186th Bardot Blog: Looking Back upon Medeia, Supreme Sister of the AcroKorinth

Medeia as Mythical Personage of Classical Greek Mythology

The most enduring and daunting remembrance that Classical Greek Mythology projects of Medeia (Medea by the spelling in Latin but always pro­nounced as Meh-DAY-ah) arises from her earliest youth: They’re mostly sequential horror stories. By the often informal code of ethics attributable to earliest Greeks, to commit a blood crime on presumption of grace from any divine retribution was supposed a sure means to some form of worst ever redress against the perpetrator. Medeia was regarded two times a cardinal transgressor at her age of about fifteen years old. As we know from Oedipüs’ most accidental slaying of his father Laios, a blood crime of patricide and regicide stained permanently any living soul and his progeny thereafter his death. No measure to avert just ill-Fates, often expressed through the personification of Furies, could allay the inevitable divine redress. Some tutelary patron god or goddess, concerned for the victim of a hideous blood crime, became so greatly offended by human Outrage (Hubris) and Presumption (Atasthalia) that any transgressor thought self-deserving of impunity for a cardinal sin was reckoned, instead, a foremost divine target of some ingeniously wrought retribution.

Notwithstanding the ancient historians and mythographers, we must interpret Medeia’s lifetime as an accumulation of hideous blood crimes that somehow rendered justification and fullest exoneration for every one of them. That made her a hugest conundrum for Classical Studies to reconsider. Be assured, therefore, that the series of her exculpations remains a most difficult quandary of interpretation, besides, of Classical Greek Mythology, because she was a rarest ethical exception to virulently dire, insidiously wrought divine penance as supposed inevitable. For what usually had attested to retribution for crimes much lesser than Medeia’s, as say with Oedipüs’ inadvertent slaying of his father as bethought a leader over a band of brigands, never happened to her as so seemingly her just desert. She’s all alone out of the most illustrious mythical personages of Greek prehistory to get away with murder for every occurence of her homocides.

Exception made for Medeia had much to do with a special ethical code, therefore, that got lost between the early Fourteenth century and Fifth century BC. Its efficacy no longer set morally aright the just terms of a penance far past, as cited only by ancient mythography long after the time of foulest deed perpetrated. The tragedians of that latter century attested for a long misunderstood canon of ethics, about whose transgressions they must transgress themselves. Medeia became, therefore, the unforgivable, most deadly female hand in crimes for which she was inexplicably forgiven.   What was pertinent to Medeia’s sanctified matriarchy, as though a sovereign womankind particular to a special mind of sorceress wiles, earned Medeia some kind of special dispensation and impunity for being so entertaining for her chosen means and opportunities. Medeia’s worst crimes, we can only keenly observe in hindsight, she committed against upstart patriarchs, including her own father Aiëtes. They had violated the code of ethics that the Ancient Greeks of the Fifth century could no longer understand, much less interpret.

Also pertinent to her every received expiation from blood guilt was her veneration of an obscure tutelary goddess, who was either of Isthmian or Ionic Greek provenance—Hekatë. A tripartite goddess of powerful and feared attributes, all most difficult to fathom fully for from where and how their dread by provenience, may have allayed the expected severest redress imposed by her upon supposed postulants who committed hideous blood crimes. With respect to that goddess, however, there’s really no completely satisfactory explanation for how she empowered Medeia’s to enact sorcery through just, even righteous, means to especially hideous ends. Rather, Medeia was as though a goddess incarnate of that tutelary goddess over sorceresses. That enabled her grace as besworn postulant, or not, to Hekatë, whereby the special wiles to avert all divine redress and visitation of the fiendishly redemptive Furies.

That notional explanation—of sorcery through “magical” potions and brews as set against raw might of upstart manhood—is probably the best interpretation possible that we can glean and thus should retain. It shall have to suffice in explanation of the more intensive overview that follows.

Review of Medeia  and the Kreon of  Kadmeis

I go back to before the previous posting, circa 1374 BC, and draw from a Bardot Book whose cover I insert nearby. The posting was about Medeia and Aigeus as finally wed to each other after much misery they’d suffer by different failures of their respective marri-ages. I relate her impending divorce from Jason to the perils she learned besides, about his grand conspiracy with the Kreon of Kadmeis to depose her by invasion of the Isthmus of Ephyrëa, which regular readers will recall the region that later split into Corinth and Megara.

Medea of the AcroKorinth

What follows is a full extraction by permission of the author of the Book, who is myself, in my posture of a Translator of Mentor son-of-Alkimos, a contemporary Master of Writ. Mentör comes as close as we may ever attain to the earliest and likely correct mythology with respect to Medeia. The Book’s cover is reproduced for the legendary overview by which this Bardot Blog posting is prefaced.

I begin in prelude with the adulation of her throughout the Sacred League—an amphictyony of isthmian and near offshore insular matriarchs, perhaps the oldest communion of petty realms ever known powerful by earliest Greece. Initiated since her seventeenth year of age attained, Medeia’s tenure over her mother’s homeland of Ephyrëa propelled her beyond her early maiden years as redolent of hideous blood crimes. By nineteen years old, circa 1386 BC, her obvious grace by her tutelary goddess, the greatly venerated Hekatë, she’d attained to Supreme Sister over the AcroKorinth of the Lower Isthmus. She had no taint of those crimes.

 

Map by Rhys Davies. for Small Batch Books, Amherst, Massachusetts

There was, alas, her grim life ever since Jason had found her yearning to return to the vast plantation demesnes of her mother, Idyia. Their landscape was most steeply sloped by the southern uprise of escarpment along the Isthmus’ skirts below the Treton Mountains. She also governed fine agri¬cultural sward as fed by rills of runoff off the southwestern setback of rises along the Great Gulf, as bordering upon Sikyon. The Lands of Idyia rendered in general a thickly forested borderland that Medeia would most marvelously foster throughout her tenure as governess.

Mentör takes off from such premises of her grandeur. . . .

Any reckoning of what her Fates had accrued for her to have and possess superseded the brutal transgression by her learned sorcery that enabled her to return to her matrilineal inheritances, including the status renewed for her to prove her sacral majesty in the most selfless ways that she’d always intended. She’d committed her worst transgression ever, of course, through her hideous ruse to slay the usurper of Jason’s homeland realm, his uncle Pelias. Medeia having brought Jason to his proper accession, he’d abdicated instead on account of her supervision over his uncle’s murder by being boiled alive. Jason had fled with her to the Lands of Idyia. Notwithstanding her many boons to Ephyrëa afterward, there ensued, perforce, her sacrifice of her children, an act of desperation that compelled her flight away to Attica. Her protectors had defied any retaliation ever since. Some almighty force of reckoning must repeatedly absolve Medeia of her heinous acts, in particular her exactions of ruination upon bully sovereigns and her wrecking of upstart and grasping men such as her husband Jason. Typically her victims became of recently founded Houses at vile assertion of most dubious patriarchal dynasties, if, that is, anything can explain just what her victims altogether stood for. Their postured ascensions by ample proofs of their own outrageous sins of presumption [atasthalia] Medeia had put down each and several most viciously. And yet she was expiated for every cardinal sin as a matter of a plainly dealt divine justice owed to each miscreant male, whereby each put-down was deemed in her good favor by all her peers of the Sacred League.

    Over six of the ten years since her escape from her father—since, that is, her adventures by an elopement with, and subsequent marriage [in 1380 BC] to Jason the Navigator—a conspiracy had been brooding [hatching] on both sides of the Isthmus’ mainland footings. What had begun between Argolis and Kadmeis had culminated in a refreshed conspiracy between the embittered husband Jason and the sacral entitled Kreon of Kadmeis. The latter was the brother of Iokastë, the only son of their father, Menoikeus.

    The Kreon and Jason aspired toward a tyranny over west coastal Kadmeis, whereby to enjoin a partition of the Upper Isthmus of Ephyrëa to Gargaphia in part to Kadmeis’ Aionian matriarchate upon the Great Gulf shoreline. The Kreon’s means to such ends had proceeded smoothly because uneasily discovered by even Medeia’s keen percipience. Derivative of his hereditary powers by the petty royal clans of the Kadmeian Spartoi, the high royal brother had become his natives foremost personage, whereby appointed to lead over a longstanding coalition of five aboriginal patron clans.

 The Kreon, we’ll recall from my previous chronicles, [and postings], had served his sister the Euryanassa in a regent’s capacity after the sudden death of her husband, the High King Laios. Until the ascension of Iokastë’s new husband Oedipüs to High King Consort, the Kreon had enjoyed the sole role of potentate over Kadmeis. But upon the proper blessed ascension anew by his sister’s remarriage, the Kreon had to revert to humble, albeit high sacral, prerogatives of a high priest. Greatly reduced from his former tyranny, his resignation from sovereign temporal powers had hit him very hard.

He’d resented Oedipüs’ ascension from the beginning, had even impeded the prospect of his eligibility as a foremost consort aspirant to Iokastë because of his maimed foot. Overridden, regardless, even immensely embarrassed that he’d overlooked Oedipüs as the only truly licit partner for his sister to marry from the outset of an arcane vetting process, the Kreon had seethed in resentment afterward. He became obsessed with most any alternative, any possibility whatsoever, of concerted overthrow. He couldn’t achieve the backing of the five patron Spartoi clans for that kind of insurrection. He had to narrow his objectives to the creation of an offshoot realm, whose created autonomy he could enjoy all for himself.

The Upper Isthmus is the mountainous area beneath the yellow west-to-east strip that served a base to the H. K. of Kadmeis as the Aionian principality called Gargaphia. The gray bleached zone to the west was old growth forest over the Bay of Alykai, the ifuture shipworks that Laios and the Kreon intended.

 [Note: This forested demesne was alternatively called “Greater Ephyrëa,” or “the Lands of Pleionë,” or else, in the next century, “the Lands of the Pleiades.”]

His early initiatives expressed his covets through Kadmeis’ weak hold upon its western tribal and clan feudatories. These lay just above the thickly forested shoreline of the Great Gulf. Upon the large sheltered Alykai Cove, where the Kreon had set up a seat of royal maritime commerce for the late High King Laios, he could conspire with Jason covertly, shore to shore, albeit infrequently, considering the difficult access to seashore from the Kadmeian interior. Notwithstanding, they began their intrigue to effect an annexation of the neighboring littoral belonging to Upper Ephyrëa, essentially covering the seacoast below the entire escarpment of western divide by the Isthmus’ high ridgeline. . . .

. . . Just what had culminated from these ambitions, whereby to compel Jason’s precipitous breach of troth with Medeia? She had proven so generous, even to exalting him through her own personal attainments, going so far as to appoint Jason to the title of Phylax, or Keeper of Ephyrëa.

     Jealousy serves sole reasoning, it seems, of all his motives and resolves to prove traitorous. It did not help that he was deemed so inept that Medeia had to resort to Pandion, consort to Pylia of Alkathöos, to manage the entitlements’ many responsibilities of portside administration. Over a last three years of ineffective coalition building with the Kreon, during which the cowardly indecisiveness of Jason proved greatly dampening, anything like an offshoot realm had become a dimmest possibility. All that those years had proved, in fact, was the ability of Medeia to finally discern the Kreon’s long-standing conspiracy against the matron governesses over the Upper Isthmus. She easily sleuthed out his henchmen embedded in the north country. In the meanwhile of those discoveries, she worked surreptitiously with Pandion to undermine Jason’s authority throughout the Isthmus, making too clear that their term of holy marriage would expire, regardless their many children together.

    Accordingly, she kept her own counsel while currying best informants to expose the Kreon’s further intrigue. By the sixth year she was fully in the knowing. The subsequent years proved coincidental, incidentally, to the enormous wealth by commerce brought down the Great Gulf through her nephews the Phrixids.

Mentör then explains Medeia’s own frame of mind and inclinations at that juncture:

. . . Medeia knew the moment of coercion impending [to climactic] as an odd quiescence that pervaded the Isthmus and her nearest Southland neighbors, Argolis and Sikyon. Why that cloak of secrecy she failed to discern as the readiness of the former, through the Argive Great Prince Chrysippos, to concert with the two conspirators, even to resurrecting the whole idea of a full and shared annexation of the entire Isthmus.

    Soon enough another ominous moment, when there came to her affirmation of a secret betrothal, that of the Kreon’s daughter Glaukë to her own miscreant husband Jason. They conspired for a royal marriage of alliance, the troth to be taken and timed exactly to the Great Year’s end of Medeia’s consortship with Jason.

    Duly that time arrived.

    Dropped into her lap, with every intention to surprise her, as though some very sudden fact of a seduction accomplished by Glaukë—whereby, too, she was possibly already with child—a wedding date was to take place at the maiden’s Aionian plantation demesne of Gargaphia. While that location expressed all Medeia needed to know of the territorial imperatives behind the larger plot, Medeia shrewdly reacted to the blatant insult to her most sacral majesty through a benign accommodation. She made pretense of her acquiescence for her children’s sake, that they might have a new stepmother to keep Jason close and committed to them. They were duly dressed ornately and sent to Gargaphia to become part of the splendid bridal entourage. The guides among them bore Medeia’s own bridal gifts of finest Ephyrëan apparel.

    She was used to surprises from brazen men, and so she knew how to deal with them on any opportunity to prove her own mettle.

    Medeia’s isolation until then, I should mention, had seemed a selfless act of her quite usual generosity. It allowed her the time and freedom to implement a fullest thwart of any incursion into Ephyrëa by the schemed annexation of Gargaphia by Kadmeis. As the set term of her troth to Jason drew to its end, Medeia acknowledged its impossibility of extension, conceding as his right Jason’s remarriage to Glaukë. She only insisted on a compact that entrusted her children to Jason’s custody and protection. That was his right to undertake if she so consented, but with nothing added to the children’s best nurture by her concession of divorce. To be free of her meant that he must be dispossessed of everything by her. That could have meant their children as well, but Jason wanted their custody because of the considerable inheritance by demesne and maritime commerce yields that he would then command from them.

     Admittedly, I am not clear on the law, only upon the licit good intention of allowing Jason some support as the custodian of their children together. While that hardly resolved the seeming cardinal transgression, of a divorce after parentage of so many children, Medeia abided the quiet tide of support of the dispossessed Jason, even as she was also herself consoled by others so pleased over her riddance of “The Haimonian,” by any fortuitous means at hand!

    Medeia pretended to discover only very late the nuptials planned, or that they betokened that Jason meant to overpower her. That the Kreon and he would do so without any support of Oedipüs and Iokastë became clear at the same time. The plot, she’d learned additionally, meant an invasion to conquer all of Ephyrëa, whereby only afterward a treaty perforce with the AcroKorinth. Regardless her further sleuthing, her closest confidants had remained completely ignorant of any lurking conspiracy, because they couldn’t possibly conceive such a heinous, presumably indefensible exploit as in any way possible.

    The principal conspirators, now become three, were on their own mettles together, in Medeia’s assessment of their threat. So wrong at the inconceivability of their effective intrigue together, but not so erring for the reasons that Medeia then suddenly expressed, so her abrupt need to stand all alone with a small, elite cadre-at-arms to withstand invasion. Perfectly protected by foremost men-at-arms at ready to rally behind her, she needed the further pretense of her utter ignorance in order to retaliate under fullest justification of defending Ephyrëa from a foreign humiliation.

