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Mazes and Labyrinths

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Kabrina Teppe
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« on: March 18, 2009, 03:10:30 pm »

Mazes and Labyrinths
by W.H. Matthews
[1922]

« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 03:11:12 pm by Kabrina Teppe » Report Spam   Logged

Kabrina Teppe
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2009, 03:11:01 pm »

MAZES AND LABYRINTHS
A GENERAL ACCOUNT OF THEIR HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT
BY
W. H. MATTHEWS
LONDON: LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO.

[1922]
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 03:11:46 pm »



Fig. 86. Maze at Hatfield House, Herts.
(see page 115)



p. iv p. v

To
ZETA
whose innocent prattlings on the
summer sands of Sussex
inspired its conception
this book
is most affectionately
dedicated
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 03:12:07 pm »

p. vii

PREFACE
ADVANTAGES out of all proportion to the importance of the immediate aim in view are apt to accrue whenever an honest endeavour is made to find an answer to one of those awkward questions which are constantly arising from the natural working of a child's mind. It was an endeavour of this kind which formed the nucleus of the inquiries resulting in the following little essay.

It is true that the effort in this case has not led to complete success in so far as that word denotes the formulation of an exact answer to the original question, which, being one of a number evoked by parental experiments in seaside sand-maze construction, was: "Father, who made mazes first of all?" On the other hand, one hesitates to apply so harsh a term as "failure" when bearing in mind the many delightful excursions, rural as well as literary, which have been involved and the alluring vistas of possible future research that have been opened up from time to time in the course of such excursions.

By no means the least of the adventitious benefits enjoyed by the explorer has been the acquisition of a keener sense of appreciation of the labours of the archaeologist, the anthropologist, and other, more special, types of investigator, any one of whom would naturally be far better qualified to discuss the theme under consideration--at any rate from the standpoint of his particular branch of learning--than the present author can hope to be.

The special thanks of the writer are due to Professor W. M. Flinders Petrie for permission to make use of his diagram of the conjectural restoration of the

p. viii

[paragraph continues] Labyrinth of Egypt, Fig. 4, and the view of the shrine of Amenemhat III, Fig. 2, also for facilities to sketch the Egyptian plaque in his collection which is shown in Fig. 19 and for drawing the writer's attention thereto; to Sir Arthur Evans for the use of his illustrations of double axes and of the Tomb of the Double Axe which appear as Figs. 9, 10, 11 and 12 respectively (Fig. 8 is also based on one of his drawings); to M. Picard (of the Librairie A. Picard) for leave to reproduce the drawing of the Susa mosaic, Fig. 37; to Mr. J. H. Craw, F.S.A. (Scot.), Secretary of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club, for the use of the illustrations of sculptured rocks, Figs. 128 and 129; to the Rev. E. A. Irons for the photograph of the Wing maze, Fig. 60, and to the Rev. G. Yorke for the figure of the Alkborough "Julian's Bower," Fig. 59.

The many kind-hearted persons who have earned the gratitude of the writer by acceding to his requests for local information, or by bringing useful references to his notice, will perhaps take no offence if he thanks them collectively, though very heartily, in this place. In most cases where they are not mentioned individually in the text they will be found quoted as authorities in the bibliographical appendix. The present is, however, the most fitting place in which to express a cordial acknowledgment of the assistance rendered by the writer's friend, Mr. G. F. Green, whose skill and experience in the photographic art has been of very great value.

Grateful recognition must also be made of the help and courtesy extended to the writer by the officials of several libraries, museums, and other institutions, notably the British Museum, the Society of Antiquaries, Sion College, and the Royal Horticultural Society.

W. H. M.

Ruislip, Middlesex.
       1922.

 



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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2009, 03:12:30 pm »

p. ix

CONTENTS
 
 PAGES
 
PREFACE
 vii-viii
 
CONTENTS
 ix-xiv
 
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
 xv-xviii
 
CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

The Lure of the Labyrinth--Difficulties of Definition--The Subject and Object of this Book--The Lore of the Labyrinth--Some Neglected British Monuments--Destructive Dogmatism: a Plea for Caution
 1-5
 
CHAPTER II

THE EGYPTIAN LABYRINTH

(i) Accounts of the Ancient Writers

Enormous Edifices of Egypt--Herodotus: his Account of the Labyrinth, its Vastness and Complexity, and its Lake--Strabo's Description--The Sacred Crocodiles--Accounts of Diodorus, Pomponius Mela, and Pliny
 6-10
 
CHAPTER III

THE EGYPTIAN LABYRINTH (continued)

(ii) Accounts of Later Explorers

Decay of the Labyrinth--Travels of Lucas and Pococke--French and Prussian Expeditions--Researches of Flinders Petrie--Speculations regarding Original Plan--Purpose and Date of Construction
 11--16
 
p. x

CHAPTER IV

THE CRETAN LABYRINTH

(i) The Story of Theseus and the Minotaur

Plutarch's Life of Theseus; the Cretan Exploit--The Athenian Tribute--The Labyrinth of Daedalus--The Clue of Ariadne--The Fight with the Minotaur--The Crane Dance--Tragedies of the Hero's Return--Other Accounts of the Legend--Speculations concerning Minos and Daedalus
 17-22
 
CHAPTER V

THE CRETAN LABYRINTH (continued)

(ii) The Caverns of Gortyna--Statements by Later Classic Writers--Tournefort's Voyage--Visits of Pococke and Savary--Cockerell's Diary--Travels of Capt. Spratt--Connection of Gortyna Caverns with Traditional Labyrinth very improbable.
 23-28
 
