LLT 121 CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY: Legends of Athens and Crete
Copyright  2001, Joseph J. Hughes
Last reviewed: 13 August 2001

I.   Concept of the Heroic
     A. Appeal of the heroic
        1. bridge between the human and the divine
        2. wish fulfillment
        3. we love to watch the rich and famous suffer
     B.	The dreaded HEROMETER
        1. of partially DIVINE descent
        2. STRANGE EVENTS from childhood on
        3. faced with OPPOSITION
        4. identifiable BAD GUY
        5. has a LOOOVE INTEREST
        6. HELPER, divine or human
        7. one or more MAJOR labors
        8. confronts DEATH may become divine or semi-divine		  
II.  Life of Theseus
     A.	Aegeus fathers Theseus
        1. Aegeus, sonless, consults oracle: don't undo the wineskin
        2. consults Pittheus
        3. begets Theseus with Aethra, daughter of Pittheus
           a. Aethra also has intercourse with Poseidon 
           b. hence, Theseus' semi-divine origins
           c. Aegeus leaves tokens for Theseus
     B.	Feats of early manhood
        1. lifts huge rock to get tokens: sword and sandals
        2. Theseus' 6 labors while in route to Athens
           a. kills the robber Periphetes, the "Clubber" 
           b. kills Sinis, the "pine-bender"
           c. kills the killer Crommyonian sow (Phaea)
           d. kills Sciron, the foot-washer robber
           e. kills Cercyon, the wrestler
           f. kills Procrustes, the robber-innkeeper
     C.	Arrival at Athens
        1. Medea contrives against Theseus
        2. Theseus kills the Minotaur; frees Athens from tribute to Crete
           a. enters and exits Labyrinth
           b. ditches Ariadne 
        3. mistakenly causes Aegeus' death: Aegean Sea
     D.	Theseus's later exploits
        1. institutes governmental and social reforms
        2. establishes Panathenaic Festival
        3. abducts Antiope (Hippolyta), queen of the Amazons
           a. descended from Ares and Harmonia
           b. men-haters: mutilated or killed male children
           c. women warriors; cut off right breast
           d. non-historical; a "mythical inversion"
           e. represented as semi-barbaric, immoral and bestial
        4. Exploits of Theseus and Pirithous
           a. Centaurs vs. Lapiths
           b. kidnapping of Helen (of Troy)
           c. attempted kidnapping of Persephone
              1) both heroes trapped by Hades
              2) Theseus later rescued by Heracles
     E.	Death of Theseus
	1. Helen along with Theseus' mother, Aethra, taken by the Dioscuri, Helen's brothers
        2. lost rule of Athens 
        3. killed out of envy; pushed from a cliff
III. Theseus and the Minotaur
     A.	Mythical background of Crete
        1. Agenor, king of land later known as Phoenicia
	   a. has beautiful daughter named Europa
           b. has 3 sons: Cadmus, Cilix and Phoenix
        2. Europa kidnapped by Zeus disguised as a bull
           a. sons sent in pursuit
           b. Cadmus founds Cadmeia, later named Thebes
        3. Europa's children by Zeus
           a. Minos, who becomes king of Crete
           b. Rhadamanthys: later a judge in the Underworld
           c. Sarpedon: killed in the Trojan War
     B.	Minos becomes king
        1. supported by Poseidon: bull from the sea sent as a sign
           a. cursed because he doesn't sacrifice the bull
           b. wife Pasiphae (daughter of Helios)
              1) Ariadne and Phaedra, best known daughters
              2) Androgeus, best known son
        2. Pasiphae made to fall in love with the bull
           a. Daedalus (see below) helps her to consummate
           b. Minotaur produced
           c. imprisoned inside the Labyrinth
           d. requires human sacrifices
        3. Athens eventually must pay tribute to Minos
           a. 14 selected youth given to Minotaur every 9 years (or every year)
           b. Theseus volunteers (or picked) to go
     C.	Theseus and the Minotaur
	1. Ariadne falls in love with Theseus
           a. promises help in return for Theseus' love
           b. ball of thread ("clue"), as per Daedalus' instructions
        2. Theseus abandons Ariadne on the island Naxos
           a. Ariadne not acceptable by the patriarchal Greeks
           b. Ariadne, the treacherous one (like Scylla)
           c. curses Theseus; becomes wife/consort of Dionysus
        3. Theseus' forgetfulness causes the death of Aegeus

IV.  The rest of the story on Crete
     A.	Minos and Daedalus
        1. Daedalus = top notch craftsman
           a. native Athenian; grandson of Cecrops
           b. exiled for killing his nephew (Perdix)
           c. takes refuge with Minos
        2. after Theseus escapes, imprisoned with Icarus by Minos
           a. Daedalus held responsible for the Minotaur
           b. Daedalus provided the "clue" (ball of thread) to Ariadne
           c. Daedalus is an Athenian
        3. escape through the air
           a. Icarus flies too high; drowns
           b. "nothing too much": follow the middle course
     B.	The death of Minos
        1. Minos' attempted revenge on Daedalus
           a. search for Daedalus: the test of the conch shell
           b. discovery at Cocalus' palace
        2. Minos boiled (or burned by hot oil) alive by Cocalus' daughters

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