    Moreover, all must be realized after the fact.

    I must also suppose that she had to allow the conspiracy to pass beyond the brink, to possess the proofs of how and why an annexation preceded by an invasion. Diplomacy was already proven ineffectual to thwart their high majesties Oedipüs and Iokastë. Any open allegation of conspiracy would be rebuffed, even as its intrigue was being carried out to final violent effects. The tardy, or too late discoveries had no credibility as a matter of disclosed intrigue, as Jason’s part in any annexation, whereby a fullest forfeiture of the Upper Isthmus’ west coastal gulf shore. How could there be any credibility? For nearly eight years he’d proven Medeia injudicious at her support of him as Phylax. Now the Great Year was nearly over and he in open promise to retire from the highest office that men could earn from the Isthmians.

    Considering the deep intrigue immediately at hand, Medeia had to act all on her own and then escape the consequences of her sole acts. Justification of her acts could only come later, as apparent by their aftermath. So her liberation from an imposed tyranny must take covert shape and form until the conspiracy in motion and execution attempted to fulfill its ends.

 Medeia had no powers to thwart the Kreon directly, much less expose him decisively, through her personal appeal to Iokastë, or through Pandion to Oedipüs, working off the arising close trading relations between Ephyrëa and Kadmeis. While Mentör isn’t completely clear about her major achievement – at sleuthing out the full magnitude of the plot as supposed of two imperial sovereigns –, she very likely discovered the limited ploy to first be implemented—some kind of usurpation of the matron house of Pleionë. Its basis would run along the lines of the Metionids usurpation of Pandion under the support and backing of High King Labdakos, after the High Chief’s forfeit of a suborning bribe. To have found the Kreon at direct support of Jason, and deliberate to arms with intent upon war, was brilliant sleuthing on Medeia’s part. Alas, her discovery was fraught, [ironically], because any allegation seemed too improbable without the involvement of the imperial couplet! Medeia, therefore, was rendered too incapable of bringing all else of the conspiracy to exposure before the actually prosecuted hostilities.

As usual, Medeia found means to circumvent all the vaunting conspirators, by resort to the typically hideous results that had compiled her reputation for ferocious and audacious ruination of all plotters set against her.

Mentör explains:

 Only by destroying Jason’s marriage as well as his prosecuted invasion could she defend her acts of full salvation of Ephyrëa through her deft thwart of a nearly accomplished—and easily accomplished—invasion by Kadmeis. To make any sense whatsoever, therefore, full redress of the alleged conspiracy must be completed before Ephyrëa was proven at desperate need of Medeia’s liberation. Without abrupt thwart, invasion must follow through at greatest force imposed and fulfilled.

    That she [subsequently] received full expiation of her crimes, of course, must confound everybody then living for the rest of their lifetimes.

     Even to have witnessed her murders of her children defied belief that the slayings could really have happened. How, moreover, could any of them be expiated as infanticides? They must render her apostate and, seemingly, forever banished from Ephyrëa ever afterward. Notwithstanding that single, very important insistence upon the only proper justice required, thus inevitable, Medeia committed her crimes without any excuse or explanation. Her acts were entirely individual, by her self-appointed role of champion of the Isthmus, all parts of Ephyrëa held inalienable against any and all foreign assailants. Jason, all facts told, had meant to usurp her perforce and establish himself in patron regime [patriarchy], thus rendering himself inviolable by accepting the Kreon as his overlord. That, however, was just the final manifestation of a naïveté that had rendered him so constantly inept at holding any sovereign position.

    I have observed what the Kreon had once enjoyed, until he misused the autocratic powers that he’d earned briefly after High King Laios’ death—before, that is, his sister Iokastë had happily and successfully remarried herself to Oedipüs. Aspiring for tyrannical powers that were far beyond his reach or competency to achieve, much less control in aftermath, he’d pursued Laios’ long-held ambition of conquest and annexation of the Isthmus. While the actual territorial design proved a last discovery, the Kreon knew that Laios was actively enjoining his plot to another conspirator besides Jason, the Argive Great Prince Chrysippos. [He’d been the childhood catamite of the teenaged Laios, but their roles at sodomy together had switched, I’m told, before death did them part].

    Notwithstanding that illustrious equestrian warlord was mostly unbeknown to Medeia before she acted, she alone proved to reveal his part at last, a most astonishing feature yet of the Kreon’s adopted plot to come to revelation, by her startling rebuff of him before Chrysippos could in any way deploy from Argolis.

 Her Horrid Deed

 As all must know of her acts [per se], she had her children present a magnificent robe to Glaukë. Its fabric was saturated in some kind of incendiary substance, dry or wet become dried, which reached a flash point by its wearer’s warmth of body. Duly robed in that presented attire—it was of fabric and fashioning by the best looming that the Isthmus had ever spun—Glaukë was engulfed in flames. As she perished, so did her father, who sought to smother the conflagration, only to have the fabric flare anew off himself.

    Then, making rapid retreat from the scene with her summoned guardian protectors, the appointed Dragonmen drawn from the Lower Isthmus, they and she took flight into Attica aboard a ship of many rowers. Medeia’ children were found dead just after the thwarted bridal; their nurse’s husband had dispatched them even as they awaited their part in their father’s wedding entourage. The premises of her hideous act were immediately made known as a mother’s act of sacrifice and propitiation for fighting off her wicked husband and the Kadmeians by the only means she could practically devise for a fullest instant triumph over all three conspirators concerting apart.

    Aigeus had earlier made promise to receive Medeia in supplication, we know, despite meager forewarning of why, if not exactly how, Jason would compel her to abandon homeland, realm, family, and supreme position. Besides that promise taken to heart, Aigeus had become a man in love with his future bride.  He took her under his protection. Soon they were lovers. She took position at the royal court as its least awesome personage. By the divine rights unto supplicants, as all still held firm and true until today, the acceptance of Medeia meant an offering of expiation. Upon it she became a most awesome personage. She would prove to the enduring benefit of Attica and a best sovereign friend to serve under and serve well……

 Before the Consequences

 What we have related of incidents to Medeia does not compete a story that furthers our point that Medeia was so singular to avoid any retribution of a divinely compelled nature. The Ancient Greeks would even feel righteous top assert that retribution happened.

Classical Greek Mythology has Medeia happily married to Aigeus until his son Theseus by Aithra of Tröezen arrived to the skirts of the Kekropia and made obvious by tokens that he was the King’s natural son by token which he’d left with Aithra. He’d then managed a riddance of her as an obstacle to his aspired succession to Aigeus. Medeia feared for her son Medeios more than she frighted for herself; She managed a flight into exile with that son aged thirteen. Civil was followed but proved brief.

[A still lovely Medeia offers a libation laced with the poison Aconite to Theseus, in celebration of his arrival to the Kekropia, or High City of Athens. Discovered, the alleged incident served her husband Aigeus’ pretense for the banishment of Medeia from Attica, whereupon her flight with their son Medeios, less Theseus intrigue to murder him.]

We hold that retribution wishful fantasy that did not happen. There would next arise why we think so. In fact, we know how and why her full exoneration in the tale told hereon as honest prehistory about Medeia up to and through her committed atrocities. Credible people stood to defend her, whereas Attica and Ephyrëa thrived during the years of the marriage. Also, when Medeia had to take flight from it, the exile was not a very long duration. She would return to her plantation estates upon the Lower Isthmus, thriving there with many allies to support and protect her so long as Theseus ruled Attica and of after he was humiliated and deposed by the Peteids, a branch royal family that continued the rule of the House of Erechtheus.


for the Bardot Group

 

 

185th Bardot Blog: Medeia & Aigeus in Attica, 1370 to 1356 BC

Our Serialization of Medeia Brought Forward

I have related the longer and often winding and wending story before their meeting, amidst a relentless tempest deluge, whereby their deep attachment to each other. We’re now on the brink of where and how they found so much affection and commiseration with each other through intimate divulgences of their respective dire plights. The story is anecdotal on my part, and also a robust passage within my first volume of a five book serialization, Cephalos Ward of Eleusis [Small Batch Books, Amherst, Massachusetts]: Prelude to a Naval Genius. The facts as therein exposed to relate Aigeus’ gross failure, despite severe admonishment from the Sibyl of Parnassos, to take heed by every means and efforts in his behalf, to return himself quickly and entirely celibate homeward to Attica.

That, of course, he did not do, although in some respects he simply and naively continued his reliably recurring, plain bad luck. His disobedience manifested ill-Fates that compelled his to abstain from relations with Medeia, and yet other divine forces tossed him by tempest upon the landfall of Tröezen where he was compelled to visit the fair and ripe Aithra’s inviting lap.

We may yet to make a final reckoning, or not, of those ill-Fates, beginning with whether Aigeus brought upon himself his powerlessness and defiant disobedience to the Oracle of Parnassos.  Both had immediate consequence in the birth of Theseus. So, we also must reckon, was he, that boy, a bane unsought? If so, was it of a kind that would obliterate the happy moment of Aegeus and Medeia to have found both need for each other and bright prospects ahead, all impending upon late youth at love and and a hopeful lifetime together? Was Aithra, who bore Theseus the child to prove, an incubus of the Fates, a boon or a bane upon Aigeus? We shall undertake such mythological analysis in interpretation of the ill-Fates bearing down upon Aigeus in this Bardot Blog.

But we still have to broaden the inquiry for some judicious sleuthing…………….

The Story of Attica’s Prehistory before the
Gross Revisionism by the Ancient Athenians:

Notwithstanding the winding and wending of our story about Medeia, her Fates in particular.to proved grim because woefully misinterpreted, on account of the history adn literature that has rendered Theseus the superhero of Attica, a personage out of the general Heroic Age, but otherwise a fabricated legend unto a proud legacy for Attica of Greece. He was by a recasting of Greek prehistory about the Late Helladic Period developments that culminated upon both mainland divisions of earliest Greece in her near to finalized, fundamental ethnicities of cultural contribution. The Heroic Age is per se replete of opera by revisionist mythography that sought to greatly revise the legacy prehistory from 1590 to 1220 BC, in repudiation of the reliable Great Oral Tradition (the GOT) that created the opera of Early Greek Mythology. That means a most copious protohistory in consequence, in trend to re-establish, even propagandize the greatest forbears out of the GOT. The Ancients must have their forbears biographies restyled, become more acceptable and forwarding of most admirable personages. They also must befit the orthodox polytheism which attended the advanced, nearly fully mature religions of Argolis and Attica as they came to a meld, whereby a final formation of the Olympian Pantheon at some time very early in the 700s BC.

Hearkening back, from the last quarter of the 15th century BC to mid-century the 14th century, Attica found a strong pathway for her three fractious petty kingdoms to an ascendancy of union, and a ruling dynasty formative of knitting their region into a true Kingdom of considerable influence upon her neighbors. Before the fragile unifications, gulf coast Attica upon the Saronic Gulf featured Aktë, but bay coastal Attica upon the Sea of Myrtoa was named Aktaia, the mainland heartland above the Attican Peninsula that was once called Aktika. The principal generic sovereign was a Medon or High Chief, sometimes translated as Governor if his appointment was graced by wedlock to a sacral majesty inherent his illustrious wife. She was true landed governess, entitled as a Meda or High Matron. We think that the title of High Chief reflected the fundamental and lesser status of the Attica inherent any obedient feudatory of imperial Crete. For even after the debilitating invasions of the Mother Island in 1450 BC, whereby the subsequent abandonment of Crete’ Late Palace Era of settlements, until 1400 BC. In gist, once disunited Attica earned considerable autonomy and self-determination after the transformative leadership which Crete vouchsafed to Erichthonios/Erechtheus/-Erisichthion. He was an early 15th century appointed Supreme Governor, by proxy of the imperially entitled Minos over Crete who lived before the invasions in 1450 BC.

Such autonomy developed well over three subsequent generations of High Chiefs– from Erechtheus to Pandion to Kekrops – until those long ruling Erechthëids had legitimized the third Medon in succession, Kekrops, in a manner to have his any son accede him by established hereditary rights ad infinitum. The Atticans were prevented from formally sanctifying the dynasty as such because of a revolt of Aktikan patron clans, led from the Lower Peninsula by Kekrops’ brothers Metion, Pandoros and Orneus. They stymied a third succession to Erichthonios by Pandion son-of-Kekrops. Metion et al. expelled Kekrops with help from High Kingdom Kadmeis, a neighbor, but that consequence lasted only five years. Then Pandion II took powers and rights of appointment through a popular uprising against the Metionid regime which had performd so heedlessly and arrogantly. Thus a proper even if belated third succession by appointment ensued to a last High Chief. He marched out of the adopting homeland of his wife Pylia, Alkathoos, where and with whom he’d been married for nearly three decades. He triumphed over the resistance of Gulf Attica, and then vindicated his father’s branch royal  to highest status of rule, by a dynasty imposed over all the kindred relations of the founding House of Erechtheus since Erichthonios.

We note this fact of extensive relatives, but cannot determine all the core family entities, or their extent by persons of descent….

[Note: The Bardot Group equates Erechtheus to Erichthonios through a contraction of the Attican genealogy that eliminates a much earlier Legendary Dynasty, which began with a first king ever, also named Kekrops, and a first Pandion son-of-Ericthonios and supposed father of Erechtheus. That dynasty ended with  its final successor, Amphiktyon, by a Cretan Intervention in force that replaced him with Erichthonios. But that, it seems, created confusion once a new dynasty capped by another, but really one and the same Kekrops, who led by hereditary rights as a fourth generation dynast off the fabricated Legendary Dynasty ( which we’ve felt well-proven was actually a matriarchal dynasty by a matron House of Aglauros. The real founder of House, all such confusion banished aside, was Erechtheus, despite the cost of his life to defend two dynasties, of Attica and Eleusis. So for recurrent internecine conflict with powerful relatives by collateral marriages that must have broadened the Erechtheids considerably. Such rivals, presented by objectional husbands to matriarchs of the parallel sacral dynasty, the Aglaurids, began to recede into tranquility once Erichthonios had married the foremost by that matrilienage, Praxithea.

Genealogy of the Kekropids by the House of Erechtheus

[The Ancient Athenians sought to tie their House of Erechtheus to the House of Pelops while both were contemporaneous to a secession of the earliest Greeks from the last Minos of Crete, the so-called King Minos II. They could not accept their own illustrious forbears, so Theseus proved the ideal superhero of their imaginings after the Greek Dark Age from 1190 to 780 BC had ended. Orthography of names accords with Latinized Greek spellings of the major mythical personages.]

Ignoring the Pelopids running down the right side of the genealogical charting (they’re timely to the supposed hierogamy that married Aithra to Aigeus) the Attican dynasty by Kekrops formed a single branch royal house. That was anomalous in Greek prehistory, because its High Chiefs achieved a much further ascendancy, notwithstanding Pandion’s successful sovereignty was interrupted by a second attempted usurpation, by yet a next generation of Metionids. Their patron clans, with the likely help of the High King Labdakos as supreme over Kadmeis, pledged Attica in fealty to that northern neighbor. It was a fully empowered region since 1450 BC as the House of Kadmos. The Metionids took a bribe from Labdakos to depose Pandion (whom we think conceded without bloodshed after he’d abruptly refused the bribe less he become a puppet king under the House of Kadmos). This led to a regime beholden briefly to Kadmeis even as it could not last. For it didn’t on the proofs, because of the gross incompetence of the Metionid patron social order, and an imposed priesthood thereby, whereby to manage disastrously the vast and long standing rural agronomy of Aktë and Aktaia. They were together the fertile mainland MesoGaia, and most productive for united Attica, because a belt of prosperous plantations under female governesses, the Medai.

