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►Greek Mythology:

“The Labyrinth of Crete, Theseus and The Minotaur”:

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"Theseus and Ariadne at the Entrance of the Labyrinth" by Richard Westall (1810).-

“Theseus and Ariadne at the Entrance of the Labyrinth” by Richard Westall.-

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PASFAE1Minos was the king of Crete and Pasipahe´s husband. As we already know, Pasiphae was the Mother of the Minotaur.

After Pasiphae become impregnated by a white bull, she then gave birth to an hybrid child, the bull-headed Minotaur.

Angered with his wife, Minos imprisoned the minotaur in the labyrinth of Crete in Knossos.

Some modern mythologists regard the Minotaur as a solar personification and a Minoan adaptation of the Baal- Moloch of the Phoenicians. The slaying of the Minotaur by Theseus in that case indicates the breaking of Athenian tributary relations with Minoan Crete.

My blogger friend María, from The Tropical Flowering Zone held in one of her comments in my previous post that “the Minotaur was spawned from the liaison of a woman and a bull, and symbolizes this ‘coincidentia oppositorum’ (meeting of opposites) of feminine and masculine, creature and human, rational and irrational, spiritual and instinctual, deity and demon, good and evil”…  As to Pasipahe´s pregnancy she believes it could be understood as a “symbol of a mother’s unconditional love, as well as her ability to conceive entrains a assumption and materialization of Poseidon’s punishment”.

Doda, from My space in the Inmense Universe, said that  “it is unfair to pay the price for faults we have never committed”. By highlighting then that: “Pasiphae, was the expiatory victim for Minos’ inconsistency and hybris”

min2In the ancient Greek language, the word Labyrinth means “the house of lavrys.” The lavrys is the double-edged axe – one of the basic sacred symbols of the Minoan religion. Usually interpreted as an astro-solar symbol, the lavrys is etched on many sculptured stones in Minoan palaces and other buildings, as well as on vases, pots, and various other works.

There are clear and straight connections between Minoan Crete and Greece. In this sense, my blogger friend, Aisha from Aisha´s Oasis has highlighted in one of her latest comments that Agamemnon’s father, Atreus (Greek), got married Princess Aerope, who was the daughter of King Catreus of Crete. Being therefore Aerope the mother of Agamemnon and his twin brother Menelaus (the famous husband of Helen).

Aisha also found an analogy worth noting. Which applies to the two respective myths, as Atreus also came into the possession of a lamb with a golden fleece. He had promised to sacrifice it to Artemis, but reneged on his vow and kept the lamb (or its fleece) hidden away. Minos, by his part, owned a white bull, which was supposed to be sacrificed to Apollo, he also reneged on his words and keep it to himself in the gardens of the Palace of Knossos.

Pasiphae, wife of King Minos of Crete, had several children before the Minotaur. The eldest of these, Androgeus  set sail for Athens to take part in the Pan-Athenian games. Being strong, he did very well, winning some events outright. He soon became a crowd favorite, much to the resentment of the Pallantides, and they assassinated him, incurring the wrath of Minos.

When King Minos heard of what befell his son, he ordered the Cretan fleet to set sail for Athens. Minos asked Aegeus for his son’s assassins, and if they were to be handed to him, the town would be spared. However, not knowing who the assassins were, King Aegeus surrendered the whole town to Minos’ mercy. His retribution was that, at the end of every Great Year  (seven solar years), the seven most courageous youths and the seven most beautiful maidens were to board a boat and be sent as tribute to Crete, never to be seen again.

In another version, Minos had waged war with the Athenians and was successful. He then demanded that, at nine-year intervals, seven Athenian boys and seven Athenian girls were to be sent to Crete to be devoured by the Minotaur, who was also Pasiphae´s son and lived in the Labyrinth built by Daedalus

On the third occasion, Theseus,  the son of the King of Athens. volunteered to slay the Minotaur.

But in that occasion he also  fell in love with Minos’ daughter Ariadne, who would on no account let her beloved become food for the Minotaur.

theseus_minos1Daedalus’ aid was requested once more, and he gave Ariadne a clue or ball of strong thread. Theseus, following Daedalus’ advice, tied one end of the string to the Labyrinth entrance, and walked through the maze unwinding it until he found the Minotaur. Once he had killed the monster, he followed the thread back out.

Theseus managed to escape with all of the young Athenians and Ariadne as well as her younger sister Phaedra. Then he and the rest of the crew fell asleep on the beach.

Goddess Athena woke up Theseus and told him to leave early that morning, leaving Ariadne and Phaedra on the beach.

Stricken with distress, in hre trip back home, Theseus forgot to put up the white sails instead of the black ones, so the king assumed Theseus had failed and committed suicide.In some versions throwing himself off a cliff and into the sea, thus causing this body of water to be named the Aegean.

Theseus then became King of Athens.  His “mistake” when he sailed home implied tha the  became King as a result of it.

So, as Aisha has commented: “that was an ironic twist at the end… And one wonders if it was really a mistake”.

In the meanwhile, Dionysus later saw Ariadne  of Crete, crying out for Theseus and took pity on her and decided to marry her.

During Minos’ reigning years, Daedalus, from Athens , took up residence in Knossos, after he was exiled to Crete for committing a crime in his own country. In Crete he eventually became the official architect and sculptor for Minos. In Knossos he built the Palace, the Labyrinth, the wooden likeness of a cow for Pasiphae, and even as said before, helped Ariadne and Theseus kill the horrible Minotaur.

