In the palace of old King Pittheus of Troezen a grandson was growing up- brave, strong, and handsome. And people said of him: "What wonder that Theseus is so fair and noble? Is not the great god Poseidon his father?"
Often the boy said to himself, "I will be like Hercales and slay wild beasts and giants and evil men." So it was a shock to him to learn that he was no demigod but the son a mortal- King Aegeus of Athens.
The secret was revealed to him in a curious way. For several years past on his birthday, his mother, the Princess Aethra, had taken him to a great black stone by the sea. "My son," she had always said, "see if you can push this stone aside."