Pandion already had sired mature sons by Pylia of Alkathöos to become a highly regarded paragon of the Isthmians to whom she belonged. Pylia’s only son by a previous marriage was Aegeus, whom Pandion adopted at the behest of his beloved wife so that he might share in the repair of the Kekropid (Branch) Dynasty through her generous means. Such support was to prove her dying wish, for Pandion became a widower over the rest of his long lifetime, even though just afterwards the Second restoration of the Kekropids.

Pylia’s and Pandion’s natural sons conceived together were named Pallas, Nisos and Lykos. To become brilliant self-made men in their own rights, Aegeus was appointed their superior, on account of his matured martial prowess and the full empowerment of his adopting father to fulfill through Deion, husband of his sister Herse, a counter-revolution against the Metionids. Alas, it took many years of a most dispirited Attica to affect that Second Restoration of the Kekropids. Fortunate, therefore, that father Pandion’s further great wisdom at resettling the three fractious parts of Attica under the filial branch royal line of the Kekropids, implanted the three sons as Aigeus’ vice-regents. Their concerted brilliance manifest in so many ways soon had the region of Attica prospering and burgeoning. By unity of their vice-regencies Attica began to surpass beyond all neighboring realms abroad and around the Saronic Gulf. Examples were Troezen, all of the Isthmus, Salamis and the Island that would be name Aegina (but before called Oinope).

This has been a tersely told story of earliest ascendant Attica, by which many new names and even more important toponyms, or place names. Allow it, however, to establish a complex legacy of brilliance and effectiveness that lacked only a last dimension to be fulfilled, whereby to render the lineage off of Kekrops by divine rights and claims of succession. Vouchsafed from the tutelary deities to the Atticans, as unanimously decreed, Aegeus could not yet accede to King of Attica without his siring an heir off a wife of exalted rank, and then having sired a child by her. Upon the restoration of the Kekropids to sovereignty, I repeat, his title of Medon or Supreme Medon was that akin to Regent High Chief.

Our story continues upon that last stern caveat……

The Ever and Forever Unlucky Aegeus 

With the exception of Aegeus himself, developments would prove, the Kekropids were congenital to extraordinary intelligence, perhaps sometimes to genius in a single instance, over practical matters of realm. They had the hard driving will to achieve marvels for Attica and the entire Saronic Gulf. They began with concordats between themselves and their wives. They sought counsel of Pandion, an avuncular and steady presence, a chief advisor for them to have recourse to and knit themselves together under. The three sons by Pylia were standouts above all their associate and allied rulers, both coastally and near inland by the petty kingdoms and the dominions ruled by highly venerated matriarchs (some of who were their wives). Ranging from the southwest to farthest east, the primary allies began with Sikyon, across  the Isthmus proper called Ephyrëa, then eastward by the north mainland across Aktë and Aktaia. Aktika or the Low Peninsula of Attica projected south as the east arm of the Saronic Gulf.

Other matters and developments compel our understanding of the brilliant personages that would afford all the Gulf’s rim powers universal self-determination and autonomy from imperial Crete and Kadmeis. Suffice to say that the Kekropids made the years 1384 to 1365 so successful at spurring their vice-regencies onward to next great achievements that they subsumed the Mycenaean Age, in parallel to Pelop’s propulsion of Argolis through the years that concluded in 1365 BC. Regardless that great man, the Kekropids utterly upstaged and transcended the heartland Argives, whose Great Court at Mycenae (for Mukenë, Muy-KEHN-ay) suffered a 15th century BC of dynastic turmoil, iinternecine conflict and abuse of the  quasi-imperial stature that the dynasts Perseus & Andromeda, co-regents dating from 1590 BC, had engendered.

The Bardot Group sets down from most recent and foundational sources what follows of the Kekropids’ furtherances, by each personage of myth, through several books now written, or nearing final releases. The second in series is mostly about their impacts upon the north mainland of the Greek Peninsula and outreaches of overland and maritime distributive commerce. What follows, moreover, is both descriptive and enumerative of keynote developments.

Foremost besides her brother Pandion, (1), was his much younger sister Hersë, the entitled Diomeda over Eleusis, (2). She was closest in age to the adopted son Aigeus, whereas her formidable mother Metiadusa, (3) the dowager widow of Kekrops, was as though supreme over both of them. The North Rim Powers greatly prospered on account of those three elder Kekropids — while the raising of (4) Aigeus, (5) Pallas, (6) Nisos and (7) Lykos — until Hersë, in 1389, delivered the youngest of his generation by the branch royal family, Cephalos, (8). Born in Eleusis and sired by Deion of Dauleis, two brilliant parents steered Cephalos into his undoubted genius, singularly expressed, ironically, by the estrangement of Deion from Hersë for they’re failure to conceive issue over the seven years after their only son had been born. Until then, however, Hersë spearheaded excellent relations of the North Rim Powers with imperial Crete. She sponsored and syndicated convoys of outreach through the extensive maritime commerce that her son Cephalos would further engender miraculously at his age only nine years old, beginning in 1380 BC therefore.

Because of Pandion’s twelve years of rule over Attica, Hersë earned both the grace and admiration of the Atticans for her outstanding gifts of memory at both oral and archival elocution by her recitations “known by heart.” Therefore, she was revered as a high princess of Eleusis and Attica, even though most of her lifetime had her governing Eleusis as a supreme priestess, an heiress by abdication of Metiadusa, whereby the aforementioned title of Diomeda.

[Note: Some versions of Classical Greek Mythology have that name for the mother of another Cephalos, who was born in Magnesia or Thessaly upon the North Plains where his father had repaired his good fortune after leaving Eleusis to Hersë. The Bardot Group adheres to the thesis that there was only one Cephalos of any importance to the earliest Greeks—whereas his presence in the north became of a brief consortship to the future queen of Magnesia from 1372 to 1370 BC. That brief interlude is the subject and primary content of a third book in serialization.]

 

Aigeus led his half-brothers by the wedlock of Pylia and Pandion ably and long after his parents had conceived Pallas, Nisos and Lykos. By the middle of the decade of the 1980s, they all had reached early ages of manhood. That maturation led them to expel by force the Metionid Regime over Attica. Leading all of them, at first, was Hersë’s sacral consort Deion, a champion- and martial-at-arms for all of the North Rim Powers. By his excellent anticipation of his trespassing foes, by his abilities to encourage those four yopung men, his in-laws by his marriage, and by his strong alliance with the former enemy Kadmeis to form a common front, Deion prepared all abroad the Saronic Gulf to first withstand, then to quash and finally to regain all territorial losses of the 15th century BC (to invading Minyans into the North Plains of earliest Greece by waves of equestrian might). Accordingly we have the finally keynote developments of the North Rim Powers during the 1380s as follows….

1….     Deion’s mobilizations of all the rim powers, including Attica as still under the Metionid Regime since the 1390s, withstood the Minyans. As a chief of border wardens by all dominions and realms, Deion’s important repulses began with the refugees and grossly displaced losers to the Minyans, who had no other recourse than to trespass southward as far as future Boeotia and the North Isthmus of Ephyrëa. Skirting the High Kingdom of Kadmeis, the trespassers composed squatting settlements within the Eleutherais Woodlands directly above the MesoGaia, a fertile sward of plantations below them. Deion also repulsed the Lokrians from among the displaced peoples, by settling territory upon them over the objections of Kadmeis. Essentially he vouchsafed them the west coast of the Abantis Strait [the later Euboean Strait]. Deion’s campaigns to quell trespass and accommodate refugees ended with a treaty that his wife Hersë detested: A concordat with the oppressive Metionid regime who had sought sole recourse in Deion for his able defense against invasion of Attica. Its clan chieftains under the Metionids could not quell invaders without him. Making Deion their supreme martial-at-arms and –at-field, Deion had by 1385 BC performed astonishingly effective defenses for both Ephyrëa, Eleusis and all divisions of Attica.

2….     Just upon, or just afterwards that pivotal year, Kadmeis was thrown into turmoil by the murder of her High King Laios—due to an incident, an alleged assassination, by  wholly undiscovered assailants. It took almost two whole years for a proper succession to take root through the happy remarriage of the widowed Iokastë to Oedipüs, a son by the brief hierogamy of his father, her husband Laios, to a young princess of either the isthmus or of Sikyon. Thus was, we assert, how the real Saga of the Oedipids began, against a final tragic denouement almost twenty-four years in the future.

3….At some time after 1384, Medeia and Jason were living on the demesnes of her mother Idyia. The ensuing years would produce several, perhaps three children while she enjoyed a rapid ascendancy to supreme sister presiding the AcroKorinth of the Lower Peninsula. Jason declined over the years at any competency, and he began intrigue and infidelity during them.

4….   Deion become estranged from his greatly disaffected and ornery wife Hersë at about seven years into a once happy marriage. She hated his martial alliances, must have turned frigid as disagreeable, but the ultimate cause for a split was that Deion had rendered her barren. Cephalos was the only child Hersë ever conceived, and yet we should be doubtful that she did not try to conceive another. In the meanwhile, from 1385 to 1387, the refugee matriarch Aegina, formerly over the Asopos River Valley of Kadmeis (but long time become resident in majesty upon Oinopë Island in the middle of the Saronic Gulf), concerted her plan of reconquest in behalf of her fifteen year old son Aiakos [Latin spelling, Aeacus]. Oinopë would eventually be renamed for Aegina, whereas two years were spent by Deion and other champions-at-arms at training her son as their supreme leader over five campaign years at sweeping reconquests throughout the north mainland (from 1387 BC, ff.).

5….  Aigeus and his half-brothers at wreaked riot and revolt against the Metionids, until an early rout propelled all the presumptuous uncles and first cousins of his adopting father Pandion into exile or self-banishment. That obtained for the House of Erechtheus from Gulf Attica, Aktë, and the Lower Peninsula, Aktika.

6…. In 1379 Aigeus began the pilgrimage which we’ve described thoroughly through a last posting, Bardot Blog No 184.

Aigeus, already unlucky in the wives arranged for him, was never again to enjoy the carnal comforts of Aithra of Tröezen. He stayed close to her father Pittheus, nonetheless, who became throughout the decade of the 1970s most upset and increasingly impatient for a fullest secession of the Saronic Gulf’s rim powers from imperial Crete. The two sovereigns were too insecure within their own realms to rally royal and high peerages into the necessary naval mobilizations. But that wasn’t going to constrain them much longer than it took for Aigeus’ first cousin Cephalos to begin a juggernaut out of the peace wrought by his father Deion, as furthered indefinitely by the reconquests of Aiakos and his martials-at-field as far as the North Plains of the north mainland. They proved to have built a confederacy by 1378/77 BC, which Aiakos was coroneted to lead as its Great King. The decade of the 1370s would consolidate all his subjugated lesser realms upon the north mainland.

[Note: These conquests are not agreeable to previous or present prehistorians of the earliest Greeks who lived during their 14th century BC. Only the Bardot Group is of the thesis most proper to that century—that a quasi-imperial confederacy, a Great Kingdom, composed from the resurgent High Kingdom of Aeoleis and another high kingdom established through the martial occupations of the North Plains despite his reconquest of the Minyans. Aiakos and his “generals” had compelled them into abject surrender to him. The whole idea of an imperial realm upon the north mainland proves mostly upsets prehistorians who regard the Argives of Argolis and the Argolid Peninsula as the only ethnic Greeks of a real empire to have created the Mycenaean Age.]

Theseus’s Youth awhile the Pre-eminence and of later Expunction of Cephalos

The youngest of his generation of Kekropids, itself begun with his first cousins Aigeus, Pallas, Nisos and Lykos, Cephalos rapidly became the essential impetus to the enduring ascendancy of the branch royal family under Attica’s House of Erechtheus. That assertion of his imprimatur, however, rests upon his father Deion’s established peace throughout the north mainland as a doughty martial-at-arms over many decades of turmoil and unrest above the Saronic Gulf. Aiakos [Aeacus] must be credited for the established long peace that endured from 1378 to 1304 BC, on account of his exceedingly long reign and his many appointed High Kings by appointments spaced over that duration. A great peace, therefore, attests to the Great Kingdom that Aiakos built from an unstable confederacy, even though it was both preceded and enabled by enlightened martial souls such Deion.

His older first cousins sponsored and nurtured Cephalos, often through the shrewd counsel of Pandion and their aunt-Hersë. Only Aigeus had no head for expansive commerce and agronomy, but he was just smart enough to stay out of the way of his far more brilliant relatives. Hersë proved especially sagacious to cause Cephalos to take a fealty pledge to Aigeus with promise that he would never try to succeed him as a claimant to what everyone hoped would become the Kingdom of Attica. He avowed himself as such when he was fourteen or fifteen years old, or just before he’d apprenticed himself to Crete’s imperial navy as stationed upon the Pyrrhaios of Attica. Well he did so: So great had become his juggernaut of maritime commerce for all the Kekropids older than he, that he was causing much spite and envy from senior ministers and commanding seafarer whom his constant promotions had subdued into lesser ranks and status. Indeed, the apprenticeship of Cephalos to the Cretans proved so sensationally successful for his captain, crew and ship that Hersë thought best that he take leave of the Saronic Gulf because he had pretty much made it “his lake.”

That leave was arranged just in time. Aigeus had a hissy fit ver the constant praise of his youngest and closest relative by his aunt-Hersë, regardless that they were closest as only aunt and nephew of nearly the same ages can and should be. She knew that Aigeus’ jealousies, incented by his senior ministers who resented Cephalos and sullied his accomplishments “as dangerous,” would pass with her son’s absence. Best he find new opportunity to advance Attica through what he could do by building close alliance with the Great Kingdom of Aeoleis & Minya. Hersë discovered that opportunity for him by soliciting an invitation from the King of Orchomenos to the trials-of bridal of his niece, the daughter of his late a beloved sister Hebë. Glad to do so, that King, Erginos, undertook and underwrote Cephalos’ abilities to contend for his niece Phima, even though he had no talents as an equestrian warrior.

Fortunate that he was tested against more mature but provably inept rivals who were inferior at their warrior talents taught by the Minyans. Cephalos invigorated himself by hard exercise and appeal to native warriors called the Dhiminoi to train him. They did so, as did a few friendly Aeolians, to most rigorously develope Cephalos into a keenness for horsemanship and prowess at cart, or chariotry, as a warrior partner to a best driver. His father Deion came south to help him as a champion-at-arms effective when fighting within melee or whenever he was not directly dueling with a presented rival. Deion was able to build upon Cephalos’ training-at-arms  as already begun under the Cretans and martially talented Levantines of Salamis Island and Pyrrhaios Portside. He had spring himself early upon his host Magnesians of Iolkos and High Pherai over the trials-at-bridal. So he had ample time to train himself to best abilities taught him and peak conditioning for the impending tests.