However, when Minos became disillusioned with Deadalus because he had betrayed him, he jailed him together with his son in the labyrinth.

Daedalus wanted to scape, so made a pair of wings for himself and Icarus and they flew away.

The wings were made of feathers held together with wax. Daedalus warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, as it would melt his wings, and not too close to the sea, as it would dampen them and make it hard to fly. 

They successfully flew from Crete, but Icarus grew exhilarated by the thrill of flying and began getting careless. Flying too close to the sun, the wax holding together his wings melted from the heat and he fell to his death, drowning in the sea. The Icarian Sea, where he fell, was named after him. 

You can check out more on this last topic in this post: Icarus´Fall: “The Myth. Symbolism and Interpretation”.-

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"Les sept athéniennes livrées au Minotaure" par Jean-Baptiste Peytavin.-

“Les sept athéniennes livrées au Minotaure” par Jean-Baptiste Peytavin.-

"Athenians being Delivered to the Minotaur in the Cretan Laby" by Gustave Moreau.-

“Athenians being Delivered to the Minotaur in the Cretan Laby” by Gustave Moreau.-

"Ariadne and Theseus" by Jean-Baptiste Regnault.-

“Ariadne and Theseus” by Jean-Baptiste Regnault.-

" Ariadne in Naxos, from the Story of Theseus" by Master of the Campana Cassoni.-

” Ariadne in Naxos, from the Story of Theseus” by Master of the Campana Cassoni.-

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►Literary and Philosophical Notes:

minotaur•The Minotaur, appears briefly in Dante´s “Divine Comedy”, Inferno, (Canto XII). In these lines, Virgil taunts the Minotaur in order to distract him, and reminds the Minotaur that he was killed by Theseus (“the Duke of Athens”) with the help of the monster’s half-sister Ariadne. The Minotaur seems to represent the entire zone of Violence, and serves a similar role as gatekeeper for the entire seventh Circle.

•I suggest you to check out this post The Labyrinth of The Soul at E-Tinkerbel´s blog. There, Stefy relates the classic elements of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur´s myth to James Joyce´ book “Ulysses” . Worth reading.

•If you want to read a beautiful brief story about the labyrinth and the Minotaur, check out: “The House of Asterion” / “La Casa de Asterión” (English/Spanish) by argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges.-

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"Dante´s  Hell XII", by William Blake.-

“Dante´s Hell XII”, by William Blake.-

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Danke schön: Thanks to Aisha, María and Doda for their collaboration and notes on this post. Thanks also to Stefy for posting such an interesting article on the labyrint and Joyce’s “Ulysses”.

 Visit their blogs, they are Brilliant!.  Cheers, Aquileana :P

►Updates: Mario Cornejo Cuevas has written a remarkable post, inspired by this one. Its title is “Socrates y el Minotauro” (“Socrates and the Minotaur”).

In his post, he analyzed Plato’s dialogue “Phaedo” (which main topics are Socrates´death and the Immortality of the Soul) linking it to the myth of the Minotaur and his further death by Theseus. I truly recommend it.

Rubén García suggested me to read this exceptional brief  story by Antonio Tabucchi: “Sueño de Dédalo, arquitecto y aviador” (“Dream of Daedalus, Architect and Aviator” ).  Worth reading.

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Credit photo: Inesemjphotography. Thank you very much :D

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aquileana

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Links Post:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labyrinth 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theseus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretan_bull
http://homepage.usask.ca/~jrp638/CourseNotes/AgBckgnd.html
http://www.explorecrete.com/mythology/icarus.html 
http://www.explorecrete.com/history/labyrinth-myth.htm

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Mythology: “Pasiphae, Mother of the Minotaur”: 

“The Greek Myth and A Brief Story by Rubén García”:

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"Pasiphae and the Bul" by Gustave Moreau (1880).-

“Pasiphae and the Bull” by Gustave Moreau (1880).-

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“Pasiphae, Mother of the Minotaur”: “The Greek Myth”: 

“Pasiphae took pleasure in becoming an adulteress with a bull”. (Ovid’s “Ars Amatoria”).-

Minos was one of the three sons from the union of Europa and Zeus; when Zeus was in the form of a bull.

Europa’s husband was the King of Crete, Asterion, who looked over the boys as if his own.

When Asterion died, it was unclear which of the three sons should ascend to power.

The three sons were Minos, Sarpedon, and Rhadamanthus; these three men who after they died were made judges in the Underworld. It was their task to judge the dead in order to assign where their placement was in the Underworld based upon the merits of their life. But it was Minos, whose name in Cretan actually means king, who was fated to be king of Crete. But, Minos’ ascension to power was a difficult journey; he competed for the kingship of Crete with his brothers.

Minos, however, had one advantage that his brothers did not. He claimed that he had the support and authority from the gods to rule.

Thus, one day while sacrificing to Poseidon, he prayed that a bull would appear from the depths of the sea. Minos vowed to heaven that he would sacrifice the bull to Poseidon once it appeared.

Poseidon, then, produced a magnificent bull from the sea and gave it to Minos with the expectation that Minos would sacrifice it to him. This bull indeed certified that Minos was the rightful king of Crete. Rather than sacrifice the bull to Poseidon, Minos kept it for himself. Angered with Minos, Poseidon plotted to punish him for his arrogance. So, he made Pasiphae, the wife of Minos, fall madly in love with the bull. 

