Posts Tagged by Minoan Empire
|January 18, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy, Pausanias commentary, Pausanias reader||
2018.01.18 | By Gregory Nagy
I continue from where I left off in Classical Inquiries 2018.01.11. I focus here on the details given by Pausanias at 1.17.3 describing a monumental wall painting in the sanctuary of Theseus. Depicted on this wall painting is the hero Theseus, who has just emerged from a deep-dive to the bottom of the sea. He is triumphantly holding in one hand the Ring of Minos and, in the other, the Garland of the sea-goddess Amphitrite, bride of Poseidon. The ring had been thrown into the sea by Minos, who challenged Theseus to recover it, while the garland was given to Theseus by Amphitrite, who had saved the hero from drowning and had thus made it possible for him to recover the ring. For the cover illustration, I have chosen a comparable mythological scene that was carved into a gem. It is a modern work of art. At the center is the hero Theseus, who is being carried along the sea-waves on the back of a dolphin and who is holding triumphantly a ring in one hand and a garland in the other—a garland of stars, it seems. This miniaturized scene as carved into a gem is comparable to the monumentalized scene that Pausanias saw painted on a wall in the sanctuary of Theseus.
|April 27, 2016||By Andrew J. Koh listed under Guest Post||
A Mediterranean archaeologist offers a corroborating view on the Minoan-Mycenaean fusion that Nagy identifies in certain myths concerning Athens and Crete.
|September 10, 2015||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy|
In my posting for 2015.08.26, I spoke of a “Minoan-Mycenaean civilization,” not saying “Minoan” and “Mycenaean” separately. That is because, as we saw in the postings for both 2015.08.26 and 2015.09.03, some of the myths that we encounter about Minoan civilization as centered on the island of Crete are infused with elements that are distinctly Mycenaean as well as Minoan. And such an infusion has to do with the fact that Minoan civilization, which had evolved in the context of a “Minoan Empire,” as archaeologists know it, was eventually taken over by a “Mycenaean Empire.” This takeover, as I argued already in the postings for both 2015.08.26 and 2015.09.03, resulted in modifications of myths about the Minoan Empire by way of myths about the Mycenaean Empire. Now we will see that these modifications, taking place on the island of Crete, involved the city of Athens as it existed in the Mycenaean era.
|September 3, 2015||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy|
After Theseus dives into the depths of the sea, the sea-goddess Amphitrite welcomes him, enveloping the hero in a purple robe (line 112) and crowning his head of hair with a garland made of roses (line 116: ῥόδοις)—a garland that she herself as a bride of Poseidon the sea-god had received as a wedding present from Aphrodite (lines 113–116). When Theseus finally comes up for air, emerging from the depths of the sea, he is wearing the purple robe and the garland of roses, ready to confront Minos. From here on, it will be Theseus and not Minos who will have dominion over the Aegean Sea, and this dominion is expressed by the symbolism of the purple robe and the garland of roses. I will now argue further that this kind of symbolism can be traced back genealogically to rituals that existed already in the era of the Minoan Empire. One such ritual, as we will see, is depicted in the “flotilla scene” of the Theran fresco that I had mentioned in the previous posting, 2015.08.26.
|August 26, 2015||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy|
This posting for 2015.08.26 is part of a larger project concerning what we can learn about Minoan-Mycenaean civilization by reading the Homeric Odyssey. In this part of that project, I concentrate on a myth emanating from Minoan-Mycenaean civilization based on an idea that I paraphrase by way of the popular expression “finders keepers.” This same expression, as we will see, applies also to a ritual that evolved in a historically unrelated context, the sea-empire of Venice in its heyday. In terms of my argument, the mentality of finders keepers that comes to life in a myth about the Minoan sea-empire also comes to life in a ritual that evolved in the historical context of the Venetian sea-empire.