189th Bardot Blog: About Leda at Youth, in Second Part

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[This highly allegorical portrait of Leda as favored by Zeus in disguise of a seductive swan comes from an earlier myth that likely was typical of many about royal maidens who took immortal lovers during the Idyllic Age that followed the newly created world by Gaia. The sexual tryst was more likely apt to coetus between the River Acheloos and Leda, by a myth that does not survive.The mythologist Robert Graves thought Leda was a Moon Goddess of a cult or kind who received a hallowed man to her lap by a lost ritual or festival season that rewarded him her maiden intimacies. The fallacy of muchy later Classical Greek Mythology is the oblivious imposition of an Olympian Deity upon a mortal maiden whose ancestral forbears and known venerations lay with the hallowed and primordial river gods, over whom the Goddess Beasts Wild and the Huntress Maiden in Duality reigned supreme. Leda, incidentally, is supposed to have been the last maiden with whom Zeus had coetus, even though that distinction is reserved to Alkmene, the mother of Herakles.]

Leda’s Teenage Years of Much Ambivalence by Aetolian Culture & Heritage

Leda certainly did not learn of her ambiguous and quasi royal status of maternal grant legacy by any indications of her daily existence – not until afterwards the looting and rapacity of Arakyndia. Orphaned of her mother, virtually abandoned by her foreign father (Thestios or Thyestes), the tribal coalitions of the Aetolian Brotherhood failed to teach her the traditions of her maternal birthrights which suddenly rendered her to chieftain leadership over her Arakyndians. New tribeswomen, many of them crones, the Arakyndian huntsmen adopted from the greater Aetolian Brotherhood of the Highlanders. They failed, however, to bond themselves to the many orphaned children such as Lëda. They did not know enough to treat Eurythemis’ only surviving daughter with any special deference –and that was indeed a most unusual duty to neglect.

Or, as Lëda was remembered for remarking, “That early neglect of my native status, I must suppose, has some bearing on the free wield of mind by which I’ve come to think about most everything that newly surrounds me. I did all that I was told to do, but I also remained stubborn about whatever I most wanted. Submission for the sake of my occasional mulishness arose from the special freedoms of an upbringing largely ignored by my elders, who please remember, were not many for surviving the rapacity visited upon us… As all the children did, I provided day by day to communal larder, always without stint. I did so amply, was praised, but I was only silently approved and otherwise left to my preoccupations of the low country west of the lake and the upstream course of the Achelöos River.

“And yet there was also joy by those years which followed my tribe’s calamity nigh to its oblivion. A few days after the pirate raid, the friendly ships returned. The Elders assembled a full tribal council meeting before them, our audience the commands over the visiting great galleys then at landfall.

“We children peeked from the edge of the firelight upon that vast assembly, drawn by the leaping flames above the several large campfires. I was still too young to recall much that was discussed. More strange names, places, incomprehensible explanations. That and smaller convocations lasted several days, nonetheless. Neighboring tribesmen arrived as large delegations to participate in that parlay. Some general agreement involving all there was achieved. The entire Brotherhood was obligated to serve my diminished tribes in lieu of our men who had died. They must provide from their hunts of the highlands, but they engaged the seafarers to protect all lowland that lay seaboard to the Great Gulf.

“The crews embarked to sea again, bearing toward their Isles. Their departure was followed six days later by the landfall of three great galleys. Their commander was a much older man than those previous whom the tribe had been accustomed to seeing as our visitors. The three young captains accompanying them seemed very dashing and manly appealing. So for why we readily granted them our own highest honors as early as well met. We gave their king every deference of the title. He had then held many small meetings with our leading huntsmen, many familiar to him as guides to his own hunts of years past throughout Arkanania. Phratry leaders all, they brought their discourse away to our senior elders upon the highlands. The old man didn’t seem so old after he deliberated at length surrounded by many spectators. He spoke with authority our language, and he was easy at the parlay by using it.

“The old man departed, and all of us then still at summer encampment upon the river felt most relieved and assured. From then on, there were always the friendly ships at patrol of the shallows, floating offshore and sometimes by angling upstream through the River’s marshlands estuary. They were few ships in number, however, and always rotating their crews at layovers ashore – as though to deliberately create an impression of inconsequential numbers. Companion ships, roughly a third again of the number ashore, could be seen sailing off the far channel, along the Great Gulf’s south shore of high palisades. But those ships always disappeared away by nightfall.”

The old man, of course, proved to be Arceisius, a naval high chieftain rendered old and overly fatigued while his ships’ constancy at unlading provisions to his warrior war allies far down the Isthmus. Almost holy to Leda’s memory and to the Elders of her tribe, she as much as said so to me:

“Whatever he did for us, it was splendid, ample and enduring. Routines around the ships, new each day but repeating visits that made them easily known to my child-mind. Their crews made a continuous playtime for all of us. Before all that safe happiness, however, there had arisen an autumn day, not very different from any other of that wonderful season, when we went just as excited as usual to the shore. All the really good fun and company was always there for us! But that one day we found it naked of any warships! None were cruising offshore either. Horrified, we had run back to the Elders. I only slightly lagged the forerunners and thereby saw the dread which swept unanimously over their countenances.

Next the deep throats of blaring ram horns echoed off hillsides in summons of the hunters off the alpine steeps. Sharp whistling peeled through the high grassy marshes, bringing down shrill responses from the upland vales and glens. The Elders soon mobilized most of our tribesmen, then immediately sent them off to outposts upon the few higher embankments at River’s very end. Our men hid in preparedness wherever best perspectives seaward and across the vacant spits. Our oldest girls, too young to have been among those many stolen and enslaved, forever lost, hastened inland to gain the highest ground above the Lake. I and other smallest children hid in the high grass, where the terrain served us good head starts from which to scramble away at our own escapes.”

“Sure enough, a large gathering of strange ships covered the south and western horizons just as dusk began to deepen into nightfall. The remaining huntsmen had deployed far back of our watchers, awaiting alerts, ready for a feeble but brave defense of the pathways leading inland, a long way from the shoreline. We then waited and spent out that sleepless night. We children were all dreadfully afraid of what might jump out at us suddenly from the darkness.”

