A Sense of Place WALKING THROUGH ANCIENT MYCENAE


The Muddy Archaeologist's Blog

Mycenae: the place the myth and legend.  It was from here that King Agamemnon set out for the Trojan War, leading the allied troops of the Greek lands across the northern Aegean Sea to a long drawn-out siege and seemingly interminable hand-to-hand battles.  So the epic poems of Homer sang.

The king returned here, with his new, captured girl, the daughter of King Priam of Troy, Cassandra.  Here he was slaughtered by his wife, Clytemnestra and her new lover, Aegisthus, almost as soon as he arrived home; Clytemnestra had, understandably, never forgiven Agamemnon for sacrificing their daughter, Iphigenia, to gain favourable winds to sail to Troy.  So the epic poems of the 600s and 500s BC and the dramatic tragedies of Athens of the 400s BC tell.   The stories lived on as Greek vases and Roman frescoes and epics would vividly tell their stories.

To walk in Mycenae is…

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CREWS Display: Replica Linear A Tablet


Our series of blog posts on objects in our special writing-themed display at the Fitzwilliam Museum is drawing to an end, with just three objects left. This week the spotlight is on a replica clay tablet inscribed in Linear A, which I made as part of a practical writing experiment.

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Amazing post! There is no evidence of the SIRENS on Linear B tablets, but perhaps on Linear C. Anyway, the Mycenaeans had to have been familiar with them. Richafd

⚡️La Audacia de Aquiles⚡️

►Greek Mythology: “The Sirens, Muses of the Lower World”:

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"Odysseus and the Sirens" by Herbert James Draper, (1909). “Odysseus and the Sirens” by Herbert James Draper, (1909).

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The Sirens were sea nymphs who lured sailors to their death with a bewitching song.

They parents were River Achelous and the Muse Melpomene (Pseudo-Apollodorus)For Euripides, they were virgin daughters of Gaia (the Earth). 

Their number is variously reported as between two and five.
In the “Odyssey”, Homer says nothing of their origin or names, but gives the number of the Sirens as two  on an island in the western sea between Aeaea and the rocks of Scylla.

 Hesiod says that they were three and that their names were Thelxiope or Thelxinoe, Molpe and Aglaophonos.

They are mantic creatures like the Sphinxwith whom they have much in common, as they also were believed to combine women and birds in various ways.
In early Greek…

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►Greek Mythology: “The Sphinx and her Riddle”.-


I have always been fascinated by the Sphinx. Surely the Minoans and Mycenaeans knew about the Egyptian ones. Richard

⚡️La Audacia de Aquiles⚡️

►Greek Mythology: “The Sphinx and her Riddle”:

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"Oedipus and the Sphinx" by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1808). “Oedipus and the Sphinx” by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1808).

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The Sphinx  (from the greek word Σφίγξ,  meaning “to squeeze”, “to tighten up”) was a female mythical creature with the body of a lion, the breast and head of a woman, eagle’s wings and, according to some, a serpent-headed tail.

According to Hesiod, the Sphinx was daughter of Orthus and Chimaera, born in the country of the Arimi (Theog. 326).

According to Sophocles, when King Laius of Thebes was murdered, by an unknown in a Phocian road, the king’s brother-in-law Creon came to power.

It was during his regency that the Sphinx came to  Thebes, as a punishment, sent by Hera, or, according to other accounts, by Hades, and  and gobbling up people

The Sphinx guarded the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes, and to have asked a…

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You learn something new every day. I was never aware of this avatar of Hekate, but it certainly makes sense. Richard

⚡️La Audacia de Aquiles⚡️

►Greek Mythology: “Hecate, Goddess of Crossroads”:

►Literature: D.G. Kaye’s New Book: “Words We Carry”:

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Hecate by Richard Cosway. Pen and brown ink with traces of graphite underdrawing. “Hecate” by Richard Cosway. Pen and brown ink with traces of graphite underdrawing. Early 19th century.

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Hecate ( In Greek“influence from afar”) was the Goddess of  Crossroads, Magic, Witchcraft, The Night, Ghosts and Necromancy. 

According to the most common tradition, Hecate was a daughter of Persaeus and Asteria, whence she is also known as Perseis. Hecate’s Roman equivalent was Trivia.

She was most often shown holding two torches or a key and in later periods depicted in triple form.

Hecate has always been a deity with strong lunar associations.

She was sometimes portrayed as wearing a glowing headdress of stars, while in other legends she was described as a “Phosphorescent Angel” of the Underworld.

Hecate was associated with borders, city walls, doorways, crossroads and, by extension, with realms outside or beyond the…

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This is an astonishing beautiful collage of the MOIRE of apportioners, the Fates, which I am reblogging and commenting on, because I wish to add the Mycenaean Lineart B equivalnt in the next post, along with a repost of the Linear B fragment ERINU = Erynes . Richard

⚡️La Audacia de Aquiles⚡️

►Greek Mythology: “The Moirae” (“The Three Fates”):

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"The Triumph of Death", or "The Three Fates". Flemish tapestry (probably Brussels, 1510-1520). “The Triumph of Death”, or “The Three Fates”. Flemish tapestry (probably Brussels, 1510-1520).

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In Greek Mythology The Moirae or Moirai (in Greek Μοῖραι, meaning the “apportioners”, often called The Fates), were the three white-robed personifications of  Destiny (Roman equivalent: Parcae, “sparing ones”). They assigned to every person his or her fate or share in the scheme of things. 

Their number became fixed at three: Clotho, (spinner), Lachesis (allotter) and Atropos (unturnable).

Clotho (“spinner”) spun the thread of life from her distaff onto her spindle. Her Roman equivalent was Nona, (the ‘Ninth’), who was originally a goddess called upon in the ninth month of pregnancy.

Lachesis (“allotter” or drawer of lots) measured the thread of life allotted to each person with her measuring rod. Her Roman equivalent was Decima  (the ‘Tenth’).

Atropos (or Aisa, “inexorable” or “inevitable”) was the…

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