Pasiphae was the daughter of Helios, the Sun, by the eldest of the Oceanids Perse. 

Pasiphae had married Minos, the King of Crete. She bore several children to the king, including Androgeos, Ariadne, Deucalion, and Phaedra.  

As she fell in love with the white bull, the Queen conscripted the great artisan Daedalus to assist her in the endeavour, and he built for her a hollow wooden cow, wrapped in a bovine skin and endowed with mechanical life.  

Hiding herself inside this contraption, the Queen of Crete satisfied her lust for bull. She become impregnated by the bull and she then conceived and bore a hybrid child, the bull-headed Minotaur. 

Pasiphae was proud of her relation to bulls, but the mainland Greeks told the story to shame her. She did not blame her husband because she saw the incident as part of a divine plan. The story about Dedalus making a wooden cow is a bit of a puzzle because as a goddess she could become a cow by shifting her shape.

The story of Pasiphae is totally outrageous. The initial part of the story is identical to the story of Europa and can be illustrated by Pasiphae riding a bull, purhaps naked. This could symbolize the conquest of a raging nature (the bull) by love and is a common enough theme.

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“Pasiphae, The Mother”: “Brief Story Written by Rubén García”:

The Minotaur, in Greek Mythology, a monster with the body of a man and the head and tail of a bull.-

The Minotaur, in Greek Mythology, a monster with the body of a man and the head and tail of a bull.-

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It has been three days since I gave birth to the Minotaur and I’m confused. The swollen body and stabbed matrix shrinks as if were aborting. I hear the cry of my baby when feeding time approaches.

The room is sober: a small window, a table where I have water and some fresh fruit which Daedalus sends me from the Royal Palace. I decided,  as Queen that I am, that I would breast-feed the child. 

Undoubtedly, everyone sees him as a monster, but no matter what, he is my son. 

Before his birth, Minos came to my room to reproach me the outrage.

- Do you enjoy being pregnant pregnancy ?- he said ironically while crossing his arms .

- We women enjoy all pregnancies, even when they entrain pain; women are life-giving mother and that fact bring us closer to the Gods.

- Do I have to assume that you feel satisfied?- He say as he was staring at me.

- Of course I do, – I answered, facing him 

 -How can you say that if everybody is talking about you, asking for you to be imprisoned for life ? – He raised his voice, without caring about the servants

 - You don´t need to shout for me to understand you. They are against me because they don´t know that you have disboyed Poseidon, changing the white, snowy bull for a another one that you had in your fields…

-That was something you and the sheperd only knew…

-How naive you are!. Did you think that Poseidon would not notice it ?…  That you would be able to hide that from Helios´eyes ? 

You were the object of revenge. I was just a mean for them to punish your arrogance . Because of the  deceit and shame suffered by the god Poseidon.

Do you believe that Poseidon, who gave you Minos´ kingdom, would n´t do anything?… Or is it so hard for you to accept that Aphrodite bewitched me by making me feel an unstoppable passion for the bull, as she followed Poseidon´s recommendations ?. 

You may think that the reasons of my  pain will be related with the minotaur birth, that is already growing up inside me and that is despised by everyone.

No, my immense pain comes form a different sky. My belly has a destiny of blood and horror that I am not able to change. And that hurts me more than the death of someone I love deeply.

It hurts so bad because I am tied to a future that awaits me and I can´t  do anything about it, but implore the gods to take pity on him.

The bodily aftermaths will be amended by my sister Circe, who may use a potion for this purpose…

But, as to my soul, there would be no God enough capable to comfort it in its sorrows and misfortunes…

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Story written by Rubén García (My Translation) . You can read this story in spanish here: “Pasífae, la madre”

About Rubén García: He was born in Veracruz, Mexico. He studied at the UNAM Colllege and works in the  Faculty of Medicine, in Veracruz.

He is a blogger and writer. He has published several articles in Books and magazines online. You can check them here.

You can also meet him on his great blog “El Blog de Sendero”

I am grateful to Rubén for his collaboration with “La Audacia de Aquiles” and I really hope that you enjoy his story as much as I did. Aquileana :D 

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Click on the image to know more about Ruben García. Hacer click en la  arriba para saber más de Rubén García.-

Click on the image to know more about Ruben García. Hacer click en la imagen arriba para saber más de Rubén García.-

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"The Passions of Pasiphae, wife of King Minos of Crete, from the Story of Theseus" by Master of the Campana Cassoni (1510).-

“The Passions of Pasiphae, wife of King Minos of Crete, from the Story of Theseus” by Master of the Campana Cassoni (1510).-

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"Pasiphae enters in Daedalus ´wooden cow", by Giulio Romano (1530).-

“Pasiphae enters in Daedalus ´wooden cow”, by Giulio Romano (1530).-

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Links Post:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasiphaë
 http://www.theoi.com/Titan/Pasiphae.html
 http://www.pantheon.org/articles/p/pasiphae.html
http://www.mythography.com/myth/welcome-to-mythography/greek-legends/legends-2/pasiphae/.
http://classicsnewsneedsandnow.blogspot.com.ar/2013/08/minotaur.html

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Last but not Least: Awards: Team Member Readership Award:

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My dear blogger Friend Delvina Lavoie, from Dalavoie.net, has nominated me for the Team Member Readership Award. Click here to check out the nomination 

Here are the Award Rules:

1) The nominee shall display the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award logo on her/his blog.

2) The nominee shall nominate “at least” sixteen (16)  bloggers she/he admires,  by linking to their blogs and informing them about it.

