot on a Map
Mythology: Kekrops, who was half man and half snake (Aristoph. Wasps 438; Eur. Ion. 1163-64; see also Berlin F 2357), has no recorded parentage; his autochthonous nature, noted by Apollod. 3.14.1, encouraged Athenian pride in their sense of belonging to Attica. He was an early King of Attica, either the first (Marm. Par. A 1) or successor to Aktaios (Paus. 1.2.6). With Agraulos, daughter of Aktaios, he had three daughters, Aglauros, Pandrosos and Herse (Eur. Ion 270-72; Philochorus FGrH 328 F 106) and a son, Erysichthon (Apollod. 3.14.1; Paus. 1.2.6). Kekrops is said to have introduced several cults, including the cult of Kronos and Rhea to Attica (Philochorus FGrH 328 F 97), as well as non-animal sacrifice to Zeus Hypatos (Paus. 8.2.3). He is also credited with introducing customs (Aristoph. Pl. 773) and writing (Tac. Ann. 11.14), and even presided over the contest between Athena and Poseidon for the patronage of Athens (Xen. Mem. 35.10; Apollod. 3.14.1 suggests otherwise).
Worship: Kekrops was worshipped on the Acropolis (IG II2, 1156), perhaps in a cave (Eur. Ion 1400), a tomb (Clem. Alex. Protr. 3.45), or a corner near the south wall of the Erechtheion (IG I3, 474.59-63); here his priesthood was hereditary among the Amynandridai (IG II2, 2388). By the time of Hadrian times Kekrops was also worshipped in the Thriasian Plain. Kekrops may also have received worship outside Attica: in Haliartos (Paus. 9.33.1) and in Megara (Hsych. s.v. “En d’Aithuia”).
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