[Note: The trials-at-bridal themselves are attested by the content of our third book in series: Cephalos Ward of Eleusis ; Prince Consort of Magnesia. Classical Greek Myth is almost surely wrong to have his future bride Klymenë (“Illustrious”), one of several “Minyades” or daughters of Minyas, an eponymous founder of a late ethnicity of indigenousGreeks. Given all that is fictional of premise, I have his princess named Phima, daughter of Hebë, a deposed matriarch to an upstart Minyan prince who used her lands to underwrite the realm of Haemonia, as Iolkos and its Pagasai Bay were once called as appurtenant to Magnesia. That realm, too, is likely fictitious, although it features importantly within the myth of “Jason and the Argonauts.” Magnesia, by contrast, had real provenience as the region of the Magnetes, although much later Greeks wrongfully attached the name of one of Aiakos’ adjutant martials-at-field as an eponym for those people.]

Cephalos prevailed through the trials-at-bridal and even managed to have the bride on offer drive him over a chariot circuit. Affixed with many targets for him to shoot at with spear and bow sher guided their cart to enhance Cephalos’ best stance at aim, both of them winning through the challenging circuit with aplomb. She was only sixteen, a somewhat brazen maiden, but their consortship after that last trial of him could not last long. Of a term only for her deliverance of a child by him, they conceived that baby together. He was also very much a boon to Phima as she freed herself from a useless father and became the young queen of Magnesia, in her own matrilineal rights as the heiress presumptive of her mother Hebë. And even as Cephalos left her for another, more exalting marriage, he helped her to grow in maturity and demeanor so appropriate to her important realm of Magnesia, whereby an important later kingdom in part to the legacies attributed to Great King Aiakos over Aeoleis & Minya.

Cover of Bardot Books’ next release in Series

Cephalos is most famous for how he spent his late thirties as the consort of High Princess Prokris, she of sacral majesty as an only and final descendant heiress to the former matriarchal dynasty named for Aglauros and a lineage hearkening far back and before the putative Legendary Dynasty as mentioned above. It became his best fate by ill-Fates to fall in love with the mortal incarnation of Eos Goddess of the Dawn, whereby he became a licit bigamist by a hierogamy, or holy marriage, while still wed to Prokris, The High Princess was supposed unclean and accursed of barrenness for her failed vows to Artemis the Huntress Maiden, to whom she was a declared postulant. The Minos of Crete took her to himself at her very early age to become a mistress. That breached her vows.

It all makes a sad story, beginning with Prokris’s discovery of his children supposedly conceived by the Goddess Eos, her divorce of him, his taking disguise to become the husband of her remarriage under the name of Pteleon, and his dropping of her for his proofs by courtship that she was perfidious and given to adultery. Later they reconciled, in 1362 BC, only to be ill-fated to her death by Cephalos’ hand in a huntig accident that was adjudged a regicide of her. For that he and all his lineage was accursed and doomed to everlasting exile from Attica and the Saronic Gulf. He more than repaired his fortunes by building a great navy that affected the doom of the imperial House of Minos in 1354 BC. That was followed by his partnership with Amphitryon for a naval conquest and war of revenge of the Teleboeans and Taphians if the Ionian Sea. In the aftermath, Cephalos proved himself so majestically at reconciliation that they appointed him protector, whereby he became High Chief and then King of the Isles in the far west, beyond the maw of the Great Gulf (of Korinth). The Teleboeans and the Taphians first united to defend themselves from Amphitryon and Cephalos, but their esteem for Cephalos afterwards had their Mother Island renamed for him, Cephalonia a/o Cephallenia, whereby, as well, his nomination by all his many foreign allies as Founder and Patriarch over the Cephallenes.

What was Theseus’ Part in the defeat of the Last Minos of Imperial Crete?

We have Theseus born late in 1380 or early in 1379 to Aithra of Tröezen upon the Argolid Peninsula. The Bardot Group departs from the masterpiece biography of Theseus as finally commemorated by Plutarch’s Life of Theseus—by a Second century AD recasting of the original wholly fictitious mythic personage established in the Sixth century BC by the Ancient Athenians. Early oral and last masterpiece writ made him the nationalized superhero of the Atticans.

The real Theseus did not emerge from Tröezen until 1357 BC at his age 22 years old. He did not at age only sixteen years old unearth the tokens of his majesty over Attica that had been left by his sire Aigeus with his mother Aithra as token of his claim of heir presumptive to succeed his that Regent High Chief. Rather, his grandfather Pittheus sent him forth to challenge for foremost rights to claim himself king over the Atticans as derivative of his challenges for wedlock to the matriarchal rulers over the prime dominions abroad the Isthmus, whose region (including broad footings upon both mainland divisions of the Greek peninsula) was once called Ephyrëa. Plutarch made of his sequential challenges a quest, so that by deliberately lethal means he might humiliate and supplant the chosen consorts of those matriarchal rulers, until a final challenge, just before his trek into Gulf Attica, to humiliate Eleusis.

The challenges and the quest of thePrince of Tröezen will be the first part and content of our next posting, the 186th Bardot Blog. It will not conclude until we’ve brought Medeia out of her failed marriage to Jason and into the Saga of Theseus, whereby a continuation of her own saga as several previous postings have already elucidated.


for  the Bardot Group

184th Bardot Blog: Medeia versus the Kreon of Kadmeis in Salvation of the Isthmus

Figure: The depiction is supposed to be The Argo at flight from the pursuit of Mediea’s outraged father Aietes. This bulky version of a Triakonter — thirteen sweep oars at each broadside — is an obvious anachronism. It serves to attest, however, the swiftness that this class of oared-vessel eventually achieved over the 1370s BC, during which she ascended to supremacy over the Ephyrean Matriarchate.

Before the Argo and Jason Brought Medeia to the Isthmus

Our last Bardot Blog was an extensive prelude to the reinterpretation of a famous myth about Medeia. It explained in a necessary and roundabout way how the young Medeia, accomplished and precocious as she was, had to face down a lurking, most insidious threat from her own husband Jason. He had been enticed into a league of conspirators beholden to the Kreon of Kadmeis/Thebes whereby he’d become a puppet that could render the Isthmus of Ephyrëa open to a pincer annexation. Kadmeis stood for such force imposition upon the Isthmus from the immediate north, from a buffer region of Kadmeis, whereas the other pincer force would involve an annexation by Argolis’ High Prince Chrysippos, acting for his father Pelops without his sire’s any foreknowledge. It was his attempt to overcome disfavor after a major disappointment in the relations between father and son over the imperial mandate from Argolis that they both coveted to rule imperially. I shall not address those past preliminaries because they became moot after High King Laios was slain by an unknown adversary; that demise had ended the close homosexual relations with Chrysippos that originally precipitated a joint annexation by Argolis and Kadmeis to split the Isthmus in two. The Kreon had abetted that particular move of aggression, and so his any further part in its success was dashed.

Medeia, it becomes evident from the lore, was famous for her manners and means of espionage, although her specific methods elude us while there’s so much attribution of sorcery and witchcraft ascribed to her astonishing machinations. We believe she was especially astute at picking up on rumor, or working from the suspicions of others wholly loyal to her and ever wishful that she be kept studiously informed about all matters that might impinge upon the Isthmus. Early in the formal marriage between Jason and Medea, also a partnership in sovereignty from barest beginnings of their new lives within the Isthmus, she’d had to repress her husband from various reckless acts or heedless activities which manifest Jason’s repudiation of her many strong incremental gains in supreme authority. Young as their marriage was, she failed to groom him onto the few masculine roles of considerable majesty among the Ephyrëans, even as her won successes soon had allowed her to appoint Jason to the highest male entitlement, that of Phylax, which in Greek can mean Warder, Keeper and Warlord Protector. In granting that role of authority, Jason soon abused it by intriguing variously out of spite over his wife’s repudiations of him.

The Classical Greek Mythology mistakenly has left record that interpreted Thebes/Kadmeis for having inordinate control over the Isthmus of Ephyrëa. In particular the Kreon of Thebes had powers of governance there that are completely outside his pedigree or any appointed role by his powerful sister, the euryanassa Iokastë over Kadmeis, afterwards the death of her husband the High King, Laios son-of-Labdakos. Upon that death, however, her brother the Kreon was instated by the patron clan and tribes by the Spartoi into a powerful caretaker’s role as Kadmeis Home Lord Protector. He became a Keeper, that is, not unlike to Jason’s capacities by appointment of the Supreme Sisters over the AcroKorinth (high sister) of the Isthmus. The Kreon’s instated role endured until Iokastë’s remarriage to Oedipus, whom CGM (by Sophokles) insists was Iokastë’s natural son and considerable her junior in age.

The Bardot Group is contrary to Sophokles through its insistence that Iokastë’s marriage to Laios had him sequester her  away from him even as his child maiden bride. She meant a doom upon him should he sire off her a son, for that scion was fated by prophecy to someday kill him. This belief excludes a particular plot line of Sophokles, who infers that she somehow trysted Laios, thereby became pregnant, and brought their son to term. Once the baby son was exposed to Laios as their child, the High King instantly ordered the infant to be smothered or “exposed.” Laios’ hands left clean, no wonder that his orders were not carried out: The presumption that a man could avoid his express Fates was a cardinal sin of the earliest Greeks.

The Bardot Group has Oedipüs born of a greatly ennobled priestess, upon whose lap Laios had discretely sired a son in order to prove to his father Labdakos that he was not an overt homosexual. That mother had widely persuad his adoption by Polybos and Periboea of Corinth, or of Sikyon, to become their prince and a successor to that royal couple by a barren marriage. Polybos was, in fact, the administrative governor of Sikyon by appointment of the Great Court of Mycenae over the Argives.  Reasoning responsibly about the honors of high royal sire to his adopted son, the Governor always intended to send Oedipus to Kadmeis upon his adulthood, thereby to reveal himself to his sire as a proper claimant of succession to Kadmeis’ High Princedom, as a son by proof of direct lineage from Kadmos, the revered founding patriarch over the Kadmeians.

The gist of all this stated genealogy, we further posit, lies in that wholly accidental confrontation between Laios and a precocious teenaged border warden, Oedipus, whereupon a clash that proved sudden and fatal. Accosted as a stranger by Oedipus, so goes the story, Laios had instantly dueled with his son, but he and his entire entourage proved weak assailants. Oedipus left only one witness to the confrontation alive, inadvertently, a craven man who dared not admit that he was sole survivor and who also dared not admit that he’d run away from the clash. He would much later come forward to accuse Oedipüs of patricide and regicide by a heinous and brief single act of violent aggression, without his own further admission that Oedipus had defended himself by all lethal means that he could muster all by himself.

Oedipüs and Iokastë, an illustrious Co-regency

Early Greek Mythology sets forth further record by shrewd hindsight recited almost 25 years later. By then, not only had the handsome Oedipüs, a most courtly suitor of Iokastë at only a very few years younger of age –, he brought his manly appeal directly to her heart. He had also found her utterly repressed, perhaps even still a maiden despite her wedlock to Laios, an overtly homosexual husband at the time of his royal marriage to succeed his father Labdakos. Once adjudged superbly eligible to become her consort and co-regent, perhaps with discovery that Oedipus was a putative stepson by Laios siring of another woman who had actually delivered Oedipus. Whatever, he’d begun forthwith to satisfy Iokastë in all respects — as an outstanding co-regent partner, as an ardent lover and a potent sire of her four children. From the mid-1380s onward, the conceived those four children together. Their births staggered to two or three years apart each other: Eteokles in 1383, Polyneikes in 1380, Antigonë in 1378 and Ismenë in 1376 a/o 1375.

For twenty-three years these children advanced to their rightfully claimed statuses, or until Oedipüs must suddenly discover himself the perpetrator of his father’s homicide. What compelled his vigorous sleuthing so assiduous was a dire need to cure a plague upon Thebes, caused by the failure of the High Kingdom to adequately investigate cause and perform expiation of Laios’ death by all and any proper means. Upon Oedipüs’ famous self-accusation of himself for killing a man, an utter stranger whom he’d thought a brigand at trespass and dire threat to him as soon as accosted as such, all the long lost facts would “out” themselves. These included the details of many evaded truths of royal kinship and parentages, the long hidden witness to the homicide by son of a father and king, and the entanglement of several solemn prophecies that had so readily misled Laios to his death, whereby Oedipus could enter into a happiest marriage by every means of stating himself the proper successor to his father, while also believing himself, truth told, wholly alienated from Kadmeis throughout his youth.

Iokastë, exposed at last as the stepmother of her own husband, could not abide that she’d been the child bride of a husband who had sired her second and enduring husband. She also understood completely how the unwanted son of her husband, whom he long had supposed dead, could become her high royal consort. Indeed, that the son who was fated to kill his father had come alive at last to mate with her in fullest sacral majesty, without the least taint of Oedipus’ at proper courtship of her. Thereby the progeny of four outstanding children that had brought their co-regency to happiest estate.

Howsoever convoluted the plot lines that took 23 years or more to reveal of exact past events and developments, allow the hard facts that Oedipüs was never (1) the incestual lover of his natural mother but was (2), instead, always the natural son of his overtly homosexual sire, High King Laios. There was aside of that (3) Iokastë’s brother called the Kreon or Kreon, but he never possessed any royal or sacral status over any part of Ephyrëa. Only after Laios death, deemed a patricide and regicide, (4) was Iokastë persuaded, or coerced, to accept her brother as though her superior or co-regent or compelled surrogate. Upon whichever of those designations, however the entitlement, the Kreon duly assumed autocratic power effective to an outright usurpation of Iokastë.

Those hard facts explain, at last, why the complete delight of Iokastë in her manly and assertive and smart new husband. Smarter still, he had put her first and high above himself in supreme majesty. Making him her so-regent, she was made glad to have her brother greatly reduced thereby, for it compelled the Kreon into a retirement that left his hatefully vengeful feelings to fester and become wholly preoccupied at restoring himself to the manifest surrogate powers to which he’d become accustomed.

The Kreon had a daughter named Glaukë, a descendant  of royal house and high matrilineage by the aboriginal Aionians. She held dominion within Kadmeis, a borderland upon the north mainland end of the Isthmus. Regardless her landed legacy,  would prove to become ill-fated in love and parentage. We do not know her further background except, except for how her life was ended, after a few years of falling in love with Jason or at promiscuous dalliance of herself with him. Her major sin is supposed as attendant to such active adultery, but also for becoming a pawn, a dupe of her father’s and lover’s presumptions. They would royally instate her within the Isthmus of Ephyrëa so that they could “usurp” her domain as just another preeminent matriarch of great landedness amidst a region long famous for being a theocracy composed from many small rural matriarchates and a few famously rich sororal colleges composed of High and Supreme Sisters. They were mutually active as engaged all and severally in the immensely successful Ephyrëan maritime commerce and its enormous global outreach via Alkathöos of the Upper Isthmus. That small realm was outsized by the marriage of the Matriarch Pylia to the deposed High Chief over Attica, Pandion son-of-Kekrops. The latter was royally connected to the Attican House of Erechtheus, whereby he was enabled in so many ways by his many Kekropid relatives, (all younger than him).