And here are my twenty-five (25) nominees:

 1Tropical Flowering Garden 2. Aisha´s Oasis 3. Rotze Mardini 4. Blog de Sendero 5. Family Answers Fast 6. JeriWB Author and Editor 7. My Space in the Inmense Universe 8.  Leonard Durso 9. Poetic Parfait 10. Kev´s Blog  11. Maverick Mist 12. Words in The Light 13. Apollo´s Raven 14. Eternal Atlantis 15. Poems And Poèmes  16. Dilipnaidu´s Blog 17. En Humor Arte 18. The Muscleheaded Blog 19. Artist Poet Within Blog 20. Shaking the Three 21.Al. Hy, la Messagère du Spléen 22. Word Musing 23. Kone, Krusos, Kronos 24. AngelineM´s Blog 25. Gabriel and Co.

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aquileana

Best Wishes and Good Luck to everyone,  Aquileana :D

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Mythology: “Apollo And Daphne”:

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"Apollo and Daphne" by Jean-Baptiste van Loo (1720/1737).-

“Apollo and Daphne” by Jean-Baptiste van Loo (1720/1737).-

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Apollo was a great archer, but sometimes he was a little full of himself. One day he caught sight of Eros, Aphrodite´s son. Eros was also an archer, and his arrows were responsible for instilling the twists and turns of love and lust in a person’s heart. Apollo teased young Eros, putting down his abilities as an archer, claiming that one so small could make no difference with his arrows.

The insulted Eros took two arrows,  one tipped in gold, one blunted and tipped with lead

With the leaden shaft, to incite hatred, he shot the nymph Daphne, the daughter of the river and god Peneus.

With  the golden one, to incite love, he shot Apollo through the heart. 

Apollo was seized with love for the maiden, Daphne, and she in turn abhorred him. In fact, she spurned her many potential lovers, preferring instead woodland sports and exploring the woods. 

Apollo continually followed her, begging her to stay, but the nymph continued her flight. They were evenly matched in the race until Eros intervened and helped Apollo gain upon Daphne.

Seeing that Apollo was bound to catch her, she called upon her father, asking him to “Open the earth to enclose her”…

As all gods of water posses the ability of transformation, Peneus transformed his daughter into a laurel tree. Suddenly her legs took root, and her arms grew into long and slender branches.

Apollo embraced the branches, but even the branches shrank away from him. 

Since Apollo could no longer take her as his wife, he vowed to tend her as his tree, to raid away all tempted beasts and creatures of the earth, that intended to do her harm, and promised that her leaves would decorate the heads of leaders as crowns.

Apollo also used his powers of eternal youth  and inmortality to render her ever green.

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"Apollo and Daphne" by Paolo Veronese (1560/ 1565).-

“Apollo and Daphne” by Paolo Veronese (1560/ 1565).-

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►Characteristics and Symbolism of  The Bay Laurel (Laurus Nobilis):

Laurus Nobilis is an aromatic evergreen  with green, glossy leaves, native to the Mediterranean region. It is one of the plants used for bay leaf  seasoning in cooking. It is known as bay laurel or sweet bay. Laurus nobilis figures prominently in classical Greek, Roman, and Biblical culture.

Following the path of this myth, the leaves of the Bay Laurel tree were considered a symbol of the god Apollo.

Bay laurel was also used to fashion the laurel wreath of Ancient Greece, a symbol of  highest status.

A wreath of bay laurels was given as the prize at the Pythian Game because these games were celebrated in honor of Apollo, and the laurel was also one of his symbols.

The symbolism carried over to Roman Culture, which held the laurel as a symbol of victory

In the Bible, the laurel is often an emblem of prosperity and fame. In Christian tradition, it symbolizes the resurrection of  Christ.

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Bay Laurel ´s leaves and structure.-

Bay Laurel: Leaves and Shape.-

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Slideshare: “Apollo And Daphne”:

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Read Aphollo and Daphne´s Myth.

Version from Ovid´s “Metamorphoses” (Book I):

Click on the cover book above to read the myth.-

Click on the cover book above to read the myth.-

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Links Post: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne_(mythology)
http://readytogoebooks.com/classics/Ovid-daphne.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_laurel
https://ww2.odu.edu/~lmusselm/plant/bible/laurel.php

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Greek Mythology:

“Agamemnon’s Family and the War of Troy”:

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The war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Athena, Hera and Aphrodite after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked “for the fairest” (Kallisti in greek).

Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the “fairest”, should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Prince Paris, who took her to Troy.

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"Venus Induces Helen to Fall in Love with Paris" by Angelica Kauffmann.-

“Venus Induces Helen to Fall in Love with Paris” by Angelica Kauffmann (1790).-

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Agamemnon,  the king of Argos or Mycenae, was  the husband of Clytemnestra and the father of Iphigenia, Electra, Orestes and Chrysotemis. 

Menelaus was Agamemnon’ s brother, and, besides, the king of Sparta. 

When Helen, Menelaus’ wife, was abducted by Paris of Troy, Agamemnon commanded the united Greek armed forces in the ensuing Trojan War.

Greek forces gathered at Aulis. However,  weak winds prevented the fleet from sailing. The priest Calchas said the winds would be favorable if Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to the goddess Artemis.

Agamemnon persuaded his wife Clytemnestra to send Iphigenia by deceptively telling her that the purpose of his daughter’s visit was to marry her to Achilles, the greek heroe.