CHAPTER VI

THE CRETAN LABYRINTH (continued)

(iii) Knossos

Explorations of Sir Arthur Evans--Momentous Discoveries--Unearthing of the Palaces--Their Antiquity--Description of the Great Palace--The Maze on the Wall--The Hall of the Double Axes--The Cult of the Bull--Schliemann's Researches--The Sport of Bull-Leaping--Possible Identity of the Palace with the Labyrinth
 29-36
 
CHAPTER VII

THE ETRUSCAN OR ITALIAN LABYRINTH

Other Labyrinths mentioned by Pliny--Varro's Description of the Etruscan Labyrinth; the tomb of Lars Porsena--Speculations regarding it--Travels of Dennis--Labyrinthine Caverns in Etruria; Volterra and Toscanella--Extended use of the term "Labyrinth" by Strabo and Pliny--Reference to Mazes formed in Fields for Amusement
 37-41
 
p. xi

CHAPTER VIII

THE LABYRINTH IN ANCIENT ART

The Meander and other Rudimentary Forms--Seal-impressions--Coins of Knossos--"Unicursal" Nature of the Knossian Design--Graffito of Pompeii--The Casa del Labirinto--Roman Mosaic Pavements--The Tholos of Epidaurus--Labyrinthine Structure at Tiryns--Greek Pottery--Etruscan Vase--The Labyrinth on Gems and Robes
 42-53
 
CHAPTER IX

CHURCH LABYRINTHS

Algeria, Orléansville--Italy: Lucca, Pavia, Piacenza, Cremona, Rome and Ravenna--France: Chartres, St. Quentin, Amiens, Rheims, Bayeux, Sens, Auxerre, Arras, St. Omer, Poitiers, Chalons, Pont l’Abbé, Caen and Aix--Modern examples: Lille, Ely, Bourn and Alkborough--Meaning of Church Labyrinths--Lack of Support for Accepted Theory
 54-70
 
CHAPTER X

TURF LABYRINTHS

Local Names--The Alkborough "Julian's Bower"--Juxtaposition to Ancient Ecclesiastical Site--A Fragment of Folk-lore--De la Pryme's Diary--The Breamore Mizmaze--Romantic Situation--The Wing Maze--The Boughton Green Shepherd's Race--Its Literary References--A Victim of the Great War--Mazes of Ripon and Asenby--The Song of the Fairies--Other Lincolnshire and Yorkshire Mazes--Stukeley on Julian's Bowers--Wide Distribution of British Turf Mazes
 71-78
 
CHAPTER XI

TURF LABYRINTHS (continued)

The Winchester Mizmaze--The Vanished Mazes of Dorset: Leigh, Pimperne, Dorchester and Bere Regis--Aubrey's Notes on Wiltshire and Cotswold Mazes--The Saffron Walden Maze--The Comberton "Mazles"--The p. xii Hilton Maze and its Obelisk--The Cumberland "Walls of Troy": Burgh and Rockcliffe--The Nottingham Mazes: Sneinton and Clifton--The Somerton "Troy-town"--Records of Old Mazes at Guildford, the Malverns, and in Kent--"Julaber's Barrow"
 79-91
 
CHAPTER XII

THE ORIGIN OF TURF MAZES

An old Welsh Custom--"Troy" or "Turnings"?--Dr. Trollope on the Ecclesiastical Origin of Turf Mazes--The Welsh Figure--Criticism of the Ecclesiastical View--"Treading the Maze" in Tudor Times--Shakespearean References--Alchemy and the Labyrinth of Solomon--Figure in a Greek Monastery--Heraldic Labyrinths--The Question of the Roman Origin of Turf Mazes
 92-99
 
CHAPTER XIII

THE FLORAL LABYRINTH AND THE DWARF-SHRUB MAZE

The Dwarf Box--Its use by Tudor and Roman Gardeners--Floral Labyrinths by De Vries--Some Quaint Horticultural Books: Parkinson, Estienne, Hill, and Lawson--Designs of Islip and Commelyn--"Queen Mary's Bower"
 100-109
 
CHAPTER XIV

THE TOPIARY LABYRINTH, OR HEDGE MAZE

Topiary work of the Romans--Pliny's "Hippodromus"--Dubious Mediaeval References--Rosamond's Bower--Early French "Daedales"--Mazes painted by Holbein and Tintoretto--Du Cerceau's Sketches--Elizabethan Mazes: Theobalds and Hatfield--Versailles and other Famous Labyrinths of France--Some German Designs--Belgian, Spanish, Italian and Dutch Mazes--William III and his Gardeners
 110-127
 
CHAPTER XV

THE TOPIARY LABYRINTH, OR HEDGE MAZE (continued)

Hampton Court: the Maze and the Little Maze--Other English Mazes of the Period--Batty Langley and Stephen Switzer--Allegorical Labyrinth of Anhalt--A Wimbledon Maze--The Mazes of Westminster and Southwark
 128-136
 
p. xiii

CHAPTER XVI

THE TOPIARY LABYRINTH, OR HEDGE MAZE (continued)

Latter-day Developments

Decline of the Hedge-Maze Vogue--Mazes in "Pleasure Gardens": North London, Smith London--Modern Mazes in Essex, Suffolk, Cheshire, Lincolnshire, and Gloucestershire--Some Modern Continental Mazes--The Case For and Against the Hedge Maze
 137-146
 