Medeia’s Strong Personal Alliances:

Attendant Medeia rise to sovereignty over Ephyrëa was the rapidity by which she had to and did create important associations, often of a discrete but quietly effective way. Here is the place to introduce those who would prove so steadfast to her, even though so many of her closest intimates failed to support her competently.

Medeia had become a mother of several children by Jason when she realized their relations were irreparable, he most likely faithless besides incompetent, whereupon she must seek alternative counsels that could steer best courses for Ephyrëa. She remained a young woman amidst a concourse of rapidly culminating developments among her near neighbors, whereas Ephyrëa was mostly lagging at keeping up with them. She sought superb advice and found it willingly given to her. A model of a great marriage, for instance, wherein the consort lord was humble and yet constructive towards his matriarch was easily found in Pandion, a former High Chief over the still young full unification of Attica. She learned how he had allowed himself to be removed from his powers upon his refusal to take bribe from High King Labdakos over Kadmeis – to the clearly discerned effect of becoming his puppet. The bribe, moreover, was both interesting and tempting: He would be made king of the Atticans of seemingly autonomous standing, even as Attica was enlarged by takeover of the Lapith Lands, a broad rangeland farthest east from the Eleutherais Woodlands that made border between Kadmeis and Thebes. In return for these grant rights and permissions, Labdakos earned the right to construct a March, or corridor for caravans, for the commercial logistics that would conjoin deep interior Kadmeis to the Saronic Gulf’s landfalls, for there was where the most active maritime commerce of the early 14th century BC of “The Great Land.”

Pandion had instantly discerned the bribe as implicitly a usurpation. To be affected by Kadmeis through support from High King Labdakos, well known enemies to his branch royal clan lay in wait within his own dynastic House of Erechtheus. The enticement of a Greater Attica by absorption of the Lapith Lands Pandion deemed beyond the Attican’s strength to command its retention. The Lapiths, moreover, were a mostly nomadic and pastoral people, excellent herders who did little harm to anybody while ranging their grazing lands as effective buffers against encroaching interlopers from higher north of the north mainland Greek Peninsula. The Kekropid High Chief rightly suspected that same collateral relatives that had deposed his father Kekrops would force him out of his offices, despite the popularity of his rule and the reverence earned towards his mother Metiadusa, the widow of Kekrops whom the Atticans still regarded as a “Maia,” a great mother Old Girl over them all. The original composite enemy had been the following of Kekrops’ three brothers led by Metion, who actually had ruled his coalition for barely five years before an insurrection caused by his coercions, confiscations of demesnes, major religious disruptions and incompetence at representing the best interests of Attica via her agronomy over livestock husbandry and cultivated tilth.

Pandion had ruled for twelve very successful years before he was effectively usurped by “the Metionids,” a sobriquet for the original coalition against his father, but newly abetted by High King Labdakos and his heir presumptive, the High Prince Laios. Refusing Labdakos’ bribe, his militancy and bellicose attitudes found fruit in Attica as those wayward patron clans out of the Peninsula of Attica called Aktika. He took the overthrow with equanimity, even selflessly for the Atticans sake over a threatening near future. Already married for many years to the Isthmian matriarch Pylia over Alkathöos, a neighbor to the Sanctuary of Eleusis over whom Pandion’s sister Hersë ruled prosperously, Pandion soon repaired his felt hurts and doggedly developed his three sons by Pylia into potential monarchs. He sought that they might all succeed to become consort lord protectors in the competitive market place for intended husbands of matriarchs. Put simply, he intrigued for consents that would elevate in particular his adopted son Aegeus, sired by Pylia’s late husband Skiron/Skyron. That very young man would advance Pandion’s three younger sons, all of his own siring—Pallas, Nikos and Lykos.

Pandion calculated that the Metionids would not last long, and that they could not deal with the challenges that Attica faced from invading Minyans and bestirred refuges into flight from them, e3specially considering the depredation of those equestrian dynamos from further up the north mainland of the Greek Peninsula. So he looked forward to the day that would come, sooner more likely than later, once the Metionids proved bullies and incompetents even as inept to martial strong force to protect Attica’s from incursions inevitable to the Minyan momentum that had ended the 15th century BC.

[As past and faithful readers of these Bardot Blogs know well by now, the Bardot Group does not accord with the academic consensus that the Minyans were analogous to the Achaeans, a much later nation race of equestrian might that made incursions during the Greek Dark Age of later centuries. We hold the Minyans a nation race all on its own, whereas Force Minya had proven mostly irreversible during the century cited, the 15th BC.]

All of this now stated had occurred before Medeia and Jason had taken their bold chances at making the best of Isthmian Ephyrëa for their young marriage. But those antecedent developments had occurred no more than two decades before their arrival, because Medeia own elevation to sovereignty, both sacral and royal in scope, proceeded briskly within the Isthmus, even if afterwards to what Pandion had planned and implemented of all apt opportunities to overthrow the Metionids and have his sons duly replace them. Other events of those two decades, we must remind our oldest readers, were………

  1. Attica’s ruling royal branch, The Kekropids, enacting for all the Saronic Gulf Rim Powers, had allayed the former bellicose ways of the Labdakid regime over Kadmeis. Overland Caravans by both regions ran parallel to each other by the east/west border of the Eleutherais Woodlands. This was owing to High King Oedipüs management of the Kadmeian maritime commerce and its close relations to the Levantines upon the Abantis Strait and Salamis Island of the Saronic Gulf. Abetting this arm’s length comity was Cephalos, the Ward of Eleusis, and considered at earliest age a paragon of a “Merchant Prince.”
  2. Conversely, maritime commerce subject to merchant cartels out of Crete had turned the imperial navies under the new Great Minos inimical to any competition. And yet product quality and worth by the parities of exchange were winning all competitions, even as Cephalos was also bringing in new commerce partners to expand the outreaches of his able relatives, the older Kekropids, through holds that fulfilled entirely new trade producers. Crete was verging to foment, accordingly, as manifest by many cruel incidents of their interference with competitive commerce.
  3. Great King Aiakos, close to Medeia in age, was actively consolidating the reconquests that had established a confiliation (confederacy) of High Kingdoms Aeoleis and Minya, and an amalgamation of petty kingdoms that would become Boeotia in the 12th century BC. He’s act5ive at maritime commerce upon the Strait of Abantis, and his mighty presence shoves away any Cretan intrusion of an imperial or monopolistic cast upon all trades along it. Again, Cephalos of Attica has affected much of the necessary infrastructure by establishing many port facilities along the north entry of the Strait and its Pagasai Bay.
  4. The Archipelago is under a great peace still, but its Mid-Sea Isles, later called the Cyclades, are under torment of the enforced monopolies of Crete upon free-traders exporters out of the Saronic Gulf, from the Isthmus and off Salamis Island in particular.
  5. The Great Gulf and its access to maritime commerce in the west has become increasingly important since 1394 BC, or after the rub-out of Argive marauders, bullies and turncoat pirates by Pterelaus the Great over the Taphians and Teleboeans. The maritime commerce is mostly that by Medeia’s resourceful nephews, the Phrixids, in continuation of the pioneering commerce and prosperity by her father Aië
  6. Anatolia’s vast Halys River Basin is fostering a fragile Hatti Empire of particularly strong expansions into the orient of the Levant. It enjoys many satellite high kingdom that ring the Basin, the few of greatest note being Troias in the NW, the central Seha River Lands that would become Lydia, and, finally, Karia or Milliwanda as the Hatti called the Meander River Valley region to the SW. Lycia is formative to such strength as still a feudatory realm under the Arzuwans of southern Anatolia.

Medeia at Debut of her Greater Powers and Influences:

The major point about the above digest of particular circumstances shall relate most especially to intrigue by Medeia at the discovery of a great plot against her effected regime in continuation of Ephyrëa’s traditional tenets of theocratic matriarchy. We can be reasonable confident that her awareness of threats from would-be patriarchal upstarts came from a loyalist Pandion, husband of Pylia. He would have cited the good relations of Oedipüs and Iokastë to the dominions of the Upper Isthmus. He would have reason already to suspect the Kreon, her brother, and he was not of any respect towards Jason as the appointed Keeper of Ephyrëa. About the Kreon in particular, Pandion had uncovered the intrigue of High Prince Chrysippos and the High King Laios to annex the Isthmus had share it out to their imperially ambitious fathers. It was going to Medeia, however, to take Pandion’s good hints to the further finding of an outright attack upon all that Ephyrëa stood for as a most successful matriarch of hallowed First Estate by landed governesses both secular and under holy orders.

Once she got started, moreover, the pieces of the plot came together in nimble fashion. Her husband Jason had been taken to bed by Glaukë, daughter of the Kreon, whose vouchsafed landed entitlements by the native Aionians had been ageless. She was the intended force of persuasion behind the use of her legacy lands as the anchor for a new realm which would conjoin Greater Ephyrëa, a.k.a. the Lands of the Pleiades, to Glauke’s  mostly obscure, heavily forested region at just above the Isthmus where a high rift that separates its upper interior extent from Alkathöos under Pylia and Pandion. The death of Laios, and then the ascension of Oedipüs in support a resurgent Iokastë, had postponed the conspiracy that intended Chrysippos to offer equestrian force to sweep the Isthmus in conquest. He would subdue, then usurp the Supreme Sister Medeia and her ruling order as based upon the AcroKorinth of the Lower Isthmus.

Medeia’ increased knowledge of that conspiracy achieved sufficient awareness of the gambits that would truly affect herself as Supreme Sister of very young age and least martial forcefulness. She even went so far as to defend herself against inevitable overthrow. Her following was mostly by the Upper Isthmus, enabled by Pandion, but it had not sufficient martial force to defy a pincer attack of incursion that would cover the Isthmus from both its mainland sides. But then, in 1380 BC or the seventh year of the conspiracy under foment, Medeia was fortunate to afford succor to Aigeus, the then Regent Custodian of Attica by its House of Erechtheus. Having deposed the Metionids and forced them to flight, he had married illustriously twice, and twice had become a widower of barren wives.

In the early spring of 1380 he set forth in pilgrimage to the Oracle of Parnassos, the already famous precursor to the Delphic Oracle. He plead for disclosure of why his barren marriages, how and why he was accursed as a potent sire, and what remedy he might pursue if he should remarry a woman most propitious of her fertility. The  response of the appointed Sibyl over his petition as taken on its appointed day made clear to Aigeus his potency and how to affect it through his brief, but absolutely necessary further patience to withstand his plight. That prophetess stated allegorically, even if without any obfuscation of proper interpretation, that Aigeus must speed directly homeward, with no diversion along the way, and he must remain celibate until he was home again. The way the last was expressed, the Sibyl stated, “Keep the stopper upon the pouring stem of thy swollen wine bladder, and do not indulge its contents while progressing homeward with immediacy.”  The gist of the allegorical prophecy was the simple, and the realization thus stated of Aigeus’ readiness of to affect his potency, and, therefore, that he must allay all temptation to prove himself at the couching of the woman who would bear him child. There was no uncertainty about his absolutely required patience until he was at home and once there must abide a waiting period for his fulfillment by his potency. \

Alas, there also was going to come to proofs by real world circumstances that ill-Fates were heavy upon Aigeus to thwart his successful obedience to the Oracle by the Sibyl. And thus the Bardot Group concludes this posting with the fortuitous casting of Medeia and Aigeus together so that they could state their respective plights, fall in love with each other over mutually felt sympathy towards each other, and to make promise that they would most surely keep. I was to both their own misfortunes, however, that the skein of woven Fates for Aigeus must totally confound him, whereby to postpone the inevitability of their found love for each other.

The events to befall Aigeus run as follows by the consensus of mythographers and mythologists ever since.

  • Choosing to trek back to Attica in all haste, a three year drought broke into inundation of the trail, forcing Aigeus to seek recourse by ship and a crossing of the Isthmus.
  • Debarking the west shore of the Isthmus, he took the rest and hospitality of Medeia, to whom he divulged the prophecy. She offered to expedite his return home by all possible means. At this time she told her woes by Jason and asked Aigeus to receive her as his suppliant should the worst happen to her by the failed marriage.
  • Aigeus debarks from the Isthmus for a crossing of the Saronic Gulf, only to be blasted by tempest and become shipwrecked upon a small isle just off Aegina Island. There he took rescue from a fisherman to enable a landing at Tröezen along the west arm of the Gulf. While the storm lasted, he took parlay and summit with King Pittheus, while also submitting to the bathing and carnal delights of the King’s daughter, Aithra, a priestess by the cult of Poseidon.
  • Knowing that he likely made her pregnant by their constant trysting, he left her tokens attesting to their fling should she bear child in result.
  • Aigeus finally arrived home safely, without any information divulged afterwards that he’d sired a son off Aithra, which prince and grandson Pittheus made his heir presumptive by name of Theseus, his title to be held for so long as he dared not divulge that he was a claimant to succeed Aigeus as a true Prince of House over Attica.
  • Aigeus patiently waited the wife whom the Oracle of Parnassos told him he would inevitably marry. His utmost wish was that she would prove Medeia, coming to him and Attica in suppliance, for which his promise to console her losses by the Isthmus of Ephyrë

Conclusion to this Bardot Blog: A Question

I have related the longer story of the meeting awhile a tempest between Medeia and Aigeus, and how they found so much affection and commiseration from each other through intimate divulgences. It’s a passage within my first volume of the five book serialization, Cephalos Ward of Eleusis [Small Batch Books, Amherst, Massachusetts]. The facts as therein exposed related to Aigeus’ gross failure by every means and effort to return himself quickly and celibate homeward to Attica.

We may have to make a reckoning, or not, of Aigeus as accursed for his unwanted disobedience to the Oracle of Parnassos’ several directives to him.  It had consequence in the birth of Theseus. Was that child to prove a boon or a bane upon Aigeus? We shall undertake such mythological analysis in interpretation of the Fates having bearing upon Aigeus in our next Bardot Blog.

   
for the Bardot Group

183rd Bardot Blog: The Real Biography of Medeia, Prelude to her Confrontation with the Kreon of Thebes

We left off at some fifteen years before Medeia was able to return to the Isthmus of Ephyrëa and begin the ascendancy that would make her the Supreme Sister over the AcroKorinth or capital high city. We also left off developments abroad the High Kingdom of Kadmeis, future Thebes, and the Kingdom over the Westlands under Pelops the Conqueror, the future Great Wanax over Argolis.

Interactions between Pelops at his designs for Argolis and Labdakos before his ascension to High King over Kadmeis concerne us in this particular posting. They begin facts, circumstances and developments that lead a very long way around sevral convoluted mini-plots to two persons at a confrontation to the death of either of them. It’s a story, of course, that worth all th umping around in a circular manner of exposition.

She’s still our center of gravity and our mistress to 
compel the ill-Fates inherent  our series of Bardot Blogs

Since 1415, Pelops had designs of retribution upon Argolis on account of predatory sons who had cut loose at mayhem and ravage despite their father Elektryon the Great Wanax of the Persëid Dynasty. Those Argives rampageous adventurers throughout the western seas of Greece and along the west coast of Anatolia were called the Elektryonids, but they were just a name for a greater following of thugs of brutally decadent ways. Pelops made his first inroads by an invasion of Elaea, a petty kingdom of the Southland that would become the Peloponnesus as named for the Conquerors. That invasion was followed by many conquests of chieftainates and petty kingdoms alike. They became the Westlands, our term to encapsulate their many names and the leading tribes that contested for sovereign rights to rule them.