The trojan War ended with the Achaean’s (or greek’s ) victory. 

The Greeks tricked the Trojans. They made them know that they had won the war by sending all their ships into hiding. This made the Trojans believe they were gone. As a parting gift, the Greeks had left a wooden horse which the Trojans brought into their city. Inside of it there were lots of achaeans soldiers. Once in the city of Troy, the Greeks came off, slaughtered the Trojans and desecrated their temples. 

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Building of the Trojan Horse" by Giandomenico Tiepolo (1774).-

“Building of the Trojan Horse” by Giandomenico Tiepolo (1774).-

Click above to

Click above for further analisis and details on Tiepolo’s painting. Slideshare feature.

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The war lasted ten years and ended with the wooden horse episode and after the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, and the Trojans Hector and Paris.  

During this period of Agamemnon’s long absence, his wife Clytemnestra began a love affair with Aegisthus, her husband’s cousin. 

Upon Agamemnon’s return from Troy, he was murdered (according to the oldest surviving account, Homer´s “Odyssey”) by Aegisthus, the lover of his wife, Clytemnestra.

In some later versions Clytemnestra helps him or kills herself Agamemnon, like Aeschylus tells us in “The Oresteia”. 

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Aeschylus’s Oresteia: “A Tragedy in Three Plays”:

The best-known version of Agamemnon ‘s death and the following events related to the war of Troy is that of Aeschylus’s  “Oresteia”, a three -act drama of family fate, like the “Oedipus trilogy” by Sophocles. The term “Oresteia” originally probably referred to all four plays, but today is generally used to designate only the surviving trilogy. 

The parts of “The Oresteia” are: First: “Agamemnon”. Second: The Libation Bearers. Third and last play: “The Eumenides”.

In the first one, (“Agamemnon”) Clytemnestra herself  murders his husband Agamemnon.

In the second part (“The Libation Bearers”) Clytemnestra is murdered by his son Orestes.

In the  third and last play,”The Eumenides”, Orestes is judged by a jury composed of Athena and twelve Athenians. After being counted, the votes on each side are equal. Athena declares that tied juries will result in the defendant (Orestes) being acquitted as mercy should always take precedence over harshness.

For further details on this topic, check out this article: “Background and Images for the Oresteia“.

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Links Post:
http://www.stanford.edu/~plomio/history.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_War
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agamemnon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clytemnestra
https://www.greatbooks.org/resources/guides/drama/the-oresteia/
http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/poetsplaywrightswriters/a/oresteia.htm

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Greek Mythology: “Prometheus, The Rebel Titan”:

"Prometheus bringt der Menschheit das Feuer" by Heinrich Friedrich Füger. (1817).

“Prometheus bringt der Menschheit das Feuer” by Heinrich Friedrich Füger. (1817).-

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Prometheus was a son of Iapetus by Clymene (one of the Oceanids). He was brother of Epimetheus, Menoetius and Atlas.

Prometheus and Epimetheus, were two titans who were spared imprisonment in Tartarus because they had not fought with the Titans during the war with the Gods.

They were both given the task of creating man.

Prometheus shaped man out of mud, and Athena breathed life into his clay figure.

Prometheus had assigned  Epimetheus the task of giving the creatures of the earth their various qualities, such as swiftness, cunning, strength, fur, and wings.

Woefully, by the time he got to man, Epimetheus had given all the good qualities out and there were none left for man.

So Prometheus decided to make man stand upright as the gods did and to give him fire.

His attempts to better the lives of his creation brought him into direct conflict with Zeus.

Zeus was angry at Prometheus for three things: being tricked by the sacrifices, stealing fire for man, and refusing to tell Zeus which of Zeus’s children would dethrone him. 

As punishment for these rebellious acts, Zeus ordered Hephaestus (Vulcan) make a woman made of clay named Pandora. Zeus gave her a box and forbade her from opening it. Then he sent her down to earth, where her curiosity led her to open the lid. Out flew sorrow, mischief, and all other misfortunes that plagued mankind. 

In the famous story of Pandora’s box, we may learn how earthly hardship was born.

Worth noting that the female is blamed for all human suffering, like Eve in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

The Pandora story also underscores Zeus’s crafty nature. From Pandora’s box, mortals and gods alike understand the power of the God and fear his authority.

To punish Prometheus for this hubris (extreme pride), Zeus also took him to the Caucasus Mountains, and chained him to a rock.

There he was tormented day and night by a giant eagle tearing at his his ever-regenerating liver

Generations later the great hero Heracles came along and released Prometheus  from his torture.

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“So spake Zeus in anger, whose wisdom is everlasting; and from that time he was always mindful of the trick, and would not give the power of unwearying fire to the Melian race of mortal men who live on the earth“. (Hesiod’s “Theogony”).

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“Main Sources For Prometheus’ Myth”

Hesiod, a greek poet, lived in about 700 B.C.E. and composed two poems,the “Theogony” and “The Works and Days”. The “Creation” section of “The Works and Days” contains the story of Prometheus’ theft of fire. The excerpt in this chapter comes from Hesiod’s “Theogony”, a poem describing the nature and generations of the gods, and it is in this context that the poet tells the story of Prometheus.

Aeschylus, a greek playwright who wrote “Prometheus Bound” in about 430 B.C.E. The play is a tragedy that details the sufferings of Prometheus for his rebellion against Zeus and foreshadows his eventual release at the hands of Heracles, Zeus’ son.