“There had been no fighting that night, at least wherein our tribesmen were involved. Those alien ships had made the mistake of using the full moon to light their next intended pillage. A soundless sea battle had occurred offshore. In the morning, the entire tribe assembled in support of the tired shoreline watchers. All they and I saw, however, were capsized boats and bodies of men bestrewn about the shallows and hummocks of eel grass. Our huntsmen scavenged the shore for survivors. In the course of that day, they shot by spear or arrow such pirates as they found had waded ashore. Those marauders had bitten the alluring bait of our desolate shore, only to be devoured by a far more powerful predator off the sea. That silent deliverance made famous the name of Arceisius-bai among the Arakyndians. To us he’d been the Goddess’ chosen deliverance. The great galley class over whose warships he commanded took the name of Loutrökai. It means to us both `redeemer’ and `redresser,” thus both savior and avenger by a taking of two meanings.”

“The constant presence of the friendly ships had then begun anew and for all days of my childhood afterwards. Had these crews not been so special in appearance, and their faces so constantly changing, I would have thought them from my own people somewhere near or around the lake. But they were a mankind wholly apart us for all their generosity. Thereby they were always most special to my heart and best spirits. I speak for all of us to say so, but only I have abidingly cherished them as a favorite mankind.”

Lëda met a bright and confident lad, Laërtes, among the apprenticed command echelon two years later, when she was ten years old. I splice her commentary into what his father Arceisius told by many stories that he said about her to Odysseus, when he was a little boy. So Leda’s subsequent years as a growing girl can begin now as my own rough composition by such a reliable source:

Leda at Maturity and Ascendancy

By Leda’s ninth year, she had fully knew who the visiting sailors were and against whom they acted as constant sentinels. They were men from the Far Isles, a mankind dwelling beyond the safe reach of such log boats as they had constructed for her tribesmen for them to float and paddle upon Achelöos Estuary and deep sloughs that fed eastward off the river course into Lake Trichonis. These sailors became the stalwart protectors of her tribe, which bonding of gratitude for the Arakyndians’ returned the constant provisions to them as though sutlers of the wanted resupplies that the Highlanders could not produce by themselves. Their own resupply of our needs was always precise to timing of direst seasonal wants, such as before the migrations of prey and awhile the eel and fish runs only trickled, preventing their swarming. Still, so numerous were the ships at continual deep-water patrols awhile the crews ashore took turns at churning up the shallow spits for shellfish.

Agrinion eventually become a major cache point for supply convoys running the Great Gulf eastward and back from the Isthmus. The crews could take rest, make repairs, or conduct training at arms for rotating crews put ashore. The upper sloughs served containment of scrub, a kind of shrubbery dense by straight branching that proved ideal for cuttings of their hardwood arrow shafts. Our hunters provided the necessaries to fletching them for whole arsenal of quivered arrows thereby made, even as spears, too, were fashioned from light and pliant woods that we thought useless for anything except the weaving of long weirs emplaced across sloughs to contain the fish runs back and forth by migrations far upstream. Arakyndia was very bountiful that way, but there were many provisions we best liked that her denizens could not grow or gather for themselves.

During all those years, indeed over her whole decade grown from a skinny tall girl to one of middle teenage years, the tribe benefited wholesomely from the strife so far away to the east. There was also the mostly unreported strife within the south mainland where the brotherhoods of our tribesmen crossed the Leap over the Great Gulf to join the alpine haunts throughout the Southland. Very near to us, the traces up and down or traversing steep slopes that other alpine seaboard, meant a different life for our hunters from ours high along the low country marshlands. Most every season except the onset of the heavy rainfall of late autumn allowed us the Achelöos’ ample proofs of his bounties to us, by bearing of fruits and nuts draping broad boughs of low growing trees.

We children learned to shake off the offerings hung from lowest and densest boughs. Making an efficient and productive progression through them as we grew in height and strength, of orchards we had not a least awareness—so naturally bountiful was the varying harvesting of fruits found upon any elevation above us. Such mindless abundance also matured in proper season throughout the many levels of low elevation densities of shrubbery. Everywhere yield something delicious for us to eat.

It was neither farming nor orchard keeping in any deliberate sense of needing our labors. The crews who helped us with the garnering marveled that our low country burgeoned as though for granted ever since the Eidyllion, an old time past but still lingering for making itself most varying as manifest to us and the seafarers. They marveled and wondered. Seasons always high yielding, so also amply sufficient and appreciated for the upland tribes to gather into their baskets until cached as high heaps and stores stacks. All we needed to fashion was the stacked webbing to keep them above the ground or for preservation under shade from high midday heat. Such was our only demanding labors until the highland drovers brought down their long donkey strings to bear the stores back to their alpine wintertime larders. Our vast low country was a landscape of many bounties brought to sums for all to praise, each ample of some kind of good food that seemed to constantly replenish itself without our any assistance except for the picking and racking of the produce.

The few surviving women of the tribe, among whom neighboring kinswomen who’d gradually married the Arakyndians’ few young widowers, cut and carried wood baulks down to the River’s outflow into the Great Gulf. A steady denuding of the virgin coastal woodlands ensued at loss of the well forested barrier ranging the high interior above and far behind the Achelöos estuary. All of that wasn’t so impressive until you trekked high to look down upon all our low country from far perspectives. Only then, during such late season treks to the meets high above us could we appreciate that we were in some oldest created existence, most certainly an Idyll.

Those tribesmen and their women, when not dispersed at hunting together, laid out by every day rotating turnouts the broad fire berms against each next evening arrival of either large or small groups of ships. Sometimes amassed ashore were twenty great galleys at any one time. Between such dense landfalls of crews they made a concerted enterprise of firing char. For among the arriving crews there were their smiths and forgers. Their labors compensated the Arakyndians with the tools of hunt or scavenge amidst the ever abundant rills and sloughs laying inland behind Agrinion. The crews were aimful and quick to spear catches from them.

Tribesmen, most of them from the clans living at very high elevations –by high hill tops or settlements just below tree lines of mountains. They would descend to the shore at the same time as char was being bunkered and amassed once cooled down. They brought down big game of many kinds – deer and elk for the greatest part, but often ibex, boar or bear. The young children would spend their days at gathering fat frogs, eels, eggs and shellfish before they dug down deep into their winter nests. All at abundance ended with the rutting season throughout the far Oak lands which conjoined Aetolia and Arkanania as though one broad high savannah.