CHAPTER XVII

STONE LABYRINTHS AND ROCK ENGRAVINGS

The Stone Labyrinths of Finland--Their Local Traditions and Nomenclature--Their Antiquity--Aubrey's Acute Observation--Some Maze-like Rock Engravings in England, Ireland, and Brittany--A Curious Discovery in Arizona and a Spanish Manuscript--American Indians and the Cretan Labyrinth--Another Indian Pictograph--Zulu Mazes--Distribution of Labyrinth Cult
 147-155
 
CHAPTER XVIII

THE DANCE OR GAME OF TROY

"Troy" in Labyrinth Names--An old French Reference--The Vase of Tragliatella--Virgil's Account of the Troy Game--The Delian Crane-Dance--Knossos and Troy--Ariadne's Dance--Spring-Rites--"Sympathetic Magic"--Sword and Morris Dances--Troy-dances in Mediaeval Germany and in Modern Serbia--Preservation of the English Traditions
 156-163
 
CHAPTER XIX

THE BOWER OF "FAIR ROSAMOND"

"Fair Rosamond," Henry, and Eleanor--The Dagger or the Bowl--History of the Legend--Accounts of Brompton and Higden--Delone's Ballad--Rosamond in Verse and Prose--Her Epitaph--A Question of Taste--Late Remains of the Bower--A Modern Play--Rosamond's Alleged Portrait
 164-169
 
p. xiv

CHAPTER XX

MAZE ETYMOLOGY

The Question of Definition again--Bowers and Julian-Bowers--What was a Bower and who was Julian?--The Labyrinth and the Double Axe--Chaucer and the Maze--Metaphorical Labyrinths--The Labyrinth in Scientific Nomenclature--The Meanings of "Maze"--Troy-towns and the New Troy
 170-181
 
CHAPTER XXI

LABYRINTH DESIGN AND THE SOLUTION OF MAZES

The Need of a Definition--Practical Limitations--Classification of Mazes and Labyrinths--Unicursal and Multicursal, Compact and Diffuse Types--Modes of Branching--Straight-line Diagrams--Speculations on the Knossian Figure--Hints on Maze Design--Principles of Maze Solution--A Word on Mnemonics--Harris at Hampton Court
 182-192
 
CHAPTER XXII

THE LABYRINTH IN LITERATURE

Romance, Mystery, and Allegory--Labyrinthine Book Titles--Some Literary Monstrosities--Spiritual and Theological Labyrinths--Love, Labyrinths, and Anonymity--The Labyrinth in Modern Book Titles--Emblems--Melancholy Meditations in the Maze
 193-200
 
CHAPTER XXIII

MISCELLANEA AND CONCLUSION

A Maze Collector--The Labyrinth in Queer Places--The Maze on Paper and on the Sands--Mirror Mazes--A Temporary Hedge Maze--Maze Toys--A Verbal Labyrinth--The Maze in Place-names--A Plea for the Preservation of some Ancient Monuments
 201-213
 
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL APPENDIX
 215-235
 
INDEX
 237-254
 

 



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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2009, 03:12:47 pm »



