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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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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2009, 01:19:12 pm »

laws, like another Moses, direct from God, and after administering them during his life on earth continued to do so in the underworld after his death.

The probability is, as Professor Murray has suggested, that Minos was a general name, like "Pharaoh" in Egypt, or "Caesar" in Rome, bestowed upon each of a number of Cretan kings of a certain type. A mark either of the respect in which the name was held or of the colonising power of the monarch or monarchs in

p. 22

question is seen in the application of the name Minoa to several towns and villages scattered along the northern shores of the eastern Mediterranean.

The name Daedalus has likewise been thought by some to have been applied indiscriminately to various artificers and inventors of unusual ingenuity. The principal feats associated with this name are, in addition to the planning of the Labyrinth, the construction of a Choros, or dancing-place, for Ariadne, the modelling of a great hollow cow for Pasiphaë, wife of Minos, in order that she might interview the great white bull for which she had conceived an unnatural affection (the outcome being, in the words of Euripides, "A form commingled, and a monstrous birth, half man, half bull, in twofold shape combined"), and the invention of wings, wherewith Daedalus escaped from the Labyrinth when imprisoned there by Minos for his share in the Pasiphaë episode. Daedalus was also credited with the invention of the auger, the plumb-line and other tools, and of masts and sails for ships.

The Theseus-Minotaur incident has been often celebrated in ancient and mediaeval art, instances of which we shall later have occasion to mention. Modern artists, also, have not disdained the theme; a particularly fine example is the colossal marble group by Canova (1819), now at the Museum of Art History at Vienna, formerly in the Theseus Temple in the Volksgarten.

The question naturally arises: Was there actually such a thing as the Labyrinth, and, if so, where was it and what was its nature?



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