The yields of last hunts we contributed to cauldrons for savory stews prepared against the evening feasts for the visiting crews. They stayed late beyond their seasons of seafaring less we suffer any peril of sudden trespassers upon us. The older girls brought down fresh water from upriver pools, using our two-wheeled handcarts to convey the filled bladders containing fresh water. Thereby they replenished the tall clay pithoi and stout amphorae which the sailors provided them [for stores containment]. Our boys brought in game birds off the flyway season; our oldest became able to gather in upland bird coveys or waterfowl densely afloat ponds as wholly unsuspecting of them.

So they provided to us well, as meet to their abilities to make takings of marsh partridge, ducks, geese and quail for the most part of the hunting parties’ yields. The sailors themselves would often make a morning of practicing at their bows by shooting the larger birds afloat across the calms or even at their scrambles into full flight. Such was the enormous abundance of prey a-flight and afloat within Leda’s bounteous aviary.

So Aetolia’s Agrinion rapidly emerged as a trading outpost capable of fostering very large population as transient to the landings along the jutting spits aimed seaward. There had to be many changes born of new stresses by the constant density ashore of natives and seamen alike. Accordingly, our tribal social order must partly transform as well.

Leda and Laertes: Later Years Closest Friends but Never Lovers

Or, as Leda would explain to Laërtes, such recurring mass provision continued into the years when they could share separate insights together about those times of supposed great turmoil. His visits to the Estuary became frequent; they looked forward to being with each other. For he replaced his father at presence among her people, even at his age only twelve. He clearly commanded over his landed ships, in part to whole fleets of them become leading providers to convoys gliding away to the Isthmus and the South Mainland allies of what Laërtes called the Great Gulf League. Leda would learn at last from him about the Bond of Four Wanakes. Supreme over their people, they were loosely concerted together as the prospects of most vicious warfare became ever brightening, more hopeful, even assuring of final reversals of enemies. Mostly, though, Laërtes could learn as an enthralled listener all of Leda’s recall of what he’d missed of typical youthful pastimes of grown girls and lads as arrived to their earliest ‘tween years.

What he next tells about them, however, was Leda’s rendition by much later decades, when she was longtime a mother and he become a father of a nearly grown boy:

“My memories as a skinny girl of fourteen are dim about our tribesmen; because they were mostly away on long hunts. A few bands were always about, but only for so long as it took them to truss a new spear, fletch new arrows or make other preparations for the high traverses and by-ways of their remotest alpine hunting grounds.

“But I slowly perceived how the tribesmen stayed more frequently ashore our low country. They were more and more engrossed each year in the deliberations which attended our old crones’ trade exchanges with the commanders off visiting flotillas. Those elders began to stand back in silence, usually approving rather than proposing, as though to concede to those unusual times of pervasive warfare everywhere some required tribal re-ordering which favored our huntsmen warriors over our tribeswomen. The elders allowed the hunting party chieftains more self-initiative.

“I also had become less important to them or to what began to preoccupy them next as rumor whispered from everywhere that the Long Turmoil’s conflicts were causing retreats of the Minyans and Argives everywhere the former lowland occupations. They were being killed, and their hireling warriors were deserting them.

“Oddly, the men became increasingly surly, even ugly of temper, in consequence of that trend. Many already had bad habits borne of the new powers granted to our men as guides of armed forays during the middle years of warfare. They awakened my first awareness that I was not going to be happy among my people. Only the alpine tribes’ women could speak for young maidens ahead of me in age. But they were not happy either with their situation. Lads near my age grown older, once pleasant young men taken for granted, they became bullies over our simmer meets. The severe conduct of the older tribesmen towards all our hard working women alienated me from them. I could do nothing of honor for my Arakyndians without their unjust reproaches of me as overly haughty and bossy, as though I was pretending as a queen.

“Such discomforts as I was made to feel when within our own men – be they lads, swains or young men at chase – heightened my bonds of strong allegiance to the crews arriving daily off the ships for nighttime layovers.”

“I still retained a loyalist’s devotion to our whole Genos of Highlanders, of course. Why that heightened I’ll shortly explain. A nation race that was trans-alpine was our attitude of unity, itself a conditioning from my mother as a little girl, I must suppose; but just how I gained sense of race of many tribal nations, I cannot recall. It was just a feeling instilled that we were all the same, except that our women seemed so strong and our men weak despite for matters of weight, height and other physical virtues. I was born to feel empowered and free for best considered ways ahead. I understand and accept what I learned, felt no shame in thinking our men far short of the seamen Islanders. They have done so well by me. I could never ever quite lose that deep affection for their common rankers, even to knowing, not merely sensing, a whole people at constant selfless generosity to peoples their kind, whether or not. Even if my love today finds strongest infatuation for the lowly farm people of this, my fated land of Lakonia, I still can remember how sailors and oarsmen made me thrill for beholding every new face of them at the end of a long day’s afternoon at toils in their behalf. Their gratitude didn’t make or daily chores feel like any toil whatsoever!”

Another time she opined further:

“I’ve the good fortune to have been easily cherished by all of our small tribes around Lake Trichonis. My love is reward of a most appreciative folk, also a learning of generous natures, but of such a sensibility to know as well the deprivations of love and self-dignity far more severe than mine have ever been, or ever were, while an orphan of my mother.”

Lëda, I must observe here, hadn’t anything much pleasant to say about her father Thestios. Uncaring of her, seemingly foreign born although he was supposed a denizen of first worth among the Plain Phocians, our eastern neighbors of Mount Parnassos’ northern and eastern flanks. “Whatever, he was too far away and utterly disinterested in doing what our tribesmen are supposed to do as leaders of the Brotherhood they boast so much about.”

It was many years later that she learned her mother Eurythemis had adored the High Chief Thyestes for a brief while. Self-exiled from Argolis, as well known as he was even briefly for us, he had tried to make a new homeland of the Upper Achelôos Highlands of Aetolia. He’d manifest great graciousness among our people there, a kind and sensible High Chieftain and honored in the fullest sense of prominence among the tribes who sought to enjoin themselves to him. Eurythemis took him to herself, had him sire off her children away from any ken of Thestios. I have that only from Laërtes, who somehow and by somebody such secret things. Over our last lingering years at friendship, while he acted liaison all along the Great Gulf with his father, we said and shared all we knew with other, somehow knowing that the Long Turmoil was nearing its end. Or as end it finally did….

