preview

Theseus of Greece and Romulus of Rome

Good Essays
Bravery, strength, and leadership are just a few of the characteristics possessed by Theseus of Greece and Romulus of Rome. Plutarch, a Greek historian, explains lives each of these men. These men were different from any of the other men during Ancient Greece and Rome; according to Plutarch, they were descendants of the divine, which ultimately destined them for greatness. Throughout their lives, they would achieve power through various events and establish the societies and politics of two the greatest cities in history. The paths that each took and the events that occurred in their lives molded them into the heroes while also contributing to the legacy they would leave behind.
Monarchs ruled Athens, before the life of Theseus. To kept the monarchy in control and continue the current rulers authority, an heir had to be born. Conflict between the current ruler and those who wanted to take over his position was always inevitable. In Plutarch writing, Theseus was born to the king of Athens, Aegeus, and Aethra, the daughter of the wise Pittheus. After Aegeus’ encounter with Aethra, he left shoes and a sword under a rock so that if he did produce an heir he would return to Athens to be at his father’s side. Aegeus knew that if he did produce an heir that he had to keep the child a secret so that his enemies, the fifty sons of Palla, would not kill the child. When Aethra’s son was born her, her father claimed that little Theseus’ father was the god of the sea, Poseidon, hiding the secret of the real father. In addition, it is possible that Poseidon was said to be the boy’s father because this could boost the boy’s reputation as he grew.
While Athens prepared for the encounter of a young man that would change their city, Plutarch exp...

... middle of paper ...

... not care about Theseus death until at the Battle of Marathon, where men claimed to see Theseus charge the army into victory. With orders from the oracle of Delphi, Theseus’ bones were found in Scyros and brought back to be buried in Athens. Theseus’ bones were buried in an area where his memory as a protector of the weak flourished.
Plutarch paired Theseus and Romulus because they were both men of divine ancestry that showed bravery and did whatever it took for their cities to grow. They both had their flaws, like Romulus ruling as king and killing his brother, while Theseus had trouble with kidnapping women that kept him away from governing Athens properly. From the readings, there are no clear passages of favoritism by Plutarch because no man was really better than the other. They were just men who went from being bastard children to legends in ancient history.
Get Access