Erechtheus was a king of Athens and an object of cult worship. He was typically numbered among the sons of Pandion I, though some sources claimed he was born from the earth itself.
In myth, Erechtheus was best known for his war against the Eleusinians, who were led by Poseidon’s son Eumolpus. The voluntary self-sacrifice of Erechtheus’ daughters ensured an Athenian victory in this war, but Erechtheus did not survive long enough to enjoy his victory; after killing Eumolpus in battle, Erechtheus himself was killed by Poseidon (Eumolpus’ father) in revenge.
Though not as well-remembered today, Erechtheus was a key model of courage in ancient Athens. He had an important cult on the Athenian Acropolis, where he was worshipped as a hero or even a god; he was formally identified with Poseidon, and was sometimes also confused with the autochthonous Athenian king Erichthonius. Erechtheus was one of Athens’ eponymous heroes.