The Test

It was by lifting a boulder that Theseus, grandson of the king of Troezen, first proved himself a hero. Theseus was sixteen at the time. He had been raised by his grandfather and his mother, Princess Aethra. One day the princess called Theseus to her side. It was time, she said, that he learned of his father, who was the ruler of a mighty kingdom. This was news to Theseus, who had been under the impression that his father was one of the gods. "Before I divulge his identity," said the princess, "you must meet the challenge your father has set you." Years ago, the king had hefted a mighty stone. Underneath he had placed something for his son to find - if he could lift the weight.