Posts Tagged ‘Crete’

►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 😛

►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 😀

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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 😀 

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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 😀

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