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
 
 PAGE
 
1. EGYPTIAN LABYRINTH. Portion of Ruins, circ. 1700. (P. Lucas)
 facing page12
 
2. EGYPTIAN LABYRINTH. Shrine of Amenemhat III. (Flinders Petrie)
 f.p 13
 
3. EGYPTIAN LABYRINTH. Restored Plan. (Canina)
 15
 
4. EGYPTIAN LABYRINTH. Restored Plan. (Flinders Petrie)
 16
 
5. CRETAN LABYRINTH. (Florentine Picture Chronicle)
 f.p 18
 
6. CRETAN LABYRINTH. (Italian Engraving: School of Finiguerra)
 21
 
7. CAVERN OF GORTYNA. (Sieber)
 f.p 28
 
8. KNOSSOS. Maze-pattern on Wall of Palace. (After Evans)
 32
 
9. DOUBLE-AXE AND SOCKET FROM DICTAEAN CAVE. (Evans)
 f.p 32
 
10. TOMB OF DOUBLE AXES. Plan. (Evans)
 33
 
11. TOMB OF DOUBLE AXES. View of the Cist. (Evans)
 f.p 33
 
12. BRONZE DOUBLE AXE FROM TOMB OF DOUBLE AXES. (Evans)
 f.p 41
 
13. TOMB OF LARS PORSENA AT CLUSIUM. Restoration. (Q. de Quincy)
 f.p 38
 
14. POGGIO CAJELLA. Labyrinthine Cemetery. (Dennis)
 f.p 40
 
15, 16, 17, 18. EARLY EGYPTIAN SEALS AND PLAQUES. (British Museum)
 f.p 41
 
19. EARLY EGYPTIAN PLAQUE OR AMULET. (Prof. Flinders Petrie's Collection, Univ. Coll., London).
 43
 
20 to 25. COINS OF KNOSSOS. (British Museum)
 f.p 44
 
26 to 31.
 f.p 45
 
32. GRAFFITO AT POMPEII. (Mus. Borb. XIV. 1852)
 46
 
33. MOSAIC AT SALZBURG. (Kreuzer)
 47
 
34. MOSAIC AT CAERLEON. (O. Morgan)
 f.p 48
 
35. MOSAIC AT VERDES, LOIR-ET-CHER. (De Caumont)
 49
 
36. MOSAIC AT CORMEROD, SWITZERLAND. (Mitt. Ant. Ges. Zurich, XVI)
 f.p 48
 
37. MOSAIC AT SUSA, TUNIS. (C. R. Acad. Inscriptions, Paris, 1892)
 50
 
38. GREEK KYLIX, SHOWING EXPLOITS OF THESEUS. (British Museum)
 f.p 52
 
p. xvi
 
 
PAGE
 
 
39. ANOTHER THESEUS KYLIX. (British Museum)
 f.p 52
 
40. LABYRINTH ENGRAVED ON ANCIENT GEM. (Maffei)
 53
 
41. BRONZE PLAQUETTE. Italian XVIth Century. (British Museum).
 f.p 60
 
42. LABYRINTH IN CHURCH OF REPARATUS, ORLÉANSVILLE, ALGERIA. (Prevost)
 55
 
43. LABYRINTH IN LUCCA CATHEDRAL. (Durand)
 55
 
44. LABYRINTH IN S. MICHELE, PAVIA. (Ciampini)
 56
 
45. LABYRINTH IN S. MARIA-DI-TRASTAVERA, ROME. (Durand)
 f.p 56
 
46. LABYRINTH IN S. VITALE, RAVENNA. (Durand)
 f.p 56
 
47. LABYRINTH IN CHARTRES CATHEDRAL. (Gailhabaud)
 58
 
48. LABYRINTH IN AMIENS CATHEDRAL. (Gailhabaud)
 59
 
49. LABYRINTH IN PARISH CHURCH, ST. QUENTIN. (Gailhabaud)
 60
 
50. LABYRINTH IN RHEIMS CATHEDRAL. (Gailhabaud)
 f.p 60
 
51. LABYRINTH IN AMIENS CATHEDRAL, CENTRAL PLATE. (Gailhabaud)
 f.p 61
 
52. LABYRINTH IN BAYEUX CATHEDRAL. (Amê)
 f.p 61
 
53. LABYRINTH IN SENS CATHEDRAL. (Gailhabaud)
 62
 
54. LABYRINTH IN ABBEY OF ST. BERTIN, ST. OMER. (Wallet)
 63
 
55. LABYRINTH IN POITIERS CATHEDRAL. (Auber)
 64
 
56. LABYRINTHS ON TILES. Toussaints Abbey, Chalons. (Amé)
 f.p 74
 
57. LABYRINTH IN ELY CATHEDRAL. (W. H. M.)
 66
 
58. LABYRINTH IN CHURCH AT BOURN, CAMBS. (W. H. M.)
 69
 
59. "JULIAN'S BOWER," ALKBOROUGH, LINCS. (Litho., Rev. G. Yorke)
 72
 
60. TURF LABYRINTH AT WING, RUTLAND. (Photo, W. J. Stocks; by permission of Rev. E. A. Irons)
 f.p 74
 
61. "SHEPHERD'S RACE," BOUGHTON GREEN, NORTHANTS. (After Trollope)
 76
 
62. "MIZMAZE," ST. CATHERINE'S HILL, WINCHESTER. (W. H. M.)
 80
 
63. TURF LABYRINTH, PIMPERNE, DORSET. (Hutchins)
 81
 
64. TURF LABYRINTH, SAFFRON WALDEN, ESSEX. (W. H. M.)
 83
 
65. "THE MAZLES," COMBERTON, CAMBS. (Photo, W. H. M.)
 f.p 84
 
66. TURF LABYRINTH, HILTON, HUNTS. (W. H. M.)
 85
 
67. TURF LABYRINTH, HILTON, HUNTS. (Photo, W. H. M.)
 f.p 84
 
68. "WALLS OF TROY," ROCKCLIFFE MARSH, CUMBERLAND. (After Ferguson)
 87
 
69. "TROY-TOWN," SOMERTON, OXON. (From sketch by O. W. Godwin)
 89
 
70. "CAERDROIA." (After P. Roberts)
 994
 
71. LABYRINTH DEVICE OF ARCHBISHOP OF EMBRUN. (After C. Paradin).
 97
 
p. xvii
 
 
 
 PAGE
 
72. FLORAL LABYRINTH. (De Vries)
 f.p 100
 
73.     "           "             "       
 102
 
74.     "           "             "       
 f.p 101
 
75, 76. HERBAL LABYRINTHS. (T. Hill)
 104
 
77, 78. MAZE DESIGNS IN XVIITH CENTURY MANUSCRIPT. (Harley MS., Brit. Mus.)
 106
 
79. MAZE DESIGN BY ADAM ISLIP, 1602
 107
 
80. MAZE DESIGN BY J. COMMELYN, 1676
 108
 
81. MAZE DESIGN BY J. SERLIO. (XVIth Century)
 113
 
82. MAZE AT CHARLEVAL. (After Du Cerceau)
 114
 
83, 84. MAZES AT GAILLON. (After Du Cerceau)
 114
 
85. MAZE AT THEOBALDS, HERTS. (After Trollope)
 115
 
86. MAZE AT HATFIELD, HERTS. (Photo, G. F. Green)
 Frontispiece
 
87. MAZE AT HATFIELD, HERTS. Plan. (W. H. M.)
 116
 
88. LABYRINTH OF VERSAILLES. (Perrault)
 f.p 118
 
89. LABYRINTH OF VERSAILLES. Fable Group: "Hare and Tortoise"
 118
 
90. LABYRINTH OF VERSAILLES. Fable Group: "Fox and Crow"
 119
 
91. LABYRINTH OF VERSAILLES. Fable Group: "Snake and Porcupine"
 120
 
92. LABYRINTH AT THE TUILERIES, PARIS. (After Du Cerceau)
 121
 
93. LABYRINTH AT CHOISY-LE-ROI. (Blondel)
 f.p 120
 
94. LABYRINTH AT CHANTILLY. (Blondel)
 f.p 120
 
95, 96. MAZE DESIGNS BY ANDRÉ MOLLET. ("Le Jardin de Plaisir," 1651)
 f.p 121
 
97 to 106. MAZE DESIGNS BY G. A. BOECKLER. ("Architectura Curiosa Nova," 1664)
 122-126
 
