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The Myth of the Birth of the Hero, by Otto Rank, [1914], at


Aleos, King of Tegea, was informed by the oracle that his sons would perish through a descendant of his daughter. He therefore made his daughter Auge a priestess of the goddess Athena, and threatened her with death should she mate with a man. But when Hercules dwelt as a guest in the sanctuary of Athena, on his expedition against Augeas, he saw the maiden, and while intoxicated, he raped her. When Aleos became aware of her pregnancy, he delivered her to Nauplius, a rough sailor, with the command to throw her into the sea. But on the way she gave birth to Telephus on Mount Parthenios, and Nauplius, unmindful of the orders he had received, carried both her and the child to Mysia, where he delivered them to King Teuthras.

According to another version, Auge secretly brought forth as a priestess, but kept the child hidden in the temple. When Aleos discovered the sacrilege, he caused the child to be exposed in the Parthenian mountains. Nauplius was instructed to sell the mother in foreign lands, or to

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kill her. She was delivered by him into the hands of Teuthras 1

According to the current tradition, Auge exposes the newborn child and escapes to Mysia, where the childless King Teuthras adopts her as his daughter. The boy, however, is nursed by a doe, and is found by shepherds who take him to King Corythos. The king brings him up as his son. When Telephus has grown into a youth, he betakes himself to Mysia, on the advice of the oracle, to seek his mother. He frees Teuthras, who is in danger from his enemies, and in reward receives the hand of the supposed daughter of the king, namely his own mother Auge. But she refuses to submit to Telephus, and when he in his ire is about to pierce the disobedient one with his sword, she calls on her lover Hercules in her distress, and Telephus thus recognizes his mother. After the death of Teuthras he becomes King of Mysia.

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