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A Report by Andrew Collins
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Mazes and Labyrinths

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Author Topic: Mazes and Labyrinths  (Read 8054 times)
Kabrina Teppe
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Posts: 1279

« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2009, 01:18:28 pm »

saw the black sail in the distance, concluded that his son had failed in his encounter with the Minotaur, threw himself into the sea and was drowned. Hence that sea was called the Aegean, and is so called to this day.

In Fig. 5 we reproduce an early Italian drawing in which the various incidents in the story are seen simultaneously. This picture is one of a remarkable series, attributed to Baccio Baldini and known as the Florentine Picture Chronicle. The collection was for many years the property of John Ruskin, but is now jealously treasured by the British Museum. A contemporary engraving, of the school of Finiguerra, seems to be based on this picture (Fig. 6).

There are many versions of the legend, some of them greatly at variance with others. For instance, Philochorus, an eminent writer on the antiquities of Athens, gives in his "Atthis" a very rationalistic account of the affair, stating that the Labyrinth was nothing but a dungeon where Minos imprisoned the Athenian youths until such time as they were given as prizes to the victors in the sports that were held in honour of his murdered son. He held also that the monster was simply a military officer, whose brutal disposition, in conjunction with his name, Tauros, may have given rise to the Minotaur myth.

The Cretan poet Epimenides, who lived in the sixth century B.C., says that Theseus was aided in his escape from the dark Labyrinth by means of the light radiated by a crown of blazing gems and gold which Bacchus gave to Ariadne.

Aristotle, according to Plutarch, stated in a work which has not come down to us his belief that the Athenian youths were not put to death by Minos but were retained as slaves. Plutarch, moreover, deplores the abuse which Greek tradition had heaped upon the name of Minos, pointing out that Homer and Hesiod had referred to him in very honourable terms, and

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