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Mazes and Labyrinths

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Author Topic: Mazes and Labyrinths  (Read 2622 times)
Kabrina Teppe
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« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2009, 01:27:38 pm »

pattern, but not necessarily connected with sepulchral purposes.

When speaking of the Labyrinth of Crete he says, "We must not compare this to what we see traced upon our mosaic pavements or to the mazes formed in the fields for the entertainment of children, and thus suppose it to be a narrow path along which we may walk for many miles together, but we must picture to ourselves an edifice with many doors and galleries which mislead the visitor. . . ." This passage shows that the term "labyrinth" had come to have a fairly broad significance. It had long been used in a metaphorical sense, even as we find Plato, over four centuries earlier, employing it to describe an elaborate argument. We also find it applied by extension to other objects, such as traps for fish, to judge by a certain passage in the works of Theocritus.

The only buildings to which the ancient writers applied the term, however, were those to which we have already referred.

Of the two phrases which we have italicised in the above quotation from Pliny, the second is of interest in connection with a matter we shall deal with later on, whilst the former brings us to the subject of our next chapter.


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Footnotes
38:1 A sort of low-crowned round hat with a broad brim.



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