107. MAZE AT GUNTERSTEIN, HOLLAND. (Nicholas Visscher)
 f.p 126
 
108. MAZE AT GUNTERSTEIN, HOLLAND. Plan. (Visscher)
 f.p 126
 
109. GARDENS AT LOO, HOLLAND, WITH MAZES. (W. Harris)
 f.p 127
 
110. MAZE AT HAMPTON COURT. (Photo, G. F. Green)
 f.p 128
 
111. MAZE AT HAMPTON COURT. Plan. (W. H. M.)
 129
 
112. HAMPTON COURT. Mazes and "Plan-de-Troy" in XVIIIth Century. (Engraving, J. Rocque, 1736)
 130
 
113. HAMPTON COURT. "The Little Maze." (Photo, G. F. Green)
 f.p 128
 
114. LABYRINTH DESIGN BY L. LIGER. (From London and Wise)
 131
 
115. MAZE DESIGN BY BATTY LANGLEY. ("New Principles of Gardening," 1728)
 f.p 131
 
116. MAZE DESIGN BY BATTY LANGLEY. ("New Principles of Gardening," 1728)
 f.p 130
 
117. LABYRINTH AT TRINITY COLLEGE, OXFORD. (Williams)
 f.p 132
 
118. WREST PARK, BEDS., WITH TWO MAZES. (Kip)
 f.p 133
 
p. xviii
 
 
 
 PAGE
 
119. MAZE DESIGN BY STEPHEN SWITZER. ("Ichnographia Rustica," 1742)
 133
 
120. MAZE IN R.H.S. GARDENS, STH. KENSINGTON. (After Nesfield)
 139
 
121. MAZE IN BRIDGE END GARDENS, SAFFRON WALDEN. Looking S. (Photo, W. H. M.)
 f.p 140
 
122. MAZE IN BRIDGE END GARDENS, SAFFRON WALDEN. Looking N. (Photo, W. H. M.)
 f.p 140
 
123. MAZE AT SOMERLEYTON HALL, SUFFOLK. (W. H. M., from sketch by G. F. Green)
 141
 
124. STONE LABYRINTH ON WIER ISLAND, GULF OF FINLAND. (Von Baer)
 148
 
125. STONE LABYRINTH ON FINNISH COAST. (Aspelin)
 148
 
126. STONE LABYRINTH AT WISBY, GOTHLAND. (Aspelin)
 149
 
127. SCANDINAVIAN STONE LABYRINTH. (Rudbeck)
 150
 
128. OLD DANISH STONE CROSS, WITH LABYRINTH. (O. Worm)
 f.p 151
 
129. ROCK ENGRAVINGS, ROUTING LINN, NORTHUMBERLAND. (G. Tate)
 f.p 151
 
130. ROCK ENGRAVINGS, OLD BEWICK, NORTHUMBERLAND(G. Tate)
 f.p 152
 
131. INDIAN LABYRINTH, FROM XVIIITH CENTURY SPANISH MANUSCRIPT. (After Cotton)
 154
 
132. LABYRINTHINE PICTOGRAPH, MESA VERDE. (After Fewkes)
 155
 
133. ETRUSCAN WINE-VASE FROM TRAGLIATELLA. (After Deecke)
 157
 
134, 135. ETRUSCAN WINE-VASE FROM TRAGLIATELLA. "Troy Dance" Details. (After Deecke)
 157-158
 
136. STRAIGHT-LINE DIAGRAM. Hampton Court Maze
 187
 
137. STRAIGHT-LINE DIAGRAM. Hatfield Maze
 187
 
138, 139. DERIVATION OF LABYRINTH TYPES FROM ROCK-ENGRAVING FIGURES. (After Krause)
 188
 
140. ALLEGORICAL LABYRINTH. (Old German Print)
 f.p 194
 
141, 142. SEA-SIDE SAND MAZES. (W. H. M.)
 f.p 202
 
143. TEMPORARY MAZE AT VILLAGE FETE. (W. H. M.)
 203
 
144. MAZE TOY BY A. BRENTANO. (After Patent Specification)
 204
 
145. MAZE TOY BY S. D. Nix. (After Patent Specification)
 206
 
147. MAZE TOY BY J. PROCTOR. (After Patent Specification)
 206
 
148. MAZE TOY BY H. BRIDGE. (After Patent Specification)
 207
 
149, 150, 151. PATH OF RAT IN LABYRINTH. Three Stages. (After Szymanski)
 208
 

 



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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2009, 03:13:04 pm »

p. 1

MAZES AND LABYRINTHS
CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
A DELIGHTFUL air of romance and mystery surrounds the whole subject of Labyrinths and Mazes.

The hedge-maze, which is the only type with which most of us have a first-hand acquaintance, is generally felt to be a survival of a romantic age, even though we esteem its function as nothing higher than that of a playground for children. Many a tender intrigue has been woven around its dark yew alleys. Mr. Compton Mackenzie, for example, introduces it most effectively as a lovers' rendezvous in "The Passionate Elopement," and no doubt the readers of romantic literature will recall other instances of a like nature. The story of fair Rosamond's Bower is one which will leap to the mind in this connection.

This type of maze alone is worth more than a passing thought, but it is far from being the only, or even the most interesting, development of the labyrinth idea.

What is the difference, it may be asked, between a maze and a labyrinth? The answer is, little or none. Some writers seem to prefer to apply the word "maze" to hedge-mazes only, using the word "labyrinth" to denote

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the structures described by the writers of antiquity, or as a general term for any confusing arrangement of paths. Others, again, show a tendency to restrict the application of the term "maze" to cases in which the idea of a puzzle is involved.

It would certainly seem somewhat inappropriate to talk of "the Cretan Maze" or "the Hampton Court Labyrinth," but, generally speaking, we may use the words interchangeably, regarding "maze" as merely the northern equivalent of the classic "labyrinth." Both words have come to signify a complex path of some kind, but when we press for a closer definition we encounter difficulties. We cannot, for instance, say that it is "a tortuous branched path designed to baffle or deceive those who attempt to find the goal to which it leads," for, though that description holds good in some cases, it ignores the many cases in which there is only one path, without branches, and therefore no intent to baffle or mislead, and others again in which there is no definite "goal." We cannot say that it is a winding path "bounded by walls or hedges," for in many instances there are neither walls nor hedges. One of the most famous labyrinths, for example, consisted chiefly of a vast and complicated series of rooms and columns. In fact, we shall find it convenient to leave the question of the definition of the words, and also that of their origin, until we have examined the various examples that exist or are known to have existed.

It may be necessary, here and there, to make reference to various archaeological or antiquarian books and other writings, but the outlook of the general reader, rather than that of the professed student, has been mainly borne in mind.

The object of this book is simply to provide a read-able survey of a subject which, in view of the lure it has exercised throughout many ages and under a variety of forms, has been almost entirely neglected in our literature--the subject of mazes and labyrinths treated from

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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009, 03:13:14 pm »

a general and not a purely archæological, horticultural, mathematical, or artistic point of view.

Such references as have been made have therefore been accompanied in most cases by some explanatory or descriptive phrase, a provision which might be considered unnecessary or out of place in a book written for the trained student.

For the benefit of such as may wish to verify, or to investigate more fully, any of the matters dealt with, a classified list of references has been compiled and will be found at the end of the book.

The first summary of any importance to be published in this country on the subject was a paper by the Venerable Edward Trollope, F.S.A., Archdeacon of Stow, which appeared in the Archaeological Journal and in the "Proceedings" of a provincial archaeological society in 1858. Nearly all subsequent writers on the subject--in this country at any rate--have drawn largely upon the paper in question and have made little advance upon it.

The "Encyclopaedia Britannica" contains an illustrated article, written originally by a botanist and chiefly concerned with hedge-mazes. Such books as Rouse Ball's "Mathematical Recreations," Andrews' "Ecclesiastical Curiosities," and Dudeney's "Amusements in Mathematics" devote each a chapter or so to the matter, and from time to time there have been brief displays of interest in some aspect or other of the topic in popular periodicals, the most notable being a pair of richly illustrated articles in Country Life in 1903. A condensed and scholarly review of the subject, in so far as it is relevant to his main thesis, is contained in the first volume of Mr. A. B. Cook's ponderous work on "Zeus" (1914). A similar remark applies to the recently published (1921) Volume I of Sir Arthur Evans's magnificent summary of his Cretan researches, "The Palace of Minos at Knossos." There is a characteristically Ruskinian discourse on Labyrinths in "Fors Clavigera"

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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2009, 03:13:24 pm »

 (Fors No. 23); and an interesting, if not convincing, section of Mr. E. O. Gordon's "Prehistoric London" adduces a certain amount of labyrinth lore in support of the Trojan origin of the metropolis. So far as the writer has been able to ascertain, no book dealing solely with the subject has hitherto appeared in our language.

In 1915-16 there appeared posthumously in the Revue Archéologique a very remarkable series of articles on "Les Fallacieux Détours du Labyrinthe" by a brilliant young French archaeologist, M. Robert de Launay, who was killed on the field of honour at Neuville-St.-Vaast in May 1915. The articles are characterised by great boldness and enthusiasm and show a wide range of knowledge, but it is probable that, if the author had lived, mature consideration would have led him to modify some of his conclusions. This is the most recent work of importance on the subject, though the new work by Sir A. Evans mentioned above contains much interesting and valuable information on certain aspects.

In the following chapters an attempt is made to set forth, as readably as may be, an account of the various devices in which the labyrinth-idea has been embodied, to indicate where examples may be found, to give some notion of the speculations which have been made regarding their origins, and to consider the possibilities of the idea from the point of view of amusement and recreation.

The earliest labyrinths of which mention is made by the classic writers are those of Egypt and Crete, and we shall find it convenient to consider these first of all. We will then notice the other labyrinths alluded to by the writers of antiquity, and pass on to a consideration of labyrinthine designs introduced by way of ornament or symbolism in various objects of later classic art. We shall see that the labyrinth-idea was adopted and developed by the Christian Church in the Middle Ages, and will note its progress as a medium of horticultural embellishment. It will be interesting to examine the mathematical principles,

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such as they are, which underlie the construction or solution of mazes, also to see in what a number of ways these principles may be applied.

We shall find that our inquiry will bring us into contact with a greater variety of subjects than one would at first be inclined to imagine, and that labyrinths and mazes need not by any means be considered as exclusively a concern of archaeologists and children.

Incidentally we may help to rescue from threatened oblivion a certain class of native antiquities, small and diminishing in number, but surely worth sufficient attention to ensure their preservation, namely, the turf-labyrinths.

As to the actual origin and primary purpose of these devices we cannot be dogmatic on the evidence before us, and herein, perhaps, lies a good deal of their charm. When we can classify and date with precision any object which is not of a utilitarian nature we relegate it at once to our mental museum, and a museum is only too apt to become an oubliette. But when there is a considerable margin for speculation, or, as we usually say, a certain amount of "mystery" in the case, we are more likely to find pleasure in rehandling it, looking at it from different points of view and wondering about it. Let us grant, by all means, that there are quite sufficient unsolved riddles in nature and life without raising up artificial mysteries. Let us even admit that when evidence is available (which, by the way, is not the same thing as existent) it is better to settle a question straight away than to leave it open to further argument. At the same time, let us not be too hasty in accepting speculations, however shrewd, as proved facts. Antiquarian books should naturally be as free as possible from actual misstatements, but they have lost all their charm when they become collections of bald dogmatic statements or mere descriptive catalogues.



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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2009, 03:13:39 pm »

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CHAPTER II
THE EGYPTIAN LABYRINTH
(i) Accounts of the Ancient Writers

THE earliest structure of any kind to which we find the word labyrinth applied was a huge building situated in the North of Egypt, a land always noted for its stupendous monuments, and was probably constructed more than 2000 years before the commencement of the Christian era.

We live in an age when the use of constructional steel enables the dreams of the architect to materialise in many ways that would astonish the builders of old; nevertheless, the modern citizen, whatever his nationality, can rarely resist a feeling akin to awe when making his first acquaintance with such works as the Pyramids of Egypt. One can imagine, then, what a profound effect these massive edifices must have exerted on the minds of travellers in earlier ages.

We find, as we might expect, many wild exaggerations in individual descriptions and corresponding discrepancies between the various accounts of any particular monument, and this is to some extent the case with regard to the Egyptian Labyrinth.

A fairly detailed and circumstantial account has come down to us from the Greek writer Herodotus.

Herodotus, who is rightly spoken of as the Father of History, was born about 484 B.C. and lived about sixty

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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2009, 03:13:48 pm »

years, of which he spent a considerable number in travelling about over most of the then known world. Those who are fortunate enough to be able to read his works in their original tongue are charmed by their freshness, simplicity, and harmonious rhythm, but those who look to him for accurate information on any but contemporary events or matters with which he was personally acquainted are apt to find a rather too credulous acceptance of the wonderful. No doubt the poetical instinct in Herodotus was stronger than the critical spirit of the true historian, but, so far as the records of his personal observations are concerned, there seems to be no reason to accuse him of gross exaggeration.

The Labyrinth of Egypt he himself visited, as he tells us in his second book, and seems to have been consider-ably impressed by it. After describing how the Egyptians divided the land into twelve parts, or nomes, and set a king over each, he says that they agreed to combine together to leave a memorial of themselves. They then constructed the Labyrinth, just above Lake Moeris, and nearly opposite the city of crocodiles (Crocodilopolis). "I found it," he says, "greater than words could tell, for, although the temple at Ephesus and that at Samos are celebrated works, yet all of the works and buildings of the Greeks put together would certainly be inferior to this labyrinth as regards labour and expense." Even the pyramids, he tells us, were surpassed by the Labyrinth. "It has twelve covered courts, with opposite doors, six courts on the North side and six on the South, all communicating with one another and with one wall surrounding them all. There are two sorts of rooms, one sort above, the other sort below ground, fifteen hundred of each sort, or three thousand in all." He says that he was allowed to pass through the upper rooms only, the lower range being strictly guarded from visitors, as they contained the tombs of the kings who had built the Labyrinth, also the tombs of the sacred crocodiles.

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The upper rooms he describes as being of super-human size, and the system of passages through the courts, rooms, and colonnades very intricate and bewildering. The roof of the whole affair, he says, is of stone and the walls are covered with carvings. Each of the courts is surrounded by columns of white stone, perfectly joined. Outside the Labyrinth, and at one corner of it, is a pyramid about 240 feet in height, with huge figures carved upon it and approached by an underground passage.

Herodotus expresses even greater admiration, however, for the lake beside the Labyrinth, which he describes as being of vast size and artificially constructed, having two pyramids arising from its bed, each supporting a colossal seated statue. The water for the lake, he says, is brought from the Nile by a canal.

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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2009, 03:14:03 pm »

The Labyrinth and the lake are also described at some length by another great traveller, Strabo, who lived about four centuries after Herodotus. He wrote, amongst other works, a Geography of the World in seventeen volumes, the last of which treats of Egypt and other parts of Africa. Like Herodotus, he speaks of the Labyrinth from personal observation. After referring to the lake and the manner in which it is used as a storage reservoir for the water of the Nile, he proceeds to describe the Labyrinth, "a work equal to the Pyramids." He says it is "a large palace composed of as many palaces as there were formerly nomes. There are an equal number of courts, surrounded by columns and adjoining one another, all in a row and constituting one building, like a long wall with the courts in front of it. The entrances to the courts are opposite the wall; in front of these entrances are many long covered alleys with winding intercommunicating passages, so that a stranger could not find his way in or out unless with a guide. Each of these structures is roofed with a single slab of stone, as are also the covered alleys, no timber or any other material being used." If one

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ascends to the roof, he says, one looks over "a field of stone." The courts were in a line, supported by a row of twenty-seven monolithic columns, the walls also being constructed of stones of as great a size.

"At the end of the building is the royal tomb, consisting of a square pyramid and containing the body of Imandes."

Strabo says that it was the custom of the twelve nomes of Egypt to assemble, with their priests and priestesses, each nome in its own court, for the purpose of sacrificing to the gods and administering justice in important matters.

He mentions that the inhabitants of the particular nome in the vicinity worshipped the crocodile which was kept in the lake and answered to the name of Suchus (Sebek). This animal was apparently quite tame and used to be presented by visitors with offerings of bread, flesh, wine, honey, and milk.

In certain parts of his works Strabo speaks rather disrespectfully of Herodotus as a writer, classing him as a marvel-monger, but it will be seen that in several important respects these two accounts of the Egyptian Labyrinth are in fair agreement.

Another writer of about the same period as Strabo, known as Diodorus the Sicilian, wrote a long, rambling compilation which he called a "Historical Library" and in which he describes the Egyptian Labyrinth and Lake Moeris. He says the latter was constructed by King Moeris, who left a place in the middle where he built himself a sepulchre and two pyramids--one for himself and one for his queen--surmounted by colossal seated statues. Diodorus says that the king gave the money resulting from the sale of the fish caught in the lake, amounting to a silver talent a day, to his wife "to buy her pins."

A generation or so later the Roman writer Pomponius Mela gives a short account of this labyrinth, probably at second-hand, and early in the first century of the

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[paragraph continues] Christian era Pliny, in his "Natural History," has a good deal to say on the subject. He refers to labyrinths generally as "the most stupendous works on which mankind has expended its labours."

Regarding the Egyptian Labyrinth he says, "there exists still, in the nome of Heracleopolites, a labyrinth first built, it is said, three thousand six hundred years ago, by King Petesuchis or Tithoës," but he goes on to quote Herodotus, to the effect that it was built by twelve kings, the last of whom was Psammetichus, and two other writers who give the king's name as Moiris and Moteris respectively, "whilst others, again, assert that it was a building dedicated to the Sun-god, an opinion which is generally accepted."

He also refers to the fact that the roof was of stone, and notes as a surprising point that the parts around the entrance were constructed of Parian marble, whilst the columns of the other parts were of syenite. "This great mass is so solidly built that the lapse of time has been quite unable to destroy it, but it has been badly ravaged by the people of Heracleopolites, who have always detested it. To describe the whole of it in detail would be quite impossible, as it is divided up into regions and prefectures, called nomes, thirty in number, with a great palace to each; in addition it must contain temples of all the gods of Egypt and forty statues of Nemesis in the same number of sacred shrines, as well as numerous pyramids." He describes it further as having "banquet halls reached by steep ascents, flights of ninety steps leading down from the porticoes, porphyritic columns, figures of gods and hideous monsters, and statues of kings. Some of the palaces are so made that the opening of a door makes a terrifying sound as of thunder. Most of the buildings are in total darkness. Outside the labyrinth there is another great heap of buildings, called the 'Pteron,' under which are passages leading to other subterranean palaces."



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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2009, 03:14:51 pm »

CHAPTER III
THE EGYPTIAN LABYRINTH (continued)
(ii) Accounts of Later Explorers

A STRUCTURE which evoked so much wonder and admiration in ancient times can hardly fail to have aroused the curiosity of later generations, but no serious attempts to locate it seem to have been made by Europeans until several centuries later. It was then far too late to observe any of its glories, for it was all but destroyed in Roman times, and a village sprang up on its site, largely constructed from its debris.

The Italian traveller Gemelli-Careri, who visited Egypt in 1693, refers to a subterranean labyrinth which he saw in the neighbourhood of the Pyramids. In the English version of his account we read: ". . . the Arabs conducted us to see a Labyrinth, where the Ancients bury’d Birds. We went down a narrow Passage into a Room out of which we crept on our Bellies through a Hole to certain ways where a man may walk well enough upright. On both sides of these there are Urns, in which the Birds were bury’d; there is now nothing in them but a little dust. These Ways are cut out of a nitrous Stone, and run several miles like a City under ground, which they call a Labyrinth." There is nothing in this description, however, to suggest that these works had any connection with the Labyrinth of the ancients.

In 1700 Paul Lucas, the Antiquary to Louis XIV,

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went on a voyage to Egypt, and, in the book in which he subsequently published the account of his travels, gives us some idea of the state of the remains in his time, but his account is very rambling and unreliable. Fig. 1 is a view which he gives of part of the ruins of the alleged labyrinth.

Lucas states that an old Arab who accompanied his party professed to have explored the interior of the ruins many years before, and to have penetrated into its subterranean passages to a large chamber surrounded by several niches, "like little shops," whence endless alleys and other rooms branched off. By the time of Lucas's visit, however, these passages could not be traced, and he concluded that they had become blocked up by debris.

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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2009, 03:15:00 pm »

The next explorer to visit the spot seems to have been Dr. Richard Pococke, whose "Description of the East" appeared in 1743. "We observed at a great distance," he says, "the temple of the Labyrinth, and being about a league from it, I observed several heaps as of ruins, covered with sand, and many stones all round as if there had been some great building there: they call it the town of Caroon (Bellet Caroon). It seemed to have been of a considerable breadth from east to west, and the buildings extended on each side towards the north to the Lake Moeris and the temple. This without doubt is the spot of the famous Labyrinth which Herodotus says was built by the twelve kings of Egypt." He describes what he takes to be the pyramid of the Labyrinth as a building about 165 feet long by 80 broad, very much ruined, and says it is called the "Castle of Caroon."

The neighbourhood was also explored by the archaeologists who accompanied that remarkable expedition sent out by Napoleon at the end of the eighteenth century, and one of them, Jomard, believed that he had discovered the ruins of the Labyrinth.

In 1843 a Prussian expedition, under K. R. Lepsius, carried out considerable excavations in the locality and

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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2009, 03:15:22 pm »



Fig. 1. Egyptian Labyrinth. Portion of Ruins, circ. 1700. (Paul Lucas)



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