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Mazes and Labyrinths

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Author Topic: Mazes and Labyrinths  (Read 3104 times)
Kabrina Teppe
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« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2009, 01:27:52 pm »

p. 42

CHAPTER VIII
THE LABYRINTH IN ANCIENT ART
THERE has been considerable speculation as to how the typical labyrinth form first came into existence. It became stereotyped long before the Christian era and retained its character for many centuries.

The coins of Knossos furnish us with abundant examples of it, and, from the fact that in certain of the earlier specimens the corresponding figure is a simple repeated meander, it has been supposed that the typical labyrinth design arose by elaboration of the meander. The resemblance between this form and the very wide-spread and primitive sign known as the fylfot or swastika has also attracted some attention. It is a somewhat long step, however, from a loose combination of meanders like that shown in, say, Fig. 20, to the compact conventional labyrinth of Fig. 30. The adoption of the former design may possibly have been inspired by the fresco on one of the walls of the Minoan palace, to which we have made reference in Chapter VI (Fig. Cool, portions of which may have been visible among the ruins for several generations. There does not appear to be any evidence that the complex meander pattern of the fresco was an allusion on the part of the Minoans to an actual constructional labyrinth; it may quite well have been a purely ornamental conception, without any symbolical significance. Meander designs were used by the Minoans at a

p. 43

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