Home History & Archaeology The Many Tales of Ariadne’s Life and Love

The Many Tales of Ariadne’s Life and Love

The Many Tales of Ariadne’s Life and Love


One of many largest Bronze Age archaeological websites in Crete is the palace ruins at Knossos. The passageways have an elaborate structure and one can nonetheless see murals that present a sport during which males would leap over bulls. There are bodily indicators and connections between the mythological tales associated concerning the fabled inhabitants of the palace and the unearthed ruins of the constructing, suggesting that this sport is linked to the legend of the Minotaur, a legendary hybrid monster of man and bull.

Amongst these fabled occupants is Ariadne. It’s potential that Ariadne was as soon as revered as a deity, and he or she was maybe “the Girl of the Labyrinth” talked about in sure Linear B inscriptions from the Mycenaean period (c. 1700–c. 1050 BC). However in Greek mythology, Ariadne famously assisted the hero Theseus in overcoming the hideous half-bull, half-man Minotaur and making his approach out of the Labyrinth, the terrifying labyrinth beneath the palace of Knossos in Crete that was commanded to be constructed by her father, King Minos of Crete.

Ariadne was recognizable in her earliest identified depictions from the seventh century BC due to the ball of thread she was holding. Afterwards, she was continuously depicted apart from Theseus and the Minotaur or, as seen on the François Vase, with the Athenians who had accompanied Theseus to Crete. Generally Ariadne was depicted carrying her famend golden crown in literature in addition to artwork.

In time, Ariadne began to look in a wider vary of mythological eventualities. Her union with Dionysus gained reputation as a theme in Greek and Roman artwork after the fifth century BC. One well-known image depicting Ariadne and her sister Phaedra within the Underworld is the Nekyia of Polygnotus, which is stored within the Lesche of the Cnidians at Delphi.

The Man, the Spouse, and the Bull

There are quite a few noteworthy myths that includes outstanding roles for the feminine members of Ariadne’s household. The witch in Homer’s Odyssey who transforms Odysseus’ males into pigs is Ariadne’s aunt, Circe. Within the Greek tragedy Hippolytus by Euripides, Ariadne’s sister Phaedra grows as much as marry Ariadne’s love curiosity Theseus later in life, however she first falls in love along with his son Hippolytus, setting off a sequence of tragic occasions that culminate in Theseus inflicting the homicide of his personal son.


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Prime Picture: Ariadne and Bacchus. Supply: Ruslan Gilmanshin / Adobe Inventory

By Martini Fisher



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