We also have reintroduced Labdakos for his preeminent direct lineage from the patriarch Kadmos and the nativist Aionian matriarch Harmonia. A High Prince long repressed at ascendancy by two pairs of co-regents who usurped the High King Polydoros on account of his ineptitude and nigh insanity. His patience greatly tried, Labdakos put himself and a strong force of champions-at-arms out on mercenary hire, initially at attempts to repulse the conquests of Pelops. The two men, both fathers of young and ably militant sons, became friends instead of enemies. Labdakos trusted Pelops motives of ultimate retribution against the Argives. Why shouldn’t he bide his time by expanding his initial conquests to a much stronger basis to perform his ultimate retribution? Weren’t Pelops’ enemies greatly his inferiors, even if he, Labdakos, stood strong and preeminent over their puny coalition under Oinemaos. That High Chief, born to Elaea but much more famous as an equestrian martial-at-arms, was the husband of an Argive Great Princess by a branch royal lineage of the Persëid Dynasty, the Sthenelids. Conceited as a Martial at Horse, he met his match in Pelops who easily crushed the equestrian greatest forces of Oinemaos and his daughter’s husband Myrtilos.

Having both questions answered so easily, to decades went by of friendship between the once would-be foes. Labdakos shared his frustrations at being kept down by his uncle Lykos, his regent and the also the regent guardian over his son Laios. Pelops was patient to earn the trust of the South Highlanders by investing his advanced civilization by Anatolia in that nation race. Never an enemy made, therefore, those Highlanders interposed Pelops advances upon imperial Argolis because of their alpine tribal territories as strong league with each other. Except for Stymphalos, a highland high chief who would repulse any and all avenues of Pelops’ advances eastward upon the Great Argive Plain and Inachus River Basin of Argolis, the Conqueror and his nephew Pleisthenes brought great aspiration, self-determination and prosperity to the South Highlanders. Ruthlessly putting down Stymphalos, Pelops was ready in great force by reinforcements from Anatolia – as abetted navally by both Cretans at provision of troop and horse transports, and by Levantines at logistical resupply into the originally invaded landfall of Elaea.

A Greatest Stroke of Blind Bad Luck…….

His way clear to advance upon Argolis by the best avenue of approach, via a lake district that the Greeks would later call Stymphalia. We are unsure if he made Labdakos a war ally or not, but we know they somehow became conjoined after the death of Stymphalos. There occurred instead, however, a series of events that collectively dashed all prior strategy of Pelops to conquer Argolis from the west. Simultaneously, Labdakos was finally freed from his homeland Kadmeis’ shackles on him by the Regent Lykos, such as to allow him alliance with Pelops if wished to.

The first event in the series was a stroke of great misfortune. Maeonia, the High Kingdom of Pelops’ father Tantalos, was effectively overthrown for his incapacity, or unwillingness, to eradicate piracy and depredation of the Argives upon Anatolia where the near mainland Island of Chios and the mainland great valley which the Maeonians called the Seha River Land (the Greek Kaÿster River Valley, Kah-YEESS-tehr). Pelops’ son, by a teenage years consortship that had ended with his invasion of Elaea, was forced into flight and banishment from Maeonia, to join his father in the west. Pelops was forever cut off from any return to his birthplace, which soon underwent an evacuation of all its armed might at exodus from Anatolia to join the Conqueror’s ranks. Whatever his regrets over his father Tantalos’ demise, he reckoned his ill-Fates as the will of his Anatolian deities to steer them to worst outcomes. Nonetheless, he was delighted to have his son Chrysippos, still a boy, and a most promising strong arm of might once he achieved his late teenage years. For Broteas told his brother Pelops so, and the brothers were men of consummate great foresight.

[While this, so far, is indeed speculation, even mythography, there’s no reason to doubt the original invasion of Pelops and Pleisthenes at a determined war of revenge, such as the Cretans and Levantines were also glad to enjoin themselves to for their own redress of Argive pillage throughout the Greek Archipelago. Argive depredation was constant, ruthless and defiant; it couldn’t be reasoned with. A sustained coalition was also possible to sustain Pelops and his closest relatives, including his own defeated brother from the Anatol, Broteas, who brought his fleeing son and the High Prince Apparent Chrysippos over to the Greek Southland after Tantalos died of most humiliating defeat.

Most certainly plausible, besides, was Pelops easy absorption of this Anatolian force of refugees given the loyalty of his Cretan and Levantine partners at all necessary naval logistics. I also add that the alternative speculations to the Bardot Group are ridiculous, even preposterous, that Pelops invaded the Southland via an overland approach, constantly reinforced from arrears, down the west rim of the Aegean Sea and across the Isthmus of Ephyrëa.]

Again, we emphasize, there’s no provable connection of Labdakos to Pelops by 1395 BC. They could have been allies, but just as likely they were arms-length form each other. Labdakos fought for Kadmeis to realize its greatest extent, including the Lake Midlands of both Orchomenos and Gla. As he fought onward, his early teenaged son Laios joined him to learn Warcraft as a young Martial at Foot, Heavy and Light by armored champions-at-arms and skirmishers, respectively.

…… Followed by Freak Good Luck

Pelops absorbed all the refuge manpower from the Anatol fairly readily, and certainly it proved sufficient force that was motivated to take on the Argives. In 1394 BC, however, his bright Fates gave him a major boon, a calamitous destruction visited upon the Argives of bellicose imperial ambitions.

Other Bardot Blogs have described their ruin by a stupendous feat of naval invasion by Pterelaus, another man alike Pelops and Pleisthenes who must squash the Argives for all the ruin and rapine that they visited upon the Ionian Sea of the Taphians and the Teleboeans. He literally “stole that march” from Pelops. Occurring as early as any ships might dare springtime seas and intemperate weather from the western deep sea, Pterelaus used dugout longboat hulls to run through the Strait of the Messenes, use favorable west winds to cross outside the Gulfs of Andania and Lakonia and pass along the lee shoreline of the Argolic Gulf. His bearing was straight north upon the small Bay of Argos for landfall there where the Inachus River once debouched. In the course of an early morning, Pterelaus swept relentless across the Argive Plain, knowing exactly whom he must assail. That was the manor plantation estates of the then Great Wanax over the Argives, Elektryon, whose imperial powers derived from the merger of two branch royal Houses of the Persëid Dynasty, Houses Elektryon and Mestör.

 

1394 was a date demarcating a fourth generation removed from a visit of a forbear of Pterelaus. He’d come down to Argolis to court the Great Princess Hippothoë, promptly fell in love with her, but then had failed to contest at trials and ordeals to win her in marriage. Failing as victor through a courtship tradition of trials, he became victor by causing tribulation instead. He stole away Hippothoë, along with his dowry to her  undamaged. He kept her person unsullied, and duly settled her as the queen matriarch over his people of Taphia Isle. She must have fallen in love with him before her abduction, even if the Argives vowed themselves to revenge of her rape by all-out pillage of the far west Echinades Isles upon the Ionian Sea. The Taphian sea chieftain’s great grandson was Pterelaus I the Great, and by his legacy from Hippothoë he was a civilized man and a defender of both the Taphians and the Teleboeans, the stock of islanders and nearby mainlanders who composed the forbears of their fusion together as the Cephallenes.

Pterelaus destroyed Elektryon’s many sons, including “sons” ranked militantly with them, the champions-at-arms at relentless depredation both eastward and westward directed, by campaigns of invasion during the fair voyaging season over the Ionian and Aegean Seas. Both under the supposed hegemony of the Cretans, they in fact were no longer so, because Crete had been invaded circa 1450 BC by the Argives and their Carian henchmen off southern Anatolia. The Invaders had stayed after sending home considerable loot. They settled themselves among the Cretan women of great hereditary wealth and estate, managing by 1400 BC to destroy the New Palace Era everywhere of imperial Minoa. They quashed any resurgence of Minoan sea power that was newly underway since the great losses of navy due to tsunami caused by the stupendous eruption of the volcano Thera at the end of the Sixteenth century BC. Pterelaus’ served comeuppance, therefore, proved timely to affect two consequences. Firstly, Pelops no longer needed Crete for his resupply and transported reinforcements from Anatolia. Secondly, the destruction of the Elektryonids was so thorough that Pterelaus engendered a peace upon the seas at large that would endure through the 1370s. As importantly, those newly tamed seas repulsed all Cretan and piratical despoliation within his own seas, even at forfeit as well of the maritime commerce once prevailing. That, though, wasn’t much of anything anyway after the Argive conquests of Crete Island had rendered moot the Great House of Minos.

Pelops and Labdakos Reconsider their Ambitions Apart Each Other

The two mainland warlords, the Conqueror and the Would-Be Conqueror, were passive to Pterelaus’ enormous efficacy. They were happy enough to have their respective sons conjoined to them—Chrysippos had joined Pelops just after 1402 BC, Laios conjoined to his father since 1405 BC. Upon introduction of the two fathers, Laios the older of the two princes saw Chrysippos, fell in love with him and made him his campaign catamite.

Both their fathers were rendered startled and fully awake by Early Greek Mythology’s first instance of overt homosexuality by partners of high royal status. They were promptly sundered from each other. Laios went home to the custody of his great uncle Lykos, who soon sought to straighten him out by offering him to comely priestesses in order who wanted their aspirations of maternity fulfilled. The prince managed well enough to sire a son off of one of them. That mother gave the baby to the barren marriage of Periboea of Sikyon to Polybus, the appointed governor and/o viceroy over that feudatory realm of Argolis. That son sundered from his father and true Kadmeian roots would prove to be Oedipüs, born in 1398 BC. That very fact of his birth shall bring us through this enormous loop of digressive prehistory that shall eventually bring out the Kreon of Kadmeis to confront our subject great heroine Medeia.

Until that time in the late 1380s BC, Chrysippos had gone home only to have to come back to his father. He found his grandfather Tantalos destroyed by a policing action against him, by an appointed warlord of the Great King of the Hatti – just which one we dare not hazard – who was Ilus son-of-Trös. As averred before, Tanatalos had failed to remove the haunts of piracy upon the low country through which flowed the River Kaÿster of the Hatti Seha River Land.

Once back upon the Westland with his father, the two princes found their way back to each other. Oddly, their roles reversed; Laios became the catamite and Chrysippos the active partner at buggering him. They also were son intriguing with each other for their own self-aggrandizement, ostensibly in their father’s behalf as mutually self-interested. For they actively sought to split the Isthmus of Ephyrëa into two divisions. The Upper Isthmus would become annexed to Kadmeis over the objections of the Atticans. The Lower Isthmus Argolis would absorb into its imperium.

Oedipüs and Iokastë

The decade of the 1380s BC would prove pregnant of many illustrious developments that were surprisingly disconnected from each other, or mostly so. I tabulate them…..

1……   Pelops relented his ambitions of conquest to befriend the alpine South Highlanders. He conjoined their tribal lands and primary Brotherhoods in amity, causing them to prosper as their foremost client at the export of the vast wheatland that overlapped the Brotherhoods of Aigialaia, Arkadia and Mantinia. He’d relented all violence by 1390 BC.

2…… Labdakos finally acceded to High King of Kadmeis and began war campaigns to bring the Lake Midlands of future Boeotia under his majesty. He then tried to compel Attica to become his feudatory, but he then was threatened by invading Minyans who took Orchomenos of the Lake Midlands from him. He was only able to consolidate his conquest of the Lands of Aegina, or Low Midlands at above the Eleutherais Woodlands. That great forest buffer territory between Kadmeis and Attica was compromised by Labdakos’ taking of the Lapith Meadowlands, the high and low country under pasturage of the nomadic Lapith people themselves.

3…..    The waves of Invasion of the Minyans displaced many indigenous people, e.g., the Didimoi from the North Plains [future Thessaly], Aeolidans, Aeoleian and Lokrians. They soon were at the brink to absorb the Low Midlands through their campaigns against Labdakos.

4…… After one of their arranged trysts together, Laios was killed while returning over the pass between Argolis and the Isthmus. He was accosted by the prince of Sikyon who challenged Laios and his armed entourage. Laios recognized him as his own son, because his child by a priestess who’d been briefly his mistress had born a baby with a maimed foot. It had left that boy with a halting gait, but otherwise was of no handicap to the boy now grown up and nearing full manhood. Laios attacked the boy, who was Oedipüs, who promptly unhorsed him and clouted him to death. Nobody from the entourage survived except for one coward. That fellow returned to Kadmeis and never would admit until many years afterwards that he’d deemed the unknown Sikyonian insurmountable at duel by combat.

5….. Somewhere in the middle of the 1380s, the adopted son Aegeus and the three sons by Pandion and Pylia removed from rule over Attica the so-called Metionids – the sons and nephews of a usurping uncle Metion – who had deposed Pandion as High Chief of Attica. The removal of the Metionids is called in prehistory the Second Restoration of the Kekropids, since Pandion was an only son of High Chief Kekrops the brother of Metion.

6…… From 1383 BC until 1378, campaigns of reconquest were begun by the fifteen years old Aiakos son-of-Aegina. His mother was a refugee to the Island Oinopë that would be renamed for her. Aiakos’ first mobilization and reconquest obtained his mother’s Lands of Aegina, the Asopos River Valley of the north mainland, and Salamis Island upon the Saronic Gulf. The second campaign year had him retaking the Lake and Upper Midlands as far as the low country mainland that wraps up and around the inland waterway passage that flows past Abantis Island [future Euboea] and into the Aegean Sea. The third campaign reconquered all of Aeoleis and most of Magnesia upon the southern extent of the North Plains of the former Didimoi. The fourth campaign lasted barely to mid-summer when the Minyans and their allied promptly capitulated to Aiakos and his formidable generals called the Strategoi [which means ‘commanders-in-chief’]. Consolidating his martial occupations, Aiakos the following, or fifth year at reconquest, reapportioned to their hereditary matriarchs all the legacy landedness that they had been deprived of. Minyans who had debased those women through compelled marriages were divorced from them. The foremost of them, however, proved agreeable to remarriages to four of the Strategoi and all the other great and powerful martials-at-arms who had regained their lost territories. So, then, for how the five war years at reconquest had been spent, and whereby what was resolved upon the new Great Kingdom of Aeoleis & Minya, a quasi-imperium composed from two High Kingdoms of the Aeolians and Minyans.

7…..    After Laios had died of a perfect murder perpetrated upon his person, his widow, the child bride Iokastë, was put up for remarriage under the supervision of two greatest sacral majesties of the High Kingdom of Kadmeis. One was the Sphinx, a high priestess in representation of the pagan religion of the Levant, a belief system syncretic the new imperial deities Isis and Osiris of Egypt. The Levant changed the names to Astartë and Bäal [Belos in Greek but also Bäal Moloch as finally invoked]. The other supervisory sacral majesty was the brother of Iokastë, the Kreon over the high city Kadmeia, in representation of the aboriginal religion of the five pastoral royal clans settled west Kadmeis, the Spartoi. The Sphinx and the Kreon offered the queen Iokastë to eligible suitors, whom they supposed close relatives to Laios, as attested by honorable parents who could claim that their daughters in holy orders had been brought to child by the late High Prince. They were several by the brief time before Laios had become High King, upon Labdakos’ sudden death in 1395 BC at fighting the Minyans. By this means Polybos and Periboea of Sikyon offered Oedipüs up Kadmeian referees as right royal and eligible to suit for the quen’s remarriage to themselves For he was not a bastard ever deemed, because his parents were wed and sworn under sacrament for a connubial consortship, as between a holy priestess and a high king at hierogamy (sacred marriage). For such was the culture and approved custom of these times that maidens in holy orders could satisfy their wants of a man to actualize their maternal aspirations.

