King of Athens
Before the Athenian democracy, the tyrants, and the Archons, the city-state of Athens was ruled by kings. Most of these are probably mythical or only semi-historical. This list is based on that given by the fourth century CE historian and Christian bishop, Eusebius of Caesarea.
These three kings were supposed to have ruled before the flood of the Deucalion myth.
Cecrops was considered the first true king of Athens, although he was a mythical half-man half-serpent. The dates for the following kings were conjectured centuries later, by historians of the Hellenistic era who tried to backdate events by cross-referencing ancient sources such as the Parian Chronicle. None of these chronologies is scientifically verifiable nowadays. Tradition says that King Menestheus took part in the Trojan War, and Codrus, the last king, was the one to repel the Dorian Invasion of Attica.
- Cecrops I 1556 - 1506 BC. 50 years—Death
- Cranaus 1506 - 1497 BC. 9 years—Dethroned
- Amphictyon 1497 - 1487 BC. 10 years—Dethroned
- Erichthonius 1487 - 1437 BC. 50 years—Death
- Pandion I 1437 - 1397 BC. 40 years—Suicide
- Erechtheus 1397 - 1347 BC. 50 years—Death
- Cecrops II 1347 - 1317 BC. 30 years—Dethroned
- Chyrasos 1317 - 1292 BC. 25 years—Dethroned
- Pandion II 1292 BC - 1291 BC. Months—Suicide
- Metion 1291 BC - 1291 BC Months—Dethroned
- Aegeus 1291 BC - 1234 BC. 57 years—Suicide
- Theseus 1234 - 1204 BC. (or 1213 BC).
- Menestheus 1204 - 1181 BC (or 1213 - 1191 BC).
- Demophon 1181 - 1147 BC.
- Oxyntes 1147 - 1135 BC.
- Apheidas 1135 - 1134 BC.
- Thymoetes 1134 - 1126 BC.
Melanthus having been driven from his kingdom in Pylos came to Athens where Thymoestes resigned the crown to him.
After Codrus's death, his sons Medon and Acastus either reigned as kings, or became hereditary archons.1 In 753 BC the hereditary archonship was replaced by a non-hereditary system (see Archons of Athens).
- Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians §3.
- Felix J., "Die Attische Königsliste," Klio 3 (1902), 406-439.