Theseus : Fiction Or History? Essay

Theseus : Fiction Or History? Essay

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Theseus; Fiction or History?
The Minoan civilization was discovered in the island of Crete in 1905 when excavations lead by Sir Arthur Evans took place at Knossos. Evans observed the use of carved seal stones by the Native Cretians as pendants, that dated back nearly four thousand years. This lead to the thought an ancient Civilization may have resided on Crete. Evans named the civilization for the King Minos, who was characterised in the myth of Theseus. Today, the myth of Theseus is seen as just that, a myth, a work of fiction, but in the ancient Greek civilization, myths were believed to be accurate historical accounts. Through the Minoan culture, the Labyrinth found at Knossos and the human habit of exaggeration, it is highly probable similar events to the myth of Theseus could have unfolded in Minoan society.

The myth of Theseus states a Minotaur lived in a Labyrinth near to the Minos’s kingdom and demanded sacrifices of human children to feed on. A minotaur is a man with the head of a bull, presence of such a creature in mythology can be explained by the Minoan culture. First, evidence the Minoans worshiped the bull, through the form of sculpture and other art has been excavated from the ruins. Commonly, sculptures were made of Terracotta, and used to worship the gods. Coins and vases with depictions of dancers dressed in bull masks have also been found. The creation of the minotaur can be traced back to these dancers and the masks they wore. The men appeared to be half man and half bull, when painted and carved into these works of art.

Further, the Minoan people greatly enjoyed sport and have record of great sporting events during this time period. One sport has proved to be truly unique from recreational activities ob...

... middle of paper ...

...orded, in writing, further exaggeration would not be possible.

The myth of Theseus reports the young prince of Athens heroic quest to slay the Minotaur that terrorized the civilization residing on the island of Crete. In 1905, Sir Arthur Evans lead excavations of a civilization he named the Minoans after the King Minos from Theseus, seemingly drawing parallels between the myth and the ruins he excavated. Connections to this myth can be seen through the Minoan culture in their worship of bulls and the unique Minoan sport of bull jumping; at which man and bull resembled one figure. Secondly, the most famous Labyrinth in history is on the site of Knossos, draws noticeable connections to the Greek myth and the art of human exaggeration ever aiding the narrator in drawing a crowd. Similar events to that of the myth of Theseus likely unfolded during the Minoan society.

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