Erechtheus was a king of Athens married to Praxithea. He is often confused with his grandfather Erichthonius, indeed, they may have been one and the same person. His parents were Pandion and Zeuxippe - or (according to Homer) he sprang straight from the soil without any human parents.

He fought a war against the neighbouring people of Eleusis and was involved in a number of violent episodes, including the sacrifice of one of his daughters (Chthonia). His name may, of course, mean much the same as that of Erichthonius (which see), otherwise it could be a shortened form of Erechthochthonios, from erechtho, 'to shake' and chthon, 'earth', thus 'earth-shaker'.