The legend that connects Theseus and Ariadne with Amathus!

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Tradition and Customs

The archaeological site of Amathus in Limassol, although is composed only but ruins anymore, remains in the area, reminding the glorious years that this important city of ancient Amathus once enjoyed. The kingdom of Amathus, which prospered in the antiquity, is accompanied by remarkable legends, which up to now keep its history alive.

One of the most famous legends of the ancient city is associated with 2 important figures of the Greek mythology, the Athenian hero Theseus and the daughter of King Minos of Crete, Ariadne. With 2 basic variations, the legend recounts that the couple's ship raided the island near Amathus due to a huge storm.

The first version reports that Theseus and Ariadne were warmly welcomed by the Amathusians, especially by the fishermen of the city who were very hospitable and took a great care of the couple. Ariadne was pregnant at the time, but she found tragic death in childbirth. Thus, Ariadne was buried in a tomb near the area, which Amathusians dedicated to her name with many honors. Ariadne's tomb is believed to be on the north side of the Amathus archaeological site, on a dilapidated rock.

The second variant of the legend says that Theseus left the pregnant Ariadne alone on the island, as she was in poor condition due to her pregnancy. Thus, the young woman got under under the protection and care of the local women, who helped her cope with the difficulties of the childbirth. According to the legend, Ariadne identified with the goddess Aphrodite and was worshiped by the Amathusians who named her Ariadne - Aphrodite.

Beyond these 2 variations, there are several other versions of the myth that want Theseus to leave Ariadne on the island and Ariadne to give birth to 2 twin sons, Staphylos and Oinopionas. According to this version, the 2 sons created the first vineyard of the region, which helped to the development of the wine-growing and the wine production of the island.

* NOTE: The tributes of the Project "History of Limassol" present information that has emerged from historical research thus far. Any new data is embedded into the tributes, once it has been confirmed.

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