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"The Titans Prometheus and Atlas". Greek Vase, dated 500 BC. Laconian black figure.

“The Titans Prometheus and Atlas”. Greek Vase, dated 500 BC. Laconian black figure.-

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 ►Side Notes: “Daring Prometheus and the Origin of Homosexuality”:

From Aesop, Fables 517 (At: Plato’s “Phaedrus” 4.16):

Someone asked Aesop why lesbians and effeminates had been created.

And old Aesop explained: `The answer lies once again with Prometheus, the original creator of our common clay. All day long, Prometheus had been separately shaping those natural members which modesty conceals beneath our clothes, and when he was about to apply these private parts to the appropriate bodies Liber (Dionysos) unexpectedly invited him to dinner. Prometheus came home late, unsteady on his feet and with a good deal of heavenly nectar flowing through his veins. With his wits half asleep in a drunken haze he stuck the female genitalia on male bodies and male members on the ladies. This is why modern lust revels in perverted pleasures’ .

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Worth Reading: Prometheus, by Lord Byron. Post at: Stuff Jeff Reads.-

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Slideshare: “Prometheus, Through Art”:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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Links Post: 
http://www.gradesaver.com/mythology/study-guide/section3/
http://predoc.org/docs/index-201831.html?page=2
http://www.prometheas.org/mythology.html
http://www.theoi.com/Titan/TitanPrometheus.html
http://www.crystalinks.com/titans.html
http://www.moyak.com/papers/hesiod-theogony.html
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►Awards Section:

1) My good friend and writer Aisha, from Aisha’ Oasis has nominated me for The Liebster Award. You can check out her post here: Aisha’s Egypt: “11 Little Secrets and a Liebster“. Thank you very much, Aisha  ❤…
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liebster-award
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My Nominees  for this award are: 
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Rules: Each nominne must nominate eleven bloggers. Besides, they will have to answer the eleven questions presented here. They will also have to link to the blogger who has nominated them.
►Here are the eleven questions from Aisha. I am also answering them:
1. Where is your favorite place to live?: Close to the mountains or near the beach.
2. What is your favorite character trait?: Loyalty.
3. Do you have a talent?: Too many (or none?)…
4. What is your favorite movie of all time?: Doctor Zhivago.
5. What is the most important thing to you in your life?: To live happily ever after.
6. Who is the person you look up to the most, and why?: God, because he is omnipotent.
7. What annoys you the most?: Iniquity.
8. Do you have a dream you’d like to share?: I’d love to fly.
9. What gives you the most happiness?: Spending time with the people I love.
10. What is your biggest accomplishment?: My academic average.
11. Why do you like to blog?: Because I like to share personal interests with other bloggers and to learn from their posts.
─✽✿✽──
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2) Desde el gran blog, Salvelahe recibido una doble nominación para los Premios Sisterhood of The World Bloggers Award y WordPress Family Award. Podés ver el post aquí. Muchas gracias, querido Josep.
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Mis nominados son:
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sisterhood-award
wordpress-award
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►Reglas: Enlazar el blog que te ha nominado. Incluir la imagen del premio. Nominar once blogs. Responder los puntos personales.

►Aquí están los puntos a contestar y mis respuestas:

Su color favorito: Blanco.
Su animal preferido: El gato.
Su bebida favorita sin alcohol: Coca Cola Light.
¿Facebook o Twitter?: Twitter.
¿Prefieres recibir o dar regalos? Recibir regalos.
Su número favorito: El 7.
Su día favorito de la semana: Sábado.
Su flor favorita: Rosa.
¿Cuál es tu pasión? Encontrar respuestas.

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Mythology: “Charon, Ancient Greek God of The Underworld”:

"Charon" (1684-6) by Luca Giordano. Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence.-

“Charon” (1684/1686) by Luca Giordano. Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence.-

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Charon (Χαρων) was the son of the primordial Gods Erebus (God of Darkness) and Nyx (Goddess of Light). The  name Charon means ‘fierce brightness’ in Greek,  and the Roman´s equivalent was Charus.

He was the ferryman of the dead, an underworld daimon (spirit) in the service of King Haides. He received the shades of the dead from Hermes  who gathered them from the upper world and guided them to the shores of  River Acheron.

The Acheron was also known as the River of Pain that flowed from the Styx and believed to carry pains intended for mortals back to earth. It also carried the good souls from the Underworld that were sent back to earth to be reincarnated as mortals.

Those who had not received due burial and were unable to pay his fee, would be left to wander the earthly side of the Acheron, haunting the upper world as ghosts.

Although Hermes might have taken the souls of the dead to the banks of the river for free, Charon demanded his fee.

From there Charon transported them in his skiff to a final resting place in Hades, the land of the dead, on the other side.

The fee for his service was a single obolos, a coin  a silver coin worth a sixth of a drachma, which was placed in the mouth of a corpse at burial (It was known as Charon´s obol).

People who are unable to pay the fee are doomed to wander the shores of the river for a hundred years.

Since most Greeks, understandably, did not want to wander in the mists and marshes, they buried their dead with coins to pay the ferryman; this tradition is still retained in many parts of Greece.

Living people who want to visit Hades must also pay the ferryman.

Given the fact that they needed two trips, Charon charged significantly more, and several myths and stories indicate that visitors to Hades payed with a golden branch to cross the river and then return.

In the catabasis mytheme, some heroes  - such as Heracles and Dionysus- travel to the Underworld and return, still alive, conveyed by the ferry of Charon.

