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Truth behind Greek Mythology

Discussion in 'World History' started by Lonecat Nekophrodite, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. Lonecat Nekophrodite

    Lonecat Nekophrodite King

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    As a reader of (one or two) versions of Greek Mythology. Particularly Old Greek Monsters and Trojan War
    1. Who Minotaur actually was? if some archaeological claims suggested that a 'Taur was actually a mighty man with a big axe and wears bovine full helm to make an allegory of this beastman. What are achaeological evidence that backs the claims? and did labyrinth ever exists below Knossos and if so what was its actual function? a prison, a fortress? a big temple? The myth said that Minotaur was contained inside it, and Minoans use this beast to extort anyone else around them, preferrably The Mainland Greeks whom didn't yet united under one empire. Any of their vassals must sent a ship load of young men and women to feed the beast on regular basis. All this continued until a greek hero disguised as vassal offerings killed him.
    Or were there so many 'Taurs actually?
    2. And what did the rivalry between a giant scorpion and Orion means? a rivalry between Greeks (Orion) and other Desert Peoples like The Egypts (Scorpion)
    3. On to the Trojan War. Who the Trojans really were? were they different 'Greeks' went by other names (In Civ3, Greek can build a city named 'Troy', in Civ5 and 6), were they a different Mediterranean peoples or were they more semitics than Greeks? Were they actually The Hittites or other Eastern peoples? Was Troy a seat of an empire or one of many city states around The Medit Sea?
     
  2. Señor

    Señor Chieftain

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    You may find it interesting to look up a map of Minos palace. The palace itself is quite 'labyrinthian'.
     
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  3. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    According to myth, the Minotaur was the son of Queen Pasiphae (wife of King Minos) and a white bull, and was a curse by Poseidon:
    Minos was supposed to sacrifice the beautiful white bull to Poseidon, but decided not to, so the god made the king's wife enamoured with the beast. Daedalos had to create a replica of a cow, so as to cause the bull to have sex with Pasiphae.
    Now, afaik, there is no way that dna from a different species can result to an actual birth. But in the myth it does (there is divine intervention anyway).
    History-wise (?) the minoans at the time had defeated Athens and were being paid tribute, part of which was the ritual sacrifice of a few youths each nine (iirc) years. They were sent to the labyrinth, to be devoured by the minotaur. Also, according to the same myth, the reason Minos invaded Athens was because his son had been revenge-murdered after he won the panathenean games.

    Re the axe thing, I don't think the minotaur is said to be carrying an axe (?). The characteristic double-edged minoan axe (the "labrys") is sometimes argued to be etymologically linked to the term "labyrinthos", which would make it mean something like "place of the labrys".
     
  4. Lonecat Nekophrodite

    Lonecat Nekophrodite King

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    So the m'taur was actually a kinda priest on a sacrifical altar while Athenians and other in land greeks disdain cretan cultures ??
     
  5. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Not sure what you mean, but in the myth the son of Minos was murdered by an athenian, and Athens refused to pay for it, so got invaded. I don't think it has to do with "hating cretan culture", given he was murdered due to winning an athenian event. Of course this all happens close to the mythical era of Theseus, so not exactly historic; revenge killings on different greek city states are something usual in the mythic circles, be it the attic, the theban or other.
     
  6. EnglishEdward

    EnglishEdward Deity

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    I have only read the Iliad in English (albeit occasional bits in Latin).

    I believe that Troy existed and was at the site excavated by Schliemann in NorthWest Turkey.

    I suspect that it was a pre-existing Bronze Age city, conquered by the Hittites
    which survived the fall of the Hittite empire influenced by them and prospered.

    I very much doubt that Greek was their native language.
    If it had been, it is strange that that was not recorded in the Iliad.
     
  7. Lonecat Nekophrodite

    Lonecat Nekophrodite King

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    So who did Trojans really related to? Greeks? Phoenicians? Hittites? or other Levant Peoples? or are they the same people as Biblical Canaanites?
     
  8. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    I don't think we can assume that the Trojans correspond to a people who we happen to have heard of. Especially not ones living a thousand miles from the purported location of Troy.

    It's most likely that the Homeric Trojans simply correspond to themselves: one of dozens or hundreds of forgotten ancient peoples, speaking a language we've never heard of and worshipping gods we wouldn't recognise, remembered only because they featured in a body of poetry preserved by later peoples.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
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  9. Lonecat Nekophrodite

    Lonecat Nekophrodite King

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    ^ So Trojans are civilizations of their own?
     
  10. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    In the sense that they probably represented a distinct language and culture, yes. But I think the tendency to talk about distinct "civilisations" in the region reflects an over-emphasis on sources associated with a few key imperial centres. We talk about the landscape as if it was comprised of distinct territorial units which we can call "Hittite", "Babylonian" or "Assyrian", when really you would have seen dozens or hundreds of city-states or tribes, arrayed into various confederations and tributary systems, most not very strongly distinct from the next polity over. What we call "civilisations" are really just the elite culture of those polities which managed to gain some sort of lasting dominance over a large part of the region.

    You actually cited a well-known source which illustrates against- the Hebrew Bible, which describes a variety of kingdoms or confederations in what's now Israel-Palestine, none of which assumed to be markedly different in culture or language, except for the specific religious distinctions drawn by the text. It seems on the face of it absurd to say that the Israelites and Caananites were distinct "civilisations" but that the Mycenaean and Spartans weren't, simply because the narrative of certain epic texts we have inherited emphasises the conflict between the former two and the alliance of the latter two.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
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  11. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    The Minotaur was named Asterios, or Asterion, a name shared with several other individuals, including (historical) Cretan kings. It means "starry one". I would suggest the name shows Pasiphae had some affection for her offspring, before everyone realized its rage required it to be imprisoned in the Labyrinth (King Minos consulted the Oracle and she gave him that advice, hence the Minotaur was imprisoned in the Labyrinth). Some sculptures show Pasiphae nursing Asterion/Asterios as a child as well.

    Historically, the Labyrinth was likely inspired by the multi-level, many-roomed palace of Knossos (the capital of Crete), and the Minotaur inspired by the frequent imagery of bulls in Knossos and Crete at large (including bull-leapers).
     

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