The Sphinx, now daily dressed in sumptuous robes of an Aegypto-oriental opulence would privately entertain each approved suitor, who proved to belong to a large congregation of them, excepting only Oedipüs, whose maimed foot disqualified him in the judgement of the Kreon. Because the congregation of suitors had been rendered so large by the Kreon, the Sphinx countermanded him with an imposition upon each suitor. This then originated the famous Riddle of the Sphinx, which went…..

What life stands its morn four-leg’d,
On two by forenoon,
Yet on three legs strides evenings,
By mind’s wily boon?

For failure to answer the riddle the Sphinx would dispatch that suitor to death by ritual blood sacrifice to the Goddess Hekatë, whom she would have blamed for condoning such an atrocity.

The suitors contemplated the riddle and drew lots over who would solve the riddle. They all agreed the Life had to be that of a bear, a wily and wise beast of great nature. He’s a four-legged animals but easy to mastery of two-legged stride, even if haltingly. Moreover, all knew the bear as facile at three legged stance along rivers where fish run in abundance. A bear has no trouble snatching fish up by his claws at the snatch beneath water.

It took several suitors who failed their returns from the private entertainment of the Sphinx to make the rest of their congregation shudder in dread and remove themselves from any further contestation to earn Iokastë in marriage. Awhile this culmination into genuine terror by the Sphinx, Oedipüs, so goes the myth, had fallen in love with the young woman, the hallowed queen, whom he soon had learned was wed perforce to his murdered father. For she could marry no man else than a Spartoi of royal descent since Kadmos constituted patriarchy. Furthermore, he’d learned, a prophecy had declared that a son of the royal marriage would kill him. Because the only marriage that counted of any importance to him was his to Iokastë, Laios had wickedly put her into seraglio, at total isolation away from him, so that they would not ever have “relations.” When he’d died without any child by her, her own brother the Kreon had kept her isolated and deprived. Meanwhile he publically made himself a tyrant hierophant over the Kadmeians, a regnant status reserved to himself until the resolved remarriage of his sister. Oedipüs stood by at witness of all this horrific royal and fraternal conduct, even while regularly being brought to swoon whenever he had least chance or company of the lonely queen widow.

Finally, when all suitors refused to pursue Iokastë as her consorts aspirant, Oedipüs was able to impose himself upon both the Sphinx and the Kreon. He had Polybos and Periboea to attest that he was a child of a Kadmeian Prince, and therefore had the blood of his Spartoi forefathers. He proved himself an honorable prince, even if adopted, of that royal couple. Furthermore, he had earned the right to petition the Oracle of Parnassos to learn his future. The Sibyl had rendered the prophecy of his happy marriage, but she’d also forewarned him to quit his parents because ill-Fates would have him the killer, perhaps wholly accidentally, of his father. Polybos being a father in all truth of his affection and conduct towards himself, Oedipüs had refused to return to Sikyon and would remain obdurate against any reunion with his adopted parents. But their last words to him was to seek his fortune in Kadmeis, because they were a people worthy of him if he only was able to reveal his many prowesses od a natural royal majesty about his person.

Fortified by those convictions, he was allowed the inner sanctum of the Sphinx. There she poised her riddle with a grim satisfaction already felt. that she had another victim of her guile. Oedipüs, of course, had no problem answering the riddle, because he had no thought to confuse himself about the notional answer about a furry bear. He went instead directly to the core allegory of the riddle.

Man! Man was the Life. Man the beast who crawls four-legged as an infant, assumes his true nature by walking through life two-legged, only to finally resort to a stave or crook for a third leg to support the strength of the two he’d been given. So easy! So obvious!

The Kadmeians were instantly visited with the spectacle of the crazed Sphinx rushing our of her inner sanctum, then running at full speed to hurl herself off a parapet to her death. Oedipus was instantly declared the only proper consort aspirant who could or should earn Iokastë in marriage. The Kreon, left alone to his sole sacral majesty, tried to suppress the acclaim of Oedipüs for his too obvious proofs of merit. Perhaps he even tried to usurp the ascension of Oedipüs to become High King Consort to the Queen Holy Matriarch Iokastë. He had the might of the five patron clans of the Spartoi behind him. The Kreon might also have thought that two separate co-regencies, which had preceded the elevation of Labdakos, a patriarchal High King of extreme male chauvinism, had for all the years of his princedom and kingdom proven the popularity of patriarchal supreme governance.

A decisive man of action, Oedipüs had waited his chances long enough. He would have his bride, and he sensed she wanted to have him. Given plenty of time to take the measure of the Kreon, now to become his brother in law, Oedipüs decided him a bully and a coward when confronted with the proper majesty to which the Kadmeians were attuned. That was a co-regency of husband and wife, both as drawn from legacy royalty established by the founding Kadmos and his native and aboriginal wife Harmonia. Oedipüs and Iokastë would prove salutary of their good Fates, as spliced together in restoration of traditional mating between a man right royal of Spartoi pedigree to the matrilineal heiress by the primordial royal dynasty of the Matriarchal Aionians.

While the Kreon was not reduced from his prerogatives of high religion by his Pelasgian forbears, his sovereignty was shrunk into figurehead capacities of no genuine assertion of power that Oedipüs could not easily countermand. The Kreon tried. He already had mobilized force to take Orchomenos of the Lake Midlands back from the Minyans. He took opportunity of that enemy’s capitulation to Aiakos to wage irrevocable war over the territorial possession. A few years old before Oedipüs superseded the Kreon, that war was proving too costly even if completely worth the ultimate regain of the Lake Midlands.

Again, Oedipüs went directly to the impasse caused by the several years of waged war and the prospect of many more years of hostilities. He entered into diplomacy with the recently acceded Great King Aiakos. Thereby the two recently instated kings came to an agreement that Orchomenos, alike her neighbor the greater kingdom of Magnesia, did not belong to either of them under patriarchal sovereignty. The best regime reserved for both kingdoms was matriarchal, and had been so since primordial times. Best that Aiakos’ High Kingdom of Minya and Kadmeis conjoin as protectors of the matriarchs who would prove the most ostensible rulers over Orchomenos and Magnesia. That would instate them as well as buffer territories over which neither High Kingdom could commit trespass. To assure that particular verity, Kadmeis would accept a Regent Custodian over Orchomenos. Aiakos was allowed to pick the first regnant regent after the two previous kings whom the Kreon had destroyed. The choice proved Erginos, the son of the first slain king, Klymenos. {Both names are metaphorical, meaning “Worker” and “Illustrious Man,” respectively.]

The Kreon, having given himself supreme war powers, would not retire his war or his territorial gains, the western pastoral domains of Orchomenos. Erginos proved a man of action after Oedipüs’ own heart and mind. He mustered force to bring the warfare into the Spartoi’s legacy strongholds in the west of Kadmeis, where a feudatory called Lebadeia (or Plains Phokis). He succeeded at overrunning any resistance, sued for terms of peace, compelling the Kreon to render tribute reparations for ten years (or over a Great Year just less, at 100 solar calendar months) Oedipüs finally empowered to disgrace his brother-in-law, he let his wife Iokastë adjudicate the penance for the tribute liability incurred. She relieved him of all his estates and emoluments by his former stature of sacral majesty. He was banished from the high city Kadmeia to live with his daughter Glaukë. She had recently come into a vast landed inheritance from her late Aionian Mother. She gladly offered her father the comforts of her governance, which composed of several manorial plantation demesnes set south of the Kadmeia by mountainous hummocks that rolled their summits down to waterside upon the Great Gulf and forested borderland upon the Upper Isthmus of Ephyrëa.

The Importance of Glaukë to the Kreon

The Kreon, once become unhappily situated with is daughter, grew to intense hatred of Oedipüs, awhile the complete success of the co-regency of him and his sister became clear. Erginos suspended the tribute taking by reparations owed to him and Orchomenos. The new High King Consort soon proved imitative of good practices by his neighbors, picking up from the example of Nisos Regent of Alkathöos and his nephew, Cephalos the Ward of Eleusis at the creation of caravan circuits along the length of the Asopos River Valley. The young sovereign Nisos took off the zeal of his lad first cousin Cephalos for the new and prolonged peace that Deion, his father, had created as the Chief of Wardens over the borderland Eleutherais Woodlands. That peace even gave that forested wilderness its new and final name by the Greeks, because Eleutherais is feminine gender for “Free” or “Liberated.” Oedipus allowed Cephalos’ circuits to conjoin his own by wagon portage traces and caravan trails reticulating through the Low Midlands of the Asopos River Valley. Oedipus also took opportunity to reestablish Kadmeis footholds and access to sea by the low country that verges upon the Strait of Abantis. He did so by another agreement with Aiakos, whereby the reconquering Lokrians who had seized the west shoreline of the Strait were left to their best means of consolidating their hold upon the former Lapith Lands that reached as far north as the Strymon River’s debouch. Kadmeis’ foothold was also by perpetuation of Labdakos established southern border to New Lokris, by low country just across from a major trade colony of the Levantines, established during the generation after Kadmos and Harmonia had made that oriental race welcome to the Great Land.

We shall describe more particularly these excellent gains by Oedipüs in behalf of his beloved Iokastë. In the meanwhile of seven years to those attainments, moreover, Queen Iokastë proved herself newly or first ever impassioned “for her man.” She also made up her lost time by her biological clock at the reckoning of her nubility and fecundity. Within that span of time, Oedipüs and Iokastë conceived four children—Eteokles, Polyneikes, Antigonë and Ismenë. Twenty-three years would pass until we’ll know them again by the ill-Fates that they brought upon themselves.

A Promise

Our next Bardot Blog conveys to our ever patient readers and fans the fatal thrust of the Kreon’s banishment to his daughter’s landed inheritances. There he fomented every kind of realistic redress of his humiliation that he could bring to bear upon his brother-in-law Oedipüs. Our long way around to this point, therefore, of a fatal confrontation between the Kreon and Medeia, promises by them actions of hideous resolve. We promise a reprise of her inimitable manner of settling potentially violent impasses. We promise a brief end of her lifetime spent past and still passing years upon the Isthmus of Ephyrëa.

 for the Bardot Group

Postscript:

Bardot Blogs about the prehistory of Kadmeis and/or Thebes take the following posting numbers: 125-129, 131-139

182nd Bardot Blog: The Real Biography of Medeia in Re Her Marriage Years upon the Isthmus

While Jason’s Woman
of Convenience & Salvation

While entangling Medeia from the main thrust Classical Greek Mythology that emphasizes the sham heroics of her lover and husband Jason, we have also had to set her birthplace right, and her homeland as well, because they depart from what all of them were in accordance with Early Greek Mythology. Even more importantly, Jason’s origins and his wanderings and adventures away from them always have Medeia the leading protagonist behind whatever he’s doing or about.

Medeia’s landed matrimonial legacies by her
mother Idyia located in the lower corner of this
satellite mapping, where the pinch of the Isthmus. 

We’ve been down this path before and now have to travel it again. We’re where in the historicity of myth that has Medeia born to the Eridanos River Estuary in the far north of the Italian Peninsula. Her father had sired her there off a mother of great family and birthrights by the Isthmus of the Greek Peninsula, at its south shoreline where steep slopes climbing upward from the Great Gulf that cleaves the most part of Greece’s mainland divisions. The mother, Idyia, had fallen in love with a brilliant prospector, Aiëtes, and pursued him awhile his explorations and found opportunities to engender into great wealth by enterprise. Idyia sought no other place in life than to live with and love him until death must sunder her apart from him. Which, it seems, happened too early, but not after fifteen years of her inculcating into her oldest daughter Medeia that she was a very special and deserving  girl who would or even should repair herself back to the Isthmus—there  to take up her ancestral birthrights of most considerable landedness. These then are the life premises of Medeia after her mother died, and why her motivation to return and seek what her heritage could provide her, supposing she could prove herself a gifted person. That she sought through her mother’s devotions, which she made her own, by the obscure veneration and worship of Hekatë.

Medeia also had two aunts, the sisters of her husband, who might not have been ethnic native Greeks, but were women of other great empowerment to hold highest and best stature out of predecessor pre-Hellenes who were Sun God Helios Hyperion’s worshipers. Cirkë [Image at Right] seems to have had an important part in Medeia’ childhood and would also prove tutelary over her teenage years. The other aunt,  the great beauty and most alluring but kinky Pasiphaia (by her name’s oldest orthography, but otherwise Pasiphae) may have become to such a high bride price by the generosity of her brother Aiëtes that she became the exalted and hallowed wife of the last Great Minos over Crete and Imperial Minoa (the so-called King Minos II son-of-Lykastos). But all said about the aunts remains speculative cogitation, even if Cirkë taught and invested niece Medeia with arts of sorcery and pharmacology. Both of them were pretty much the same great crafts, except that sorcery was attended by prayer to Hekatë and incantations whispered by steam into the brews and stews that were steeped with all sorts of botany cooked in pots or upon broils. By Cirkë, therefore, Medeia became mostly about unguents, potions/potients, pastes/plasters/poultices and imbibed drugs that affected great potency upon whomever they were applied.

With respect to Pasiphaia, we can only say for a very lovely woman whom Medeia grew up to match in most respects, including great beauty that was regarded horrific, threatening and too often killing (i.e., “Oh, Medeia! You’re killing me). Aunt and niece never got close to each other, but they were completely aware of each other’s progress through life as they aged both well and sometimes maliciously from positions of great command over lesser humanity.

We jump back to Jason and Medeia as Wed 

Utterly remorseless about the pot boil that she’s caused Pelias of Iolkos to bask in by way of rejuvenating himself to a surest death, Medeia was immensely glad to get away clean from a perfect murder. It was blamed upon the victim’s daughters, who had treated their father at Medeia behest as any old guest subject to their hospitality to give bath. Before a scrumptious dinner could be served afterwards, in celebration of the promised feat of youthfulness, our shrewd and sly sorceress had easy avenue to run away scot free.

As usual, however, Jason stumbled his way into her best laid plans to escape and return to her birthrights upon the Isthmus. Horrified, even as he could claim himself Pelias only just successor, he stood fast in remorse and abdicated those claim rights away on thought that they would earn him mercy as Medeia’s accomplice at regicide. No chance that, though, as Jason’s next thoughts must have been. Medeia reminded him that they’d wasted enough time at Iolkos if his only aspiration had turned from a wish to become its king had turned into a wish  to be better off by depending upon his wife, as he always had as her lover all the long way down from her father’s lands to her mother’s homeland. Jason could do nothing but imperil himself at his adventures, from which he emerged intact solely on account of her survival skills to have both of them spared.