Several Greek and Roman authors wrote about traveling to the Underworld, usually with the assistance of an experienced guide.

Dante, for example, wrote “The Inferno”, and “The Aeneid “by Virgil also features a trip to the Underworld.

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Obol from Greek Classical period (479-336 BC).-

Obol from Greek Classical period (479-336 BC).-

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The imaginary Map of Hades (the Underworld):

Map based on the most generally accepted version, as described in Greek Myths.-

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"Barque of Dante" by Eugene Delacroix . Musée du Louvre.-

“Barque of Dante” (1822) by Eugene Delacroix. Musée du Louvre.-

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Charon´ s Family Tree:

Nyx´s  Children of the Underworld:

Nyx, the goddess of darkness, was the mother of many of the Gods related to death and darkness. Some of them were the result of her union with Erebus.

The family members and genealogy of Charon are detailed in the following family tree, providing an overview of the relationships between Charon and some of the principle Greek gods and goddesses of death and the Underworld.

nyx11

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►Genealogy of Charon: References:

♠Lyssa was the goddess of rage, fury and  raging madness,

♠Moros was one of the primeval gods who was a son of Nyx was believed to be the mother of everything mysterious and anything that was inexplicable, such as death, disease, sleep, ghosts, dreams, witchcraft and enchantments. His father was Erebus, who reigned in a palace in the dark regions of the Underworld.

♠Momus was the Primordial Greek god of blame, censure and criticism.

♠Eris was the goddess of Discord, quarrels and feuds.

♠The Fates were three goddesses who were sisters.

Their names were: Klotho (Clotho), Lachesis and Atropos.

Klotho spinned the thread of life, Lachesis determined the length of the thread and Atropos cut the thread when the proper time came for death.

♠The Furies  (Or Erynies) were three goddesses  who avenged crimes against the natural order.

They were the three goddesses of vengeance: Tisiphone (avenger of murder), Megaera (the jealous) and Alecto (constant anger).

♠The Keres, or “Death Fates” were ‘scavengers who defiled the deads.

♠Hypnos was the god of Sleep who also brought nightmares to mortals.

♠The Oneiroi were Hypnos´ sons and were all gods of dreams: their names were Moorpheus, Icelus, and Phantasos (They were also cousins of Charon)

♠Oizys was the goddess of distress, anxiety and worry

♠Geras was the god of loathsome Old Age.

♠Epiphron was the daimon, titan, or god of prudence, shrewdness, thoughtfulness, sagacity, leadership, and carefulness

♠Nemesis was the avenging goddess of Divine Retribution.

♠Hecate was the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon and ghosts.

♠Thanatos was the God of Death, the hard-hearted, pitiless, enemy of mankind

♠Aether was the Protogenos (first-born elemental god) of the bright, glowing upper air of heaven – the substance of light

♠Hemera was the Protogenos (primeval goddess) of the day.

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"Paso de la Laguna Estigia " by Joachim Patinir.

“Paso de la Laguna Estigia” (1520/1524) by Joachim Patinir. Museo del Prado.-

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Worth Reading: I recommend this post by author Luciana Cavallaro: “Death Has a Face” at Eternal Atlantis

“As Hades ruled the dead, he forbade any to leave and if anyone attempted to breakout or someone tried to steal one of the dead back, he threatened them. Heroes Herakles, Odysseus, Aeneas and Theseus were the only ones who entered the underworld and managed to escape”… Read More.

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►Slideshare: “Paintings based on Charon´s Myth”:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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Links Post:
http://www.theoi.com/Khthoni os/Kharon.html
http://www.wisegeek.com/in-greek-mythology-who-is-charon.htm
http://mythology.wikia.com/wiki/Charon
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/c/charon.html
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/107610/Charon
http://www.tribunesandtriumphs.org/roman-gods/charon.htm
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Awards Section:
1) My blogger and friend Angie, from Family Answers Fast has nominated me for four awards . You can check out her post here: Awards Thank You.
Thank you Angie ❤…
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award-awesome-blog
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My Nominees  for these four awards are: 
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Rules: I have nominated three bloggers per award. The nominees must do the same. Besides, they will have to describe themselves using every letter of the alphabet. 
If you need help with the descriptive adjectives, Click here 
My personal descriptive alphabet:
A: Amalia. B: Brave. C:  Cautious. D: Dainty. E: Eager. F: Fancy. G: Generous. H: Hypercritical. I: Incisive. J: Jovial. K: Kind. L: Lethargic. M: Mild. N: Natural. O: OMG. P: Pedemonte. Q: Quick-tempered. R: Revered (!). S: Spirited. T: Tolerant. U: Undependable. V: Versatile. W: Well-intentioned. X: X- Rayed (the only adjective that came to my mind). Y: Youngish. Z: Zoetic
──✽✿✽──
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2) Desde el gran blog Deslizia, mi blog ha recibido una nominación para el Premio Versatile Blogger Award (Trophee version). Podés ver el post aquí: Gracias. Agradecidísima, Deslizia
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Versatile_Blogger_Award_ Trophee
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Mis nominados para este Premio son:
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Reglas: He nominado quince blogs, de acuerdo a lo establecido en las reglas del Premio. Los blogs son todos ellos en castellano. Las reglas para los nominados son las mismas que las mismas que he cumplido (O sea nominar quince blogs y enlazar el blog que los ha nominado).  Además, deberán enumerar siete cosas que los caractericen.
Siete cosas sobre mí:
Soy escorpiana. Me encantan los maníes salados. También la Literatura y la Filosofía. No tengo Facebook. Tampoco como carne roja. Me gustaría viajar por todo el mundo. Cuando miro al cielo me pregunto si hay vida en Marte y otros planetas. Y si a veces dudo, es porque existo…
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►Icarus´Fall: “The Myth. Symbolism and Interpretation”:

