Connect with us


Greek Myths Inspire Greek Pride

Mythology has provided us with an abundance of powerful stories, many of which continue to be retold in one form or another. But, to people of the time myths were more than stories. They were an expression of national pride, a reflection of their cultural values, and, in some cases, an effective propaganda tool.
One such example can be seen in the story of Theseus and the Minotaur; a famous Greek myth in which Theseus, the prince of Athens, seeks to slay the beast that terrorizes his people.

Theseus and the Minotaur

Like many of the Greek heroes, Theseus is raised by his mother in an idyllic setting, unaware of his true heritage.
When he comes of age, his mother tells him of a large rock near the village, under which his father has left him a gift, should he prove himself strong enough to claim it. After a few failed attempts, he eventually succeeds in moving the rock, and discovers a finely crafted sword and a pair of sandals underneath. His mother then tells him that his father is none other than Aegeus, the king of Athens.
Theseus resolves to travel to Athens, and upon arrival finds the city in a state of despair. Minos, the king of Crete, subjugated the proud Athenians long ago, and since then exacted a bloody tribute from them. Every nine years Athens must send seven youths and seven maidens to his court at Knossos, where they are sacrificed to the monstrous beast imprisoned in the labyrinth beneath his palace.
King Aegeus, upon discovering Theseus’ identity, welcomes him with open arms and acknowledges him as his heir. But, the prince of Athens does not stay for long. Having heard of the tribute, he offers himself as one of the sacrifices, intending to slay the Minotaur and free his people from this curse.
Upon arrival at Crete, Theseus wins the love of the king’s daughter Ariadne, and seeks the advice of Daedelus, the genius who designed the labyrinth. With their aid he is able to slay the Minotaur and escape the twisted maze.

Comparing Theseus and Hercules

Hercules and Theseus were both famous heroes of Greek mythology. But while Hercules had no strong link to any particular region of Greece, Theseus was very much the Athenian hero.
The prince of Athens who protects of his people, and later a king who leads the city-state into battle, his mythical deeds include uniting the twelve factions of Attica and introducing democracy, making him a symbol of Athenian unity, culture, and pride.
Furthermore, Theseus possesses many of the qualities that ancient Athenians chose to see in themselves. This is especially evident when comparisons are drawn between him and Hercules. While they both possess great courage and strength, Theseus also displays cunning, intellect, and a strong sense of justice.
In his early adventures, he takes it upon himself to rid the road to Athens of brigands, dispatching each of the six notorious villains in the exact manner in which they did their victims. These encounters are referred to as the “Labors of Theseus”, mirroring the twelve labors of Hercules.
In the myth, Theseus looks up to Hercules and seeks to emulate his deeds, and in some versions they even assist each other in various endeavors. But, ultimately, Theseus is portrayed as a more sophisticated version of Hercules, which may reflect the way Athenians perceived themselves in relation to other Greeks.
After all, it was the ghost of Theseus and not Hercules that Athenian soldiers claimed to have sighted at the battle of Marathon, granting them the strength to drive back the Persians and secure the first of many victories that would see Greece arise as the new Mediterranean superpower.

Featured images:

License: Creative Commons
image source
Matthew Flax appreciates the lessons that are inherent in well-crafted stories, and what stories are better crafted or more inspirational than ancient Greek myths?

Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Home Improvement3 months ago

How To Add More Value To Your Home

If you have some spare cash in the bank, it is likely you would like to spend it on your...

Lifestyle3 months ago

What is a Deep Plane Facelift

Cosmetic surgery is a choice that needs a lot of research and when it comes to thinking about a facelift...

Entrepreneur3 months ago

Unveiling the Demand for Digital Marketing Courses: A Comprehensive Analysis

In recent years, the realm of marketing has undergone a seismic shift propelled by the digital revolution. As businesses increasingly...

Home Improvement3 months ago

What Does an Effective Wardrobe Spring Clean Entail?

Spring is upon us which means one thing and one thing only. It is time for the annual purge of...

Business5 months ago

Your Basic Guide To Creating A Unique Investment Blog

Starting your own blog is great and once you get the ball rolling, it can be a good passive income...

Business5 months ago

3 Low-Risk Ways To Get Your New Business Started

Once you’ve got an initial business idea and believe that it will be a success, there are some basic things...

Lifestyle5 months ago

Conquering the Co-free Zone: Tips for Thriving as a Remote Worker

Adjusting to an office environment can come with its downfalls in the sense that it might be a shock to...

General6 months ago

3 Ways To Take Control Of Your Finances Starting Now

If your finances have taken over and are bringing stress to your life, we understand just how overwhelming it can...

Travel8 months ago

Best Places To Visit In The North Of England

If you live in England, you will know there are many different places to visit for the weekend. There are...

General8 months ago

Green Home Improvement Ideas

In a world where environmental concerns are growing, the concept of “green” has gone beyond a trendy catchphrase and is...

Lifestyle8 months ago

How to Host an Unforgettable House-Warming!

The time has finally come. You have moved into your dream pad, and are officially adulting in your very own...

Autos8 months ago

A Guide to Parking Lot Striping

The journey to a well-striped parking lot begins with the right paint. In this brief guide, we’ll unravel the mystery...

Business11 months ago

Business Tips For Protecting Your Finances During A Recession

In 2023, taking the necessary steps to protect your finances for your business is now more important than ever. The...

Lifestyle11 months ago

Tips For Cleaning Your Trainers

If you’re into your trainers and streetwear, you’re likely to be very conscious of keeping them looking their best! So,...

Marketing12 months ago

Branding Trends For Start-Ups in 2023

Branding is incredibly important as it impacts how your business reaches and connects with its target market. If you’re branding...