The Bardot Group departs most mythologists in its belief that Jason and Medeia were never captives of Pelias in Iolkos. They began their marriage after the aborted usurpation of the uncle and king. We have few doubts that she was impassioned of him, because that was the quality of Jason, his great appeal to women as a true prince of the real quality. Still he had forfeited away a chance to be a king over a realm of considerable promise. That chance he could not ever again recover from the Isthmus. For we are also of the absolute conviction that the Isthmus was only the land bridge of crossing by two mainland divisions of the Greek Peninsula. Its whole region was called Ephyrëa (our chosen orthography for that toponym of several alternative spellings). The region moreover was a theocratic matriarchate composed from a high sisterhood which dominated an eminence called the AcroKorinth in the south and all of future Megaris in the north. Men such as Jason could only earn appointed high office, the highest of which was Phylax or Keeper, either of those titles meaning Home(land) Protector.

We do not know who was the Phylax before Jason and Medeia returned to  her mother Idyia’s ’s matrimonial landedness just below the AcroKorinth. Amidst the secular rural governesses of the Lower Isthmus, the future Corinth, there might not have been a champion-at-arms to protect them or keep them safe and secure. Upon the Upper Peninsula there was the brilliant Pandion, the former and deposed High Chief of Attica. He was the husband of the governess over Alkathöos, Pylia, whose father may have been the appointed Phylax until he was banished away to the coastal kingdoms that composed the Lands of the Messenes, eventually Messenia at southwest of the Peloponnesus. We can easily rationalize why Pandion was a most befitting Phylax, but if not of that appointment, he was a man of greatest influence inside and outside of the Isthmus and its two footholds upon both mainland divisions separated by its land bridge.

Medeia had few, if any, problems taking up her landed inheritances by her mother Idyia. Whatever the violence she’s incurred while escaping away from her father Aiëtes, they could not taint her right of governance and rehabilitation of rich woodland well exploited, considerable tilth for crop cultivation, extensive low country for pasturage of livestock, and finally, extensive ports and landfalls to serve the maritime western trades upon the Great Gulf. Medeia made a sufficient good start while also turning Jason into her land steward. Futile as a landsman, Jason proved mostly good for siring children, of whom two or four are cited by most mythography that still survives about the marriage. In all other seasons than the fair growing climes for land cultivation, Medeia proved assiduous at her devotions to Hekatë. She had semi-tropical nigh to rain forest upon the loamy slopes of Ephyrea, where to find or propagate the exotic crafts of botany. Upon her found or developed specimens she depended, for both her sorcery and pharmacology. Providence was kind to her, and seemingly tutelary as well. It didn’t take many years by the marriage term of a great year, of 100 solar months so defined, to climb the hierarchy of secular and sacral high governance over Ephyrëa. She eventually became, and had attained by the late 1380s BC, the role of supreme sister over the AcroKorinth. Upon that eminence sprawled many small resident colleges of high sisters and ennobled postulants. They were greatly coveted by pilgrims to their famous shrines, wherein the pilgrims got to cover lustily the comely sisters of holy orders. Many a young man was initiated to the good sport of love making upon the AcroKorinth, Not that Medeia was in any role of Grand Madam.

By that decade, too, her past upon the Eridanos River Estuary and Valley caught up to her, even if  most propitiously. He father had died a tycoon, also an acclaimed explorer who had cleared a vast valley territory and established a great agronomy upon it. Her younger sister Chalkiopë was alive and reigning there, and in her prime years. She was happily married to an excellent man, another foreigner much better than Jason at enterprise, energy, application and potency—Phrixos. By him she had born five sons, and they became known to Medeia and the Isthmus as the Brothers Phrixid, or, because of her kinship to them, the Phrixid Nephews. They became reconciled to Medeia  in any case, because she afforded them the landfalls and ports by which they could grow a maritime commerce of far outreach westward. It looped by several circuit itineraries of great lengths, the first of which went west bound from the Isthmian shoreline to the end of the Great Gulf; the second from the Maw, or outlet, of the Great Gulf to Scheria Island; and the last by two circuits from there at across to the Silent Land (Italy), both by way of safely unknown itineraries that went as far as the Eridanos River Estuary. The Phrixid Nephews were men for such large seascapes and the very large and extended enterprises. We also theorize their far upstream endeavors into earliest known Umbria. Visiting the Isthmus by rotation of their long cruises, they found in their aunt Medeia the youth and aspirations to match their own. She abetted their many divisions of enterprise and for them established small sized industries by craftworks and  manufactories of raw materials. By the imported resources of the Phrixids she enabled luxury re-exports, in particular the apparel finery steeped in lovely dyes of her concoction.

One major import from the Phrixid Nephews to her low country demesnes  was a special prize breed of sheep. For the legendary Golden Fleece has never been anything more than allegorical of a ram sire that Aiëtes discovered within the reach of the River Eridanos. Not that we dispute the belief that there was a divine ram of gilt metallic fleece, or even that Aiëtes might have found a large herd of ewes as well. By allegorical, therefore, we mean  to emphasize, we stress the economic premise and worth of those most desirable sheep. First, most aboriginal breeds of sheep did not bear thick coats of woolly fleece for annual shearing, washing, fulling and spooling off the distaff into woolen twine. Sheep wore a lot of kemp, which means a coat of long silky fur from the neck to the hindquarters of the animal. In winter the sheep regenerated an undercoat of fleece, but the yield thereof were sparse by means of combing it out. The Golden Fleece, by contrast was massively woolly and curly. Thickets and ruggedly hirsute terrain tugged and tore away that fleece over the long grazing season of the sheep.

The Phrixids developed the breed to a bright saffron color by its abundant fleece, or for shearling hides off flayed lambs. The coats retained a very gilt and bright appearance. Otherwise, rams and ewes yielded thick shearing piles of a muddy brown wool, which only upon cleaning through expertise with detergents  – in part to Medeia’s considerable ken for their chemistry of concocted cleansing agents – revealed both wool and twine of a very desirable saffron. That then was the worth of the bales of wool exported out of the Eridanos River Estuary, for shipping in bulk down to the Isthmus during the onsets of every New Naval Year and every fair voyaging season that followed.

There is also sound reasoning behind our theory of the river valley’s yields of wrought iron ingot. It sourced to plentiful ferrous ore repositories located within the piedmont over which crests the Alps of overlook the Eridanos/Po River of Italy. The ore once smelted and forged to the temper of wrought iron, as smithied from molten slag, did not yield a metal sufficiently “steeled” to compete against best alloyed bronze, but what came out of the molts and molds was highly prized for the fashioning of tools and expendable arsenal such as arrow heads and spear heads. Iron was even valued highly as ornament of women.

Of course, we wish we know a lot more of what the Eridanos River might have yielded to the head of the Ionian Gulf for export outbound into its lower circuit itineraries. We can only hazard that there was much commerce that the Phrixids originated from within the estuary for outbound export.

Improvident Jason 

Medeia didn’t know Jason as a ne’er-do-well for many years, despite that he was constantly getting into troubles that soared far above his head. She alone rescued him from them, leaving nary nothing for the stalwart heroes aboard The Argo to do. After the murder of uncle-Pelias at Iolkos, he no longer could afford those heroes’ upkeep, so he dismissed them to their homelands before he could starve them or cause them to revolt against his errant leadership. So many of that crew were greatly older or greatly younger men than Jason, whereby two strong clues become apparent: (1) the Greeks were idiots about the lifetime dates of their heroic forebears; and (2) what survives from Apollonius of Rhodes shows he barely knew who they were, or living where, or when alive.

Without any new adventure before him, Jason languished in the plain luxuries served him as a consort to an Ephyrean woman of highest stature and many sacral prerogatives. Medeia delivered what he could not, but we have no doubt that she was glad of his carnal comforts of herself and for his gift of children to their marriage.

He, however, chafed, even as Medeia became exalted to offer him the prize appointment of Phylax, or entitled Keeper of Ephyrëa. She was offered the opportunity of the appointment when the brilliant Pandion of Alkathöos grew old as the widower of his greatly esteemed wife Pylia over the Upper Isthmus. There was also Skirön/Skeiron, the exceptional father of Endeis at this time of the 1380s when she was betrothed as a small girl to Aiakos son-of-Aegina, the destined Great King over two high kingdoms (Aeoleis & Minya) and kingdoms (Magnesia and the Low Midlands) of the eastern north mainland. Whether Jason was an appointee of last resort, the elevation to Phylax did no more than attract the attention of a nefarious miscreant by Ephyrëa’s near neighbor, the High Kingdom of Kadmeis [later Thebes].

This evilly intentioned man was the entitled Kreon of Kadmeis by lineage of the native Spartoi, or five patron clans of realm since the founding patriarch Kadmos (1560 to 1515 BC, est.). Classical Greek Mythology has many Kreons of the name/title encapsulated in a single man of Kadmeis irrespective his entitlement to lead the religion of Kadmeis. The title had meaning tantamount to Chancellor, or Chief Advisor, or Sacral Regent. A Kreon was solely subordinate to his liege sovereign, the matriarch and empress over the Kadmeians. In this instance of his introduction into the life of Medeia, the Kreon was the much older brother, or a young uncle, of Iokastë. We must content to believe him her brother by their father Menoikeus, a supposed grandson of high King Pentheus descended directly from Kadmos and Harmonia.

What riled the Kreon and incented his miscreancy was the established fact that marriages of the sacral matriarchs by the Aionian royal dynasty were compelled to be mating of them with the Spartoi branch royal lineages. Thereby such intermarriage, incestual or not, the wife became the euryanassa, or empress, and the husband became High King & Consort—whereas and whereby both as a pair ruled co-regently by very precise divisions of powers either royal, judicial or sacral. Just such a high royal marriage had reduced him from a sole Regent of autocratic empowerment to high priest in a figurehead capacity over the religion adapted to oriental provenance by the Levant, such as Kadmos had brought west upon settling the Ismenos Stream and north mainland Asopos River Valley.

His story goes as follow, from his finding himself distraught to his first approaches to Jason, another man who believed himself in reduced circumstances.

The Kreon son-of-Menoikeus

Born to believe in his ultimate ascendancy through youth to become a High Prince, or just as was his father Menoikeus, he came to his name/title in lieu of Prince in odd fashion and way. His great grandfather, High King Pentheus, had opposed the new religion of dissolute pagan passions by the Wine God Dionysus, just as his cult was diffusing rampantly down the north mainland and into Kadmeis. Of great appeal to women because of its means to them to dissent from the official belief system instated by Levantine Kadmos, the so-called Dionysian Mysteries were maniacal festivities whereby believers gave themselves over the carnal binges, riotous dancing and crazed frenzy. Meant to be held in strictest privacy, deep in the woods, the mysteries were very dangerous if in any way interrupted. Pentheus had ruled the religion’s practices illicit and all worshippers subject to banishment. Learning that his own mother would be disobedient to him, the High King snuck up on the festivities to assure his mother was compliant with his edicts. He was caught at such covert observation.

The festivities interrupted, the participating women, or maenads (Lat.), formed into a mob to tear him apart, feast upon his genitals and otherwise turn him into raw meat. Classical Greek Mythology asserts that he was mistaken by the crazed women as some wild beast, and embraved by the cult mysteries, the maenads were induced by the offended God to butcher it/him as a sacrificial victim for his “Feast Bacchannals.” The myth brought abruptly to an end as his limbs torn from his body, [Image Above] we know no more about Pentheus’ paternity above his descendants, or even about his son, the sire of his grandson Menoikeus. There;s only a a long period of two regencies, by which the ancestral Spartoi asserted themselves over the subdued matriarchy of the Aionian matrilineal dynasty. So there’s a leap through time to and until Labdakos’ branch royal lineage comes to prime ascension, as distinct and supreme over the royal lineage inherent those two dominating regencies. And out of that leap, as well, Menoikeus appears proves the obscure father who sired the euryanassa presumptive, Iokastë, and her no-name older brother, the future Kreon. By the leap in time, too, she became the hereditary sacral matriarch, “the soul of the imperial lineage by Harmonia” so to speak, but Iokaste’s circumstances every way otherwise are a greatly reduced majesty that threatens her person with outright debasement.

 

Labdakos, Regent Lykos and Laios

High Prince Labdakos was under constraint of two co-regencies for most of his youth, but he became free of the Lykos, his last imposed guardian, at last . He early proved a great warlord and bided his time until his rightful accession at leadership over mercenaries, by whom he contributed well and mightily to petty kings on both sides of the Great Gulf. While we never get to know his young wife, by whom their son Laios, his partnership in important war coalitions brought him finally to the Westlands upon the south mainland of the Greek Peninsula. The occasion was just after 1415 BC, after the recent brutal defeat of a petty king of exalted marriage to a High Princess born to imperial Argolis. Of the name Oinemaos, that king thought himself unconquerable as a champion charioteer and supreme martial-at-arms over troops of Horse. His cause of war was repulse of an invasion of Pelops High Prince of Maeonia (Anatolia), although he was ostensibly still beneath his young uncle, High Prince Pleisthenes. In 1416 BC, Labdakos was likely in his middle thirties, having been a warlord ever since 1430.

Here I pause to curtail the length of this essay of years from Labdakos in 1416 to the Kreon’s assertions within the 1380s BC. The context of the warfare abroad the Westlands was complex, entangled by intrigue, and a meeting of several future dynasts. Bardot Books has much to say about them, having finished a draft to become a published proto-history that centers upon and throughout the south mainland that would eventually be named the Peloponnesus. Suffice to say here, again by coerced hiatus, that the recent brutal put down of Oinemaos brought the Westlands to a consolidation of its conquered realms, whereby the martial prowess of Pelops in particular was about to become able to befriend and make vital inroads into the domains of the South Highlanders. They would receive his uncle Pleisthenes’ outreach by diplomacy very warmly, even to accepting treaty with him by means to have their nation race feel less isolated and much more determined of contribution to mutual commerce purposes. They were awed by the young Pelops, because he was so devastating while martially afield; but he was also on a mission foremost to avenge homeland Maeonia for the south mainland Argives’ depredations overseas. By the 1400s BC Pleisthenes had become King Polyxenos in connation of his Anatolian origins, for the title and name means idiomatically “King Many Ways Foreign” out of petty kingdoms of Anatolia in fealty to his brother, Pelops father Tantalos. Pelops had become the High Prince and Martial Governor over the consolidated Westlands. Since  the defeat inflicted upon Oinemaos’s Elaeans, and after nearly thirteen years at quelling forces that would repel him, he’d become dubbed Pelops the Conqueror, regardless that he would be, after 1394 BC, resting at arms and pursuing instead deep diplomatic endeavors with the imperial Argives.

Pelops the Charioteer, Conqueror of the Westlands from 1415 to 1400 BC,
after which he became the second King Polyxenos

So, then, we’ve brought this Bardot Blog to a halt. Labdakos shall relent any warfare with Pelops and befriended him instead. There have been already many Bardot Blogs about Kadmeis from the times of Kadmos to this point where we are now—when Pelops was a still young High Prince but also the father of a son born in his teenage years, a little boy whom he’s left behind him in Maeonia of Anatolia. Labdakos is the father of a son Laios who’s about to come into his early teenage years when we address them both in our next posting.


for the Bardot Group

 

Postscript: Bardot Blogs about the prehistory of Kadmeis Thebes take the following posting numbers: 125-129, 131-139