"Icarus and Daedalus", by Charles Paul Landon

“Icarus and Daedalus”, by Charles Paul Landon.-

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Icarus´Fall: “The Myth”: 

Icarus’s father Daedalus, an athenian  craftsman, built the Labyrinth for King Minos  of Crete near his palace at Knossos  to imprison the Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull monster born of his wife and the Cretan bull. Minos imprisoned Daedalus himself in the labyrinth because he gave Minos’ daughter, Ariadne, a or ball of string in order to help  Theseus , the enemy of Minos, to survive the Labyrinth and defeat the Minotaur.

Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son. Daedalus tried his wings first, but before taking off from the island, warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea, but to follow his path of flight.

If he were to do so, Daedalus explained, the wax that held his wings together would melt, rendering them useless, and Icarus would fall from the sky to his death.

Icarus, however, was overcome by the incredible feeling of flight. He was so taken by the experience, that he flew higher and higher. He flew so high that he got perilously close to the sun. Just as his father warned him would happen, the wax on his wings melted into a useless liquid. The wings fell to pieces and Icarus fell from the sky. The water into which Icarus is said to have fallen is near Icaria, a Grecian Island in the Aegean Sea. The island is named for the legendary flying man. Icaria is southwest of the island of Samos.

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SlideShare: “Daedalus and Icarus”:

Click on the image above to watch the SlideShare.-

Click on the image above to watch the SlideShare.-

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Icarus´Fall: “Symbolism and Interpretation”:

Symbols are insightful expressions of human nature.They are the external, lower expressions of higher truths and represent deep intuitive wisdom impossible by direct terms.

Joseph Campbell defined symbols as “giving expression to what is absolutely “unknowable” by  intellect”.

In the psychiatric mind features of disease were perceived in the shape of the pendulous emotional ecstatic-high and depressive-low of bipolar disorder. 

Henry Murray  having proposed the term Icarus complex, apparently found symptoms particularly in mania where a person is fond of heights, fascinated by both fire and water, narcissistic and observed with fantastical cognitio.

The myth of Icarus´moral is to “take the middle way” by warning against heedless pursuit of instant gratification.

In this sense it highlights the greek idea of  Sophrosyne (Greek: σωφροσύνη), which etymologically means healthy-mindedness and from there self-control or moderation guided by knowledge and balance. 

As Aristotle held, as shown in the post , “Aristotle´s Ethical Theory: On The Concept of Virtue and Golden Mean”, virtue is  a kind of moderation as it aims at the mean or moderate amount.

The flight of Icarus could be interpreted as a lesson in the value of moderation. The danger in flying “too high” (i.e. melting of the wax wings) or in flying “too low” (i.e. weighting down the wings by sea-water spray) were advocations for one to respect one’s limits and to act accordingly.

The moral of this myth could be also linked to Plato´s analogy of the divided line, in which the Sun symbolizes the highest Form (Idea of God). Therefore according to this perspective, Icarus has flown too high . He tried to become wiser than Gods whilst achieving Knowledge and, as he defied the godess,  he was punished for that reason.

A similar interpretation is found in Plato´s myth of Phaethon, as it appears in his elderly dialogue “Timaeus”.

Moreover and going further, considering Plato´s allegory of the cave, Icarus could be linked to the  escaped prisoner, who represents the Philosopher, who seeks knowledge outside of the cave (labyrinth).

Icarus´s myth may also be related to Plato´s analogy of the chariot. When flying high with his waxed wings, Icarus´ chariot  was driven by the obstinated black horse, which represents man’s appetites. The fact of disobeying Daedalus´advice proves that his rational part of the soul which should rule over appetites wasn´t strong  and determined enough to do so. In other words, the black horse beats the rational charioteer .

Icarus’ age is an aspect of the myth that deserves a mention here, for it is a characteristic of the period of adolescence to impulsively follow the appetite for life, to rush into the unknown adventure, to chase dreams, to follow temptation and not to heed warnings of danger.-

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"The Sun, or the Fall of Icarus" by Merry-Joseph Blondel

“The Sun, or the Fall of Icarus” by Merry-Joseph Blondel

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"The Lament for Icarus" by H. J. Draper.-

“The Lament for Icarus” by H. J. Draper.-

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Icarus´Fall: Paintings:

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 Links Post:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icarus
http://www.shmoop.com/daedalus-icarus/myth-text.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophrosyne
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaethon
http://aquileana.wordpress.com/2007/08/05/icaro/
http://aquileana.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/aristotles-ethical-theory-on-the-concepts-of-virtue-and-golden-mean/
http://aquileana.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/platos-phaedrus-the-allegory-of-the-chariot-and-the-tripartite-nature-of-the-soul/
http://aquileana.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/platos-republic-the-allegory-of-the-cave-and-the-analogy-of-the-divided-line/
http://aquileana.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/andre-comte-sponville-el-mito-de-icaro-tratado-de-la-deseperanza-y-de-la-felicidad/

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►”Happy Easter 2014″:

Best Wishes, Aquileana :P

Happy-Easter

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