Greek Myths: Myths of Crete

  1. Crete

    - what kind of rule, rulers, living quarters
    - religious artifacts?
    - any Cretan history?
    - any original Cretan myths?
    - Greek myth (about what)
    - palaces represent (?) - idk
    • - great thalassocray(great power) , powerful kings, enormous palaces
    • - religious artifacts: images of bulls, goddesses, (personifications of fertility)
    • - no Cretan history, only cretan archaeology
    • - no original Cretan myths, only Greek myths about Crete
    • - Greek Myth: evil king overthrown by wandering hero who wins the love of the princess
    • - palaces: maze; bull: half human monster
  2. Europa and the Bull

    - line of Io, how does it go down to Europa
    • - line of Io (with Zeus she has Ephaphus, he has daughter Lybia who sleeps with Poseidon to produce Agenor and Belus. Belus has Cepheus, Aegyptus, and Danaus.) **not that impt.
    • - Agenor (w/ Telephassa) has Europa, Cadmus, Phoenix, and Cilix
    • - Zeus abducts Europa in the form of a bull : he gets her to ride on his back, swims away to Crete --> has sex with her.
    • - Agenor sends his sons to look, but no luck. They end up spreading out and settling in various places

    - With Zeus Europa gives birth to Minos, Rhadamanthys (both soul judges in Hades) and Sarpedon
  3. Minos and Pasiphae

    - Minos' claim, the omen, his forgetting --> the result
    • - Minos drives his brothers out of Crete (they all like the same boy)
    • - He boasts that Poseidon has promised him kingship --> asks that a bull from the sea be sent as a sign of his election and he would sacrifice it
    • - bull comes but he forgets to sacrifice
    • - He marries Pasiphae (daughter of Helius) - many kids including Ariadne, Phaedra, and Prince Androgeus
    • - Poseidon is angry that Minos forgot to sacrifice the bull, so he curses Pasiphae with a passion for the bull.
    • - Deadalus, who murdered his nephew Perdrix for inventing something he could not, is visiting Crete and finds a way for Pasiphae to have sex with the bull
    • - The Minotaur is born (half bull, half man) and is imprisoned in the Labrynth
  4. Minos and Aegeus
    • - Minos' son Androgeus dies at the Olympic games in Athens (ruled by Aegeus)
    • - so Minos attacks Athens
    • - as a result Athens must send 14 youths (7 boys, 7 girls) as a tribute, feed to the minotaur
    • - Theseus joins the tribute ship (forgets to change sails --> Aegeus dies)
  5. Theseus and the Minotaur (Ariadne too
    • - When Theseus gets off the ship, Ariadne immediately falls in love with him --> "I will help you if you take me back to marry you" - motif of "helper maiden"
    • - Tells him to shut a ball of thread (made by Hephaestus) in the door, unravel it as he goes.
    • - He kills the minotaur with his sword
    • - He escapes with Ariadne to the island of Naxos, but then abandons her there
    • - He returns home, but forgets to change the sails back to white --> death of Aegeus
  6. Daedalus and Icarus
    • - Minos is pissed when he realizes what has happened.
    • - imprisons Daedalus and his son Icarus inside the labyrinth (which Daedalus had built himself)
    • - Daedalus makes wings for their escape --> cant restrain them, just like you cant restrain sexual desire (pasiphae)
    • - warning of Icarus: the Golden Mean: the virtue of going neither too high, nor too low (courage is the middle between cowardice and foolhardy rashness
    • - Icarus flies too high, wings get too high --> falls to his death
    • - Daedalus flies to Sicily to king Cocalus, king of Camicus.
  7. The Death of Minos
    • - Minos searches all over for Daedalus, finally comes to Cocalus' palace
    • - promised a grand reward to whoever could thread a conch shell (knows only Daedalus can)
    • - Cocalus takes it secretly to Daedalus - ties the thread to an ant, puts a drop of honey on the other side (mirrors labyrinth) --> threads the shell
    • - Minos demands that Cocalus turn over Daedalus. Cocalus says okay but stay for dinner first
    • - Cocalus has his daughters fill Minos' bath with boiling water --> he dies.
  8. Perspective 16.1: Picasso's Minotauromiachia
    • - alludes to a series of bullfights by Goya - Tauromachia
    • - the scene is like a bullfight but everything is contradictory: matador is a woman, bull is half-man, child is unafraid, hero is in flight, women of peace sit in darkness, and the Minotaur has a burden to bear

    • more specifically:
    • - minotaur is evil, but may not see well --> frightened by a the light that the little girl is holding (reminds us of Ariadne who holds the life saving ball of thread)
    • - Theseus killed the monster in the myth but here he is portrayed like christ (with a christ-like face) --> fleeing.
    • - women of peace (holding doves) look down from afar - uninvolved, dispassionate, like spectators of a bullfight, where horses really are gouged.
Card Set
Greek Myths: Myths of Crete
Myths of Crete