AEGEUS, in Greek legend, son of Pandion and grandson of Cecrops, was king of Athens and the father of Theseus. He was deposed by his nephews, but Theseus defeated them and reinstated his father. When Theseus set out for Crete to deliver Athens from the tribute to the Minotaur he promised Aegeus that, if he were successful, he would change the black sail carried by his ship for a white one. But, on his return, he forgot to hoist the white sail, and his father, supposing that his son had lost his life, threw himself from a high rock on which he was, keeping watch into the sea, which was afterwards called the Aegean. The Athenians honoured him with a statue and a shrine, and one of the Attic demes was named after him. Plutarch, Theseus; Pausanias i. 22; Hyginus, Fab. 43; Catullus lxiv. 207.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)