Eurythemis was remembered as far more important than her husband ever was, albeit a High Chief, but she became estranged on account of his mean, haughty and disdainful ways towards all women, whatever their statures. She was happy in her accomplishments as a good mother of her girls and, I can only guess, as good as any tribeswomen comfortable with parents of and children with whom her daughters made friends — before, that is, she and they disappeared into oblivion as grossly debased victims of scourge. Over which losses, Lëda also must think, her father felt no remorse for ill-protecting them.

So Leda goes on and beyond that sense and hindsight…..

“Such were my enduring inclinations to generosity, gratitude, affiliation, constancy: They were then, perhaps, my conceits born of the security that the Cephallenes provision of ships and crews afforded me. For the wicked pirates had never returned, whereas reports of their annihilation offshore the Southland had begun very early in the Long Turmoil, even if after the slaughters upon out tribal lands. Eradications occurred many places elsewhere than the Gulf’s, and never were their captives either ever found after any purge. So pirates and their evils were only abroad us, far away not near, even if we vaguely felt them surrounding our Great Land. Despite the renewed and sustained safety of our shores, moreover, it was known to everyone that pirates abounded in substantially greater numbers than had ever been the situation beforetimes. Too many men were thought befallen the spell of marauding, by which thrall every cruelty that scourge can instill to the fears of women and children.”

“I knew, too, that the kinsmen who ranged the high traverses kept active overlooks from broad stretches of palisade above the Great Gulf. Their descents to the shoreline encampments of the visiting sailors was occasion for parlay off any intelligence gains from their vigilance seaward at heights above the Gulf’s breadth, or by the patrols of the Islanders ranging just offshore their stations at forestry.

Leda’s gratitude for her sense of security by the Islanders lay foremost to common seafarers at neglect of her fellowship by the Highlanders. Laërtes, for most of the years passed beyond Leda’s fourteenth birthday, had found a greatest friend to allay every new and disturbing thought and feeling that began to bestir within her and him as she gained sense of her own importance as close to what he had of royal stature. She began to compare the visiting sailors to her tribesmen, make mental tally of the clear differences, and assess the contrasts beholden. The results were ultimately unfavorable to the manhood of her Aetolian Brotherhood.

She said her conclusions to Laërtes when he was just about to take on his first naval command in support of the Ephyrëans. He was only thirteen, still serving sutler duties wherever landings of troops ashore. And yet he was an able pilot-at-helm over the safe of all troop landed at their retreats back to his ships. He was a popular young fellow at his tasks without trying to be the smartest of all young men ennobled alike him, grown lads serving apprenticeship at ship command. And yet it was obvious that his intelligence greatly exceeded theirs.

She, I suppose, was almost fifteen when she’ composed her firm conclusions for the grown lad, her best friend from the Isles, to consider for their futures.

I say hereon by Laërtes of what ensued:

“Why,” Leda must ask, “can your sailors spend an entire day at hard sailing or at rowing through rough seas, only to return at dusk still tireless over constant activities ashore demanded of your nighttime lay-overs?’

The strenuous demands of the ships once hauled ashore a spit defining the river debouch or parked in broad sloughs seemed to make a bee’s nest of any evening encampment. The hulky vessels had to be laboriously rowed or dragged upstream to have their barnacles removed. The crews then had to drag the ships into fresh water for scraping off scale detritus and for healing their hulls with tars and lacs. Always there were various and sundry repairs of chandlery brought ashore, and yet other intricate activities that were performed inboard and out of sight of her avid curiosity. The sails had always to be set out to dry, a strenuous chore, because their broad spans must be set upon marsh grass of most muddy and sticky footing. Even after darkness had descended, small teams of busy sail masters encircled the campfires far into nighttime and next mornings to affirm the sails dry. They spent their patience at waiting upon crafted strands of grassy twine by braiding them into useful cordage. Early risers off their billets must then repair as well sheets, hauling yards and stays.

And always there were the bad weather days that captured the crews ashore, whereby each wet and chill day kept them warm solely by zealous drill–at-arms. She often saw her good buddy Laërtes at his good aim of long-shafter arrows, or by letting his best spearmen show off to her their long casts of spears by swings of slings that allowed even youngest men aimful long trajectories afar. Her greatest love of his crews told out from their constant good hustle and attentive dispositions to duty by awfully hard and tedious work. That showed them up most attractively. They looked tanned, fit and handsome, because the bathing was always good along the landings. The lean attractiveness became of their hardy existence. She observed how teenagers finished their final comings to manhood. The League’s oarsmen, as Leda would uniquely declaim about them, presented large frames, long muscles and sinewy arms off muscular shoulders and strong backs. Their sturdy, somewhat short legs were thick with corded muscles.

Laërtes was too young and smart to show off to her, but he did so anyway, mostly inadvertently, because he knew everything about everything the crews did, and explained all of their routines very well to her. So did she explain in return, showing off her own good mind as an excellent audience to his careful and precise eloquence at elucidation. Her maiden friends of her same age were too bashful to join the seaside congregations, and they weren’t ever a good match to her wits anyway. That was all to the good, however. She discovered that all the captains and their commands were strict at admonition against the crews accessible to the native women. They were outright forbidden, and Laërtes most happy to allow her women congregation while enforcing all courtesies owed to them as minions to herself, her only regarded hostess.

Laërtes opined, “Obviously, Leda found such mankind as our Isles produced a magnificence to thrill her admiration. She was far advanced along her own beauty of form and well-exercised strengths. Alas, I was still a lean lad just barely coming into my strength. I wanted her so much, often lusted for her, and so greatly wished to become her possession. Yet I was not as those men whom she so openly admired; I had to be satisfied that I was only an only offshore friend since our earlier years brought together. As I was, too, most fortunate for my frequent layovers, far more than what the other lads could enjoy, I put my felt devotion to her at assistance of her tribe’s expansion of Agrinion into a greater shoreline and future upstream haven amidst the deep fresh water sloughs.

“It was all very hard work, but also a sea duty of wonderful distractions and opportunities well-taken for comradery. Over meals and some few other moments at leisure, the sailors delighted in the small children such as Leda had once been as so early orphaned of her mother. The crews always found some additional reserve of energy to play at various kinds of games with them. Boys such as me, by the command apprenticeships, played with littlest girls or chased each other within the marshes while at the last gatherings of the day. If there was any guidance needed by those playmates, however, it was the oldest girls who provided it –– although they were only oldest girls because the youngest like Leda to have survived the rapacity of their mothers and older sisters. We visiting boys made plain our thrill to explore their enormous wetlands. We didn’t want to sleep. Scurrying about tirelessly, we’d suddenly drop down as though dead, until a next dawn’s revival of the excitement to be gained from another day at layover together. Our skippers were very patient about our cheerful little souls.”

