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PROCRUSTES

Also known as HE WHO STRETCHES

Crusty old evildoer from Eleusis who offered passers-by free board and lodgings but was no good samaritan.

They were invited in for a pleasant meal and a night's rest in his bed... "it's special" Procrustes would say, "it will match the length of whoever lies in it exactly!"

This may make it sound magical, but what Procrustes didn't mention was that the actual bed didn't change size at all. If the guest was a little short Procrustes would stretch them on a rack, if they were too tall he would reduce their legs to the appropriate length by sawing bits off.

While he wasn't exactly lying he was a million miles away from telling the whole truth, unfortunately there were no laws against misleading claims back in Ancient Greece.

Theseus wasn't going to fall for the old 'one size fits all' gag, he had already sorted out Sinis and Sciron, and pretty soon Procrustes was fatally adjusted.
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'PROCRUSTES' - Greek entry : 26 April 2007
Page last modified on 27 Mar 2013
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