E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Theseus (2 syl.).
Lord and governor of Athens, called by Chaucer Duke Theseus. He married Hippolita, and as he returned home with his bride, and Emily her sister, was accosted by a crowd of
female suppliants, who complained of Creon, King of Thebes. The Duke forthwith set out for Thebes, slew Creon, and took the city by assault. Many captives fell into his hands, amongst whom were the two knights named Palamon and Arcite (q.v.). (Chaucer The Knights Tale.)