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Cecrops

In Greek mythology, Cecrops ("face with a tail") was half-man and half-snake. He was born from the ground and became the first king of Athens. He may have been a son of Erichthonius. He was a culture-hero, teaching the Athenians marriage, reading and writing, and ceremonial burial. Cecrops was Metion's and Pandorus's brother, if he was, in fact, the son of Erichthronius.

According to some, he was the father of Herse, Pandrosus and Aglaulus and was succeeded by Cranaus.

Athena became the patron goddess of the city of Athens, in a competition with Poseidon which Cecrops judged. They agreed that each would give the Athenians one gift and Cecrops would choose whichever gift they preferred. Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a spring sprung up; the water was salty and not very useful, whereas Athena offered them an olive tree. Cecrops accepted the olive tree and along with it Athena as their patron, for the olive tree brought wood, oil and food.

The Acropolis was also known as the Cecropia in his honor.



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