There came a day, though, for childish play to pass away: Laërtes must explain…..

“Those girls began to preen their superiority, their elegance of form maturing, Lëda was so far ahead of them all by becoming more beautiful of form and too soon much too unattainable by her obvious majesty. Still, she remained to her last childhood years a hoyden lass easy at the tease and banter of the teenaged apprentices off the visiting crews.

“Those sailor lads and I never could learn well the language of Leda’s tribal brotherhood. The constant rotation of our visiting crews prevented any assimilation of language through steady practice. I never gained the good ear that Odysseus has always had for new languages. Instead the Arakyndians must offer through gestures whatever they needed to communicate of our needs to the girls and tribeswomen who afforded their provisions to us. Most special to Leda’s thinking, was the constant good manners of my comrades apprenticed. We afforded every assistance to the women who came laden with supplies to our encampments. As soon as seen, all chores of layovers were dropped in order to relieve the women of their burdens.”

“We boys who were the girls’ playmates dug the ditches away from the camp by which the light tides at ebb could convey away our wastes. The shore was always cleanly swept by sunrise. The bright day and fresh smells off the marshes at dusk furthered the cleansing and tidiness of the beaches.”

“Her tribesmen, I admit, had their own diminutive handsomeness. The best huntsmen among them even had a fitness which compared favorably to any of us visiting seafarers. Yet the chief hunters led mostly idle lives whenever at home by returns off the high traverses. They crowded under the shaded lodge compound provided to them seaside, whenever at assistance to the crews and the helpmate tribeswomen. If those men were not away among the hunting parties, they were the first to receive the food prepared for the two large meals served every day. They never encamped by first washing themselves, despite all the pleasant waterside that we preferred for enclosures of our highly banked fires. So always the hunters bore the strong stench of dried blood, rancid animal grease or the dank sweat which saturated their tunics.

Their tribal compounds, separated from the women’s, were bestrewn with their litter – bones and remnant flesh, shavings from the arrow fletching, the smoldering chars off their late evening fires. Flies gathered in swarms to such offal; sand fleas infested their camp sites. These and other foul residues attested how difficult it was for the women to clean up for them until their next departures to the alpine hunts. Those exhausted tribeswomen must early retire for their own sleep. Retreat for rest was also their sole relief from constant argumentative chatter with those men, who also must gab away with themselves until late into the night.”

“They were an eloquent mankind, Leda and I agreed: Fine with words, superb at elocution, and masterful to course expressions for every emotion. Still, they talked about much more than they did, had done; and endlessly said about very little of any importance. Or so, I suppose, became her mind as mine, a general disappointment in her tribesmen and a disdain for uplands Aeolia.”

They lived a paradise but knew that not so.

There was also the tribesmen’s pestering, often peckish conduct towards their wives and local matron elders. They berated their strongest girls openly; burdened them with endless labors at working the sloughs and marshland where the gathering of fish runs and shellfish. In stark contrast, they held themselves aloof, lazy and disinterested at such vital pursuits, leaving them at end of boyhood become lad initiates at the hunts. They spoke curtly if at all to the older tribeswomen, whose lack of status meant their overexertion at feeding, maintaining and fetching for them. Of course, they had no mothers to respect any longer. The men who had survived the great pirate raid became enraged, nonetheless, if their wives had to perform tribal duties which they considered too menial, too demeaning. Arguments were incessant over what toilsome chore befell whom by Leda’s station in age of women and girls. Not that they dared her at anything within sight of her protectors upon the strands of river debouch. Who would have to bear the greatest brunt of imposed labors, however, was always plain – their women and yet again their women –Leda supposed at lead of the few teenagers closest her age.

Leda was to learn that these awful habitudes were not exclusive to the then greatly prospering Arakyndians. Whole brotherhoods, known from the summer encampments and meets, were just as primitive and rude and insulting of their women folk. Meanwhile, the most complaining hunters doted on their young sons but shooed their daughters away to their overwhelmed mothers, ever mindful of the important work of a day still to be done but which they would not deign to support or assist. Obliviously unashamed by such inequities, the boys of Leda’s age and older lazed or gamboled around their special lodge compounds or summer encampments; or they idly practiced at their hunting weapons along the marshlands.

The tribesmen were also kept extremely vigilant of the very few nubile maidens arising among them. They made sure their ilk was kept separate from any visiting sailors. Lëda could see a special reserve about those visitors whenever within the gaze of the hunters, especially when they must stray too near the few young women near marriageable age. Few, of course and again said, had survived the ravaging pirates. Lëda discerned – and Laërtes affirmed not much later – that the sailors ashore were under his special instruction by heed of the senior ship commands — to maintain a severe correctness of comportment which they must demonstrate most polite deference to the maiden condition. It manifest a sharp contrast with their always engaging deportment before girls of high tribal statures, such as Lëda herself had, or even exceeded, at least by the measure taken  of her by the older matrons also in the happy service to the beachheads.

Lëda also noticed that the naval lads kept politely resistant to constant invitations of comradery from her tribesmen. Whenever at conference with the chiefs over hunting parties, moreover, even the commanders maintained a formal yet gentle reserve in the presence of Aetolian women. As soon as any parlay was over, accordingly, they hastened their retreats back to their ships.

Only strongest women were needed for the broad ranging hunting parties. The hardiest maidens were participants in long hunts because they alone bore the burden of carrying the dressed and quartered kills back to the camps. On such rare occasions as the women were encamped the high outback, or Islanders joined the hunting parties, there could be some relaxation of aloof reserve. Any expressed latent passion for those hefty women was ruinous of the good esprit between Islanders and Highlanders. Hostilities became intense and enduring. That was why the Aetolians, howsoever beholden to the Cephallenes as the protectors of their low country, were not as the rest of the Genos, keen to guide their allied forces at warfare through the wilds, with purpose to flank or frontally attacks their detested enemies, the Minyans and the Argives.

Through assistance to the female bearers, on some excuse of an urgent need to return to the ships together, a few such women might come home flushed crimson after her new found infatuation for a magnificent islander. But the maidens held themselves mostly furtive and preoccupied otherwise once back in camp or at trekking the trails of portage. They knew the tribal chiefs resented even the slightest show of affection toward a seafarer.

