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Mazes and Labyrinths

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Author Topic: Mazes and Labyrinths  (Read 8045 times)
Kabrina Teppe
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2009, 01:17:21 pm »

p. 17

CHAPTER IV
THE CRETAN LABYRINTH
(i) The Story of Theseus and the Minotaur

CHARLES KINGSLEY in "The Heroes" and Nathaniel Hawthorne in "Tanglewood Tales" have familiarised most English-speaking people with the story of the exploits of Theseus, and doubtless most folk have some acquaintance with the first volume of Plutarch's "Lives," but it will not be out of place here to recall the portions of the legend which are associated with our particular theme, the parts, that is to say, which concern the Labyrinth of Crete. In doing so we will follow the version given by Plutarch.

This Greco-Roman historian flourished in the latter half of the first century of our era. His information as to the deeds of Theseus, already for many centuries a staple ingredient in popular legendry, was drawn from the accounts of the early Greek writers Bacchylides (fifth century B.C.), Cleidemus (circ. 420-350 B.C.), Philochorus (circ. 306-260 B.C.), and others.

The Cretan exploit was perhaps the most romantic of the long series of heroic ads attributed to Theseus. Let us briefly recall it.

Aegeus, the father of Theseus, was King of Athens. At that time there reigned at Knossos, in Crete, a monarch called Minos, who held sway over what was then

p. 18

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