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.

Earliest kings

These three kings were supposed to have ruled before the flood of the Deucalion.

King Comments
Periphas Turned into an eagle by Zeus

[1][2] ||King of the Ectenes[3] who were the earliest inhabitants of Boeotia

Actaeus Father of Agraulus, and father-in-law to Cecrops

Erechtheid dynasty

The early Athenian tradition, followed by the 3rd century BCE Parian Chronicle, made Cecrops, a mythical half-man half-serpent, the first king of Athens.[4] The dates for the following kings were conjectured centuries later, by historians of the Hellenistic era who tried to backdate events by cross-referencing earlier sources such as the Parian Chronicle. Tradition says that King Menestheus took part in the Trojan War.

The following list follows that of 1st Century BCE Castor of Rhodes (FGrHist 250), with Castor's dates given in modern terms.[5]

Reign King Comments
1556–1506 BC Cecrops I
1506–1497 BCE Cranaus
1497–1487 BCE Amphictyon
1487–1437 BCE Erichthonius
1437–1397 BCE Pandion I
1397–1347 BCE Erechtheus
1347–1307 BCE Cecrops II Omitted in Heraclides' epitome of Aristotle's Constitution of the Athenians[6]
1307–1282 BCE Pandion II
1282–1234 BC Aegeus Construction of Trojan Walls by Poseidon, Apollo and Aeacus (ca. 1282 BCE)
1234–1205 BCE Theseus
1205–1183 BCE Menestheus Trojan War and the Sack of Troy (ca. 1183 BCE)[7]
1183–1150 BCE Demophon
1150–1136 BCE Oxyntes
1136–1135 BCE Apheidas
1135–1127 BCE Thymoetes

Melanthid dynasty

Melanthus having been driven from his kingdom in Pylos came to Athens where Thymoestes resigned the crown to him. Codrus, the last king, repelled the Dorian Invasion of Attica.

Reign King Comments
1126–1089 BCE Melanthus
1089–1068 BCE Codrus

After Codrus's death, his sons Medon and Acastus either reigned as kings, or became hereditary archons.[8][9] In 753 BC the hereditary archonship was replaced by a non-hereditary system.


  1. King of Agea, not Athens; The name of Ogyges is also connected with Attic story, for in Attica too an Ogygian flood is mentioned, and he is described as the father of the Attic hero Eleusis, and as the father of Daeira (Oceanid), the daughter of Oceanas. (Pans, i. 38. § 7.)
  2. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology: Oarses-Zygia. Edited by William Smith. Pg 20
  3. or Hectenes
  4. Harding, pp. 20–22; Gantz, p. 234.
  5. Harding, p. 14.
  6. Gantz, p. 235.
  7. Troy VIIa destruction layer at ca. 1190 BCE
  8. Pausanias's Description of Greece – Volume 3 – Page 64. (cf. The successors of Codrus were Medon (son of Codrus), Acastus (son of Medon) [...])
  9. Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians §3.


  • Gantz, Timothy, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, Two volumes: ISBN 978-0801853609 (Vol. 1), ISBN 978-0801853623 (Vol. 2).
  • Harding, Phillip, The Story of Athens: The Fragments of the Local Chronicles of Attika, Routledge, 2007. ISBN 9781134304479.
  • Jacoby, Felix, Die Attische Königsliste, Klio 3 (1902), 406–439.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at List of kings of Athens. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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