Notwithstanding those guests’ manifest restraint, the youngest of the hunters were easily aroused to petty jealousies. It took only least provocation. Most of their late evening gabbing was about such felt slights or insults supposed of promiscuous conduct. Their subjects of scorn became of their overly suspicious imaginations, until they must allege the worst about their always polite guests of hunt off the Gulf. Over the years when a sense of victory over the Minyans was coming nigh, the aloofness of Cephallenes from Aetolian men portended a permanent disaffection between them. They only befriended Laërtes, because he was smart and an aimful archer. The wonder of it was Arceisius-wanax supreme good judgement after the Long Turmoil to make of Arkanania and west coastal Aeolia across the Achelöos River winding upstream extents a vast hunting conservatory [a game preserve]. Thereby his final outreach to the Aetolians everywhere east of the river, the appreciation over which was to make them the Ithacan League’s permanent and friendliest protectorates. But such amity took a long time to evolve to that permanence.

For Lëda and Laërtes there gradually evolved a cautious love, hers by affection for his increasing handsomeness, appeal and always excellent comportment among any tribal groupings. His of course was both love and repressed lust for an older teenaged girl or a marvelous beauty and unconscious sex appeal. In an odd way, they were the lessons to each other about how to keep self-control, and to await a day ahead when their adult years would bring them other opportunities, however unseen or even unhoped for, to become intimate with their separate lives.

That maturation took many turns, about which our next posting in elucidation of a greatest heroine of myth in the making and the baking………


for the Bardot Group

188th Bardot Blog: About Leda, in First Part

 

The Great Gulf & Maw, by Overlook westward upon Aetolia,
below and across to Zakynthos, Cephalonia and Ithaca

Center Right: The low country of Aetolis was marshlands, meres and ponds dominated by the sink of Lake Trichonis.below Mount Arakyndia. This wasa thr homeland of Lëda, daughter-of-Thestios and Eurythemis. Center Left: Olena Basin rose from a shoreline by a gradual rise of vale and deep streambed, both of which rose straight to ESE in to broad dales below Mount Erymanthos Further south lay Men-tör’s homeland until his age eight.

About Lëda’s Backround as Earliest a Mythic Personage:

Before the Trojan War, better known to the prehistoric early Greeks as the Eastern Campaigns a/o Conflicts, the Greek Peninsula had been embroiled in another long war of sixteen years duration, 1301-1286 BC. It equated to the “War Between the Olympians and the Titans, by a posturing of a war between immortals. That water might be better named the War of New Beliefs against the Old & Ancient Beliefs. That is Mentör’s dub it as a War fought by mortals, by first posturing  Argive Atreus and Minyan Peleus as protagonists against the Bond of Four Wanakes — Sisyphus, Thyestes, Arceisius and Neleus all sharing that title Wanax meaning Chief-of-Chiefs. Following Atreus’s riddance of his brother Thyestes as his mandated co-regent, that Great Wanax joint ventured with Peleus, recent conqueror of Thebes, a conquest of the Isthmus of Ephyrëa for themselves to divide up. Thereupon and wherefore the Bond of Four sought to repulse both those supreme leaders –paragons championing the New Beliefs. The Bond of Four, salutary of the Old & Ancient Beliefs in the Great Mother’s spawn of titans and titanesses, arrested the expunction of the Isthmus of Ephyrëa as a region foremost at matriarchal theocracy.

The initial warfare began as the War of the Brothers’ Rivalry when Atreus vied against his brother Thyestes to shed himself of a co-regency mandated by a great succession to Eurystheus, the Great Wanax Regent over imperial Argolis (himself a successor to the most illustrious Pelops). Thyestes had cuckolded Atreus after the birth of Agamemnon by Aeropë. That adultery, we assert, proved longstanding enough to have Thyestes the sire of her subsequent children Menelaos and Anaxabaia. Discovering that his manhood was shamed, and seeking excuse to rid himself of Thyestes – a very popular co-regent of earliest fame for his brilliance at diplomacy in behalf of his Perseid kinsman, Eurystheus as aforementioned.

The “Myth of the Brothers’ Rivalry” has Atreus demanding a test of himself and his brother over who was the true owner of the sacred robe of Pelops, a royal heirloom. Atreus had finagled that garment into his possession. Aerope had promptly purloined the garb and vouchsafed it to her adored Thyestes. Outraged by theft that turned the tables, Atreus was at the point of declaring a civil war (stasis) until Thyestes rested his claim of co-accession, accedes to Atreus as sole supreme monarch over the imperial Argives. Atreus returned the favor by offering a glorious feast over the restoration of the imperial House of Pelops, even to renaming it the House of Atreus (according to Classical Greek Mythology).

That celebration of a reconciliation was then obliterated when Atreus served the butchered sons of Thyestes (by a first and late wife) as a grill of meats for the offered feast. Atreus’ conspirators then tried to seize and arraign Thestes for his adultery by debauchment of his wife and wanassa Aerope. but that was to no avail. Aerope helped him dodge his executioners and then obstructed pursuit of her lover after he escaped away. Atreus had to be content with throwing Aerope off of a cliff, thereby orphaning his alleged three children by their marriage.

Earliest to Say about Thyestes:

Thyestes escaped with considerable wealth into deep wilderness Aetolia of north mainland Greece. There he soon had availed himself of strong friendships, by former diplomacy, with the Gulf Phocians and the Thebans to the east of Aetolia. With their generous assistance, or by powerful influence neither easily explained nor ever reckoned assuredly, the Aetolian Highlanders were made pleased to adopt Thyestes without precedence, thereby to become High Chief over several of their tribes upon the High Achelöos Divide which separates Aetolia and Arkanania from a wilderness watershed of a greatest upstream magnificence. It had lasted even until these modern times when so much of Greece has been so recklessly deforested over the centuries elapsed since  the 13th century BC.

Putting that passing point aside, Thyetes resumed his amity with all his befriended central and western Greeks, whose mightiest persons and regions had become by Pelops and other ruling contemporaries (1) Sisyphus the aged Keeper of Isthmian Ephyrea, (2) Cephalos and his son Arceisius over the Echinades Isles before they would redefine as Cephalennia and (3) Neleus, a patriarch over the Messenes whose petty kingdoms were all matriarchates in hopes of him as supreme defender against imperial aggression of Argolis. Thyestes, it can be agreed, made a very good start as a first ruler and patriarch over the Aetolian Brother hood of Highlanders, until he was sent an emergency missive from Sikyon that his daughter there, the High Priestess Pelopia, was under dire threat of a usurpation. Seizure of her would remove her from Holy Orders and compel her into a marriage to Atreus.

Thyestes had believed the courier of the missive instantly. His brother had many years earlier seized Aeropë as the Cretan born princess and widow of his kinsman Pleisthenes, ruler over the Westlands of petty kingdoms which composed the House of Broteas ( he was a youngest brother of Pelops). Atreus had succeeded at that foul gambit by declaring his rights to Aerope’s remarriage, citing Land Law that removed all her privileges as formerly the “child maiden bride” and widow of Pleisthenes [ he had married her to save her from the cruel banishment of her by her father Katreos, the Minos of Crete, for false witness and alleged breach of sacral vows of celibacy, which we must add, conjoined her sister Klymenë as well).

There could be neither rebuttal by argument or debate over such a foul deed that would repeat the marriage perforce and imposed upon Aeropë, by a rude taking of his niece in holy orders — Pelopia. As sson as apprised, therefore, Thyestes had rushed in friendship to his boon friend Sisyphus, only to instantly discovered the Keeper expelled from the Isthmus with all force to resist a pincer invasion lost to Peleus from off the north mainland by attack across Thebes. Atreus at invasion seized Sikyon my march over the Nemean Pass of the south mainland. Thyestes had no recourse left to him except to repair briefly to friendly Gulf Phokis with the refugee Sisyphus and his wife Meropë, the youngest of the Pleiades. Soon fully invested in building force for a repulse of their enemies, the invaders of the Isthmus, Thyestes effectively resigned his patriarchy over the High Achelöos Divide. That act became final and formal four years later, when he lost the woman whom he had fallen in love with, and by alliance with whom he would have been instated as her co-sovereign over the Low Acheloos Flood Plain, the deltaic region where lived several important but small tribes situated around the large fresh water Lake Trichonis.

Upon such circular plots and reckonings we next preamble the childhood of a small girl Lëda the future heroine by Arakyndia and Aetolia. The blessed Fates contrived purpose and skein of an earliest hard and cruel destiny for Lëda, about which and whom we shall have enough to explain bye and bye through this first posting of her mythical biography by strong inferences of Earliest Greek Mythology.

Of course, Lëda is one of Classical Greek Mythology’s greatest Heroines. The Bardot Group has estimated her birth in 1304 BC, the last born daughter-of-Eurythemis (sometimes rendered as Eurythemistë) and a father about whom there’s some dispute over the Early Greek Mythology by the Great Oral Tradition. Her sire is named Thestius. He’s presumed by much later mythographers as Aetolian, when the east part of the prehistoric region preceded conquered territory by displaced Lokrians, to form later still Opuntian Lokris upon the north shore of the Great Gulf. Within those nebulous prehistoric regions, Thestius was more likely as Gulf Phocian by his birthplace east of oldest Aetolia. There biggest clue that he was not an Aetolian by arranged consortship with Eurythemis is the odd and yet probable estrangement of him from that truly majestic forbear heroine of the Classical Age Aetolians. Against that posited posture, however, is Thestius abiding intimacy with Tyndareos throughout our pastured war called the Long Turmoil or War of the New Beliefs versus the Oldest & Ancient Beliefs.

Lëda daughter-of- Eurythemis most certainly had been born royal of standing by that mother, but we suffer a penury or knowledge about her. We shall posture her and Thyestes as likely lover, whereby the conception of Lëda, but the Bardot Group admits itself speculative even if by good working hypothesis(es). The only logic that confounds their intimacies short of licit wedlock, however, is the flare up of the Long Turmoil and Thyestes compelled abandonment of his rule over the High Achelöos to protect his daughter Pelopia. We estimate Atreus’ attempt to abduct her at about 1300/1299 BC. soon afterwards. moreover, Eurythemis and  her older daughters than Lëda vanish.

So we have some story reconstruction to reason and explain.

Ill-Fates Too Recklessly Unleashed:

Put to prëcis, Lëda was predestined to become a most reduced tribal chieftainess at her age six; and a maiden archeta over the Arakyndian Highlanders at age fourteen. Become just afterwards a protégée of the Queen Holy Matriarch Nemesis, she also became a kind of “maiden in waiting” under Nemesis from her sixteenth to eighteenth years of age.

Overview of Leda’s Homeland of Arakyndia

I can imagine her first clearest recollections at nearly four decades ago: Foremost of them must have been the haunted and dejected expressions of wan women and their weary children while making a wandering and meandering way inland the Great Gulf’s sandy washes of deltaic sloughs and marshlands at just east of the Great Gulf’s Maw, or gape of opening into the Ionian Sea. Such a broad landscape evolved from early spring flushes and spates of silt when the River Achelöos swells and delivers his very long course to seaside. What lay ahead upstream for the observed refugees bore no happy invitation, only a just barely sufficient refuge upon the High Achelöos Divide of Aetolia. There the Great Prince Thyestes had repaired his flight from Imperial Argolis upon the wreck of wreck of his native Argives foredommed by his brother Atreus. In 1299 BC, however, the refugees’ outlook must have seemed dim, even bleak, before they would learn that Aetolia remained robustly teaming with wildlife from and since the Idyllic Age before 1600 BC. For all was true abundance there, for the far west of the Great Land required neither tilth nor livestock husbandry until then,  For the lower courses of the Achelöos are calm and nurturing except for a brief season of mid-spring spates or flooding…….

 [Caption: From the Isle of Taphia, at center left as we reckon its mapped location, to Cephalonia Island at lower left, we have the Small Gulf of Ambrakia, the Upper Achelöos at descent from the Pindus Mountains, Lake Trichonis and the Maw of the Great Gulf. The depiction approximates this featured geomorphology as is was most likely to have been at the beginning of the Thirteenth century BC.]

…… Short and slim galleys, and longboat warships off the Near Sea beached the deltaic sand spits; above them, normally, they fished the shallow windings of the River’s estuary that has many sloughs partitioning.their western backwaters of ponds and of meres. The numbers of refugees had arrived a scant few at a time, but always by midday they’d become extremely vast of total numbers by the many ships landed. The women and children wended wearily a common trail upstream, dee3p into the low country of Aetolia until it narrows by a descent into the western surrounds of the Small Gulf of Ambrakia. Otherwise, every day the Arakyndians could stand witness of forlorn and bedraggled Isthmians, all new to trekking during the newly torpid hot season over Leda’s marshy homeland.

Strong marshlands miasma attested for low tide mud flats which belied a great fishery and abundance of nested fingerling meres, a diet for water fowl.  Preoccupation at gathering shellfish composed the daily existence of the Arakyndians by carrying their catches to the edge of swollen tidal flows for cleaning and stowing of such catch in coldest water. Weirs crossed sloughs to gather in eel runing between sea and the interior brackish sloughs. The smell of salty mud and lush grassland clearings were also peculiar to the calamities next to befall Lëda and her tribeswomen. For they offered catches of a very opportune kind themselves.

Over many fortnight arrivals by months in succession, hundreds upon thousands of those tired, haggard women traipsed past Leda’s fretful stares. The women often wept silently in passing, their children whimpering at their mothers’ distress. The little girl would learn only belatedly that the tears were shed in humiliation brought upon them, before, that is, they’d been rescued by the Great Gulf League. That knowledge was unforgettable. Children, of course, will cry. When they all merely whimper, and then seemingly without surcease, that’s something else altogether. It states the futility of tears as either release from sorrow or as plea in desperation for respite from sufferance of debasement. Their mothers were utterly dispirited; the last of their tenderness expended futilely.

Each evening the huntsmen of Leda’s Arakyndians spoke about the dire developments which had caused this woeful emigration of a whole female populace. Those women had no longer their men, their sole defenders. Leda had listened without any understanding of why so much annihilation. Great Wanax Atreus; Great King Peleus;  Minyan priests-militant and priests-Tantalid, both  respective to Minyans and Argives: Mere mentions. All were Enemy, all at dynastic havoc by mounting religious tyranny. Exceptional were the Comrades of born nobility on both sides of the Gulf. A lot could be learned about the Bond of Four Wanakes: The Keeper Sisyphus driven offshore; Thyestes a great man but no longer an imperial sovereign; Arceisius triumphant at sea power, his naval warfare complete except for eradication of rampant scourge everywhere; Neleus, the weakest of their bond. Names and titles of people unknown became somehow immensely important, depending upon how their names were intoned. So was the bruit until mid-autumn. Failing grasp of most such chatter, Lëda instead was drawn by her active and enterprising mother Eurythemis nback from the summer camps to sandy river banks and spits of the Estuary below the marshlands sloughs feeding the Great River Achelöos’ low country. Almost a delta where to visit daily anew, and always happily, proud great galleys beached along the several long tidal spits piercing the Great Gulf.

Their impression must also instill other permanent memories. She observed for the first time seafarers of warships. Those vessels were immense to a tiny girl. To her first sight, moreover, those ships served her tribe a most special mankind. They were both taller and more massive than any of her tribal huntsmen. Nonetheless, they treated the saddened refugees with a firm yet gentle assurance; they saw diligently to all the refugees’ comforts upon arrival that alien shore. They sent them off well-wishing, with confidence that the women were out of the war and isolate from their oppressors.

The tribeswomen offered all those newly arrived seafarers the fruits of the daily hunts and the men made departing feasts of the seasonal produce from the wilds of Aetolia which climbed eastward and above Lake Trichonis’ south shore. The tribe was soon enriched by that repetitious activity. The visiting crews and their commands needed a generous hospitality after whole days at naval transport or at managing the debarkations from the Isthmus. They amply compensated the host communities along the trails upstream; they made regular provision of urgent needs that were obtained solely through imports. The tribesmen under Eurythemis’ husband Thestios also found a rewarding diversion serving as guides and providers to the refugees’ ensuing progress far up the River Achelous into the reaches of High Arkanania and Aipeiros. That last region had been the young, obscure and yet vast realm of the Pelopid Thyestes. Grateful for that offered refuge to himself from the Highlanders, Aetolia earned succor from all the displaced people of regions which the deposed Wanax, at emboldened strife against Atreus, a most wicked brother, managed to garner.

The time of last autumn came, the days grew short. The galleys’ and warships’ arrivals became spaced by a few days and then by whole fortnights. They beached in much larger numbers of ships at any one time, however, and when they did lay overnight they depended upon the fresh foods larder of the Aetolian lowland gatherers. The huntsmen brought their ample kills down to the shore where Leda’s mother and the other women hung the butchering and filleting of meats, thereby to manage a large store of fresh kills until the next coming of the ships.

Such activity became routine even if periodic. The Tribe even began an extensive, albeit temporary settlement at the end of the Achelous – Agrinion. Soon become a hamlet, it spawned yet others all along the estuary of fresh water sloughs. They radiated into encampments with reach far along and by traverses upwards the west slopes of the wilderness piedmont of the Pindus Mountain Range.

Early one day, amidst all routine and repetitious early winter activities, other ships arrived and made landfall. Their sailors were of an entirely different demeanor. They had a look of mean desperation about them, and they brought no travelers along with them. The hospitality rules of the Tribe were not denied to those seafarers. Well feasted, the visitors had returned to their ships and departed.

A short time later, or so might be guessed from the vagaries of Leda’s childish remembrance, those ships had returned upon a dawn and raided the new communities all through the day and far into the night. Women had been wrenched from their children: First assaulted, then ravaged, too many were brutally killed after the rapacity. Virtually the last of the elderly expired that day. The oldest children, including the many grown sisters of Lëda, the ravagers captured and hauled aboard the pirate ships with the other young mothers. After those ships’ belated departure, all kinswomen of their ages were never seen again. Leda’s mother Eurythemis failed to escape; she too was among the many young matrons stolen from their children and dragged into captivity. She, as said, simply vanished. Lëda’s father Thestios must have died then, since any memory of his further influence upon her life failed to endure beyond Lëda’s childhood. Much later, however, he came alive again for her, to reap her utter scorn over his abandonment of her.

A Triad of Great Gulf Galleys approach the
desolated debouch of the Acheloos River

That incident was the lowest point in Leda’s childhood and life until her own last years as a matron and mother of grown children. Most of her tribesmen had survived for being away on hunts when that depredation occurred. The void of almost an entire generation of women might explain why Leda’s dim recollections of any formal tribal education by the Arakyndians’ tribal elders; and also why her very poor sense of her family’s birthrights as a last born daughter of her tribe’s most exalted woman.

Nonetheless, her mother was an archeta; which means a chieftainess, usