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The sea upon which they sailed was the domain of Poseidon, who together with his brothers Zeus and Hades were the three most powerful gods of the Greek pantheon. They divided up creation, Zeus taking the sky, Hades the underworld and Poseidon the sea. But there were other deities of the watery depths, notably the "Old Man of the Sea", with his fifty daughters known as the Nereids. When Theseus was en route to Crete, he encountered one of these divinities. King Minos had made rude advances to one of the Athenian maidens and Theseus sprang to her defense, claiming this was his duty as a son of Poseidon. (Theseus, of course, was also the son of King Aegeus, but a true hero required an immortal father, so Theseus had both.)