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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, 01:18:13 pm »

After various attempts to dissuade him, Aegeus at length consented, but stipulated that if Theseus were successful in his design the tribute ship should, on its return voyage, hoist a white sail in place of the black one which it customarily bore.

In due course Theseus came to Knossos, where, shortly after his arrival, he attracted the attention of Ariadne, the fair-haired daughter of Minos. Youth and love conspired against age and rancour, and the fair damsel arranged to provide the hero with a clue of thread and a sword before he was cast into the Labyrinth. One end of this thread was to be fastened at the entrance and the rest unrolled as he advanced.

Theseus followed his instructions, met the Minotaur in its lair and, after a terrific combat, overcame and slew it, after which he retraced his steps by means of the thread and made his escape from the Labyrinth.

By some means or other he contrived to liberate the other prisoners and to obtain possession of the tribute ship. Then, with the fair Ariadne on board, they set sail for Athens.

They do not appear to have been too eager to reach their destination, however, for the party found time to celebrate their escape with dance and song on the islands en route. It is said that on the island of Delos they performed a peculiar dance called the Geranos, or "Crane Dance," in which they went through the motions of threading the Labyrinth, and that this dance was perpetuated by the natives of that island until fairly recent times.

Theseus seems to have marred his home-coming by two little displays of thoughtlessness that might be considered reprehensible in anybody but a Greek hero. In the first place, he left fair Ariadne behind on the island of Naxos; secondly, he entirely overlooked his father's request concerning the change of sail, with the result that poor old Aegeus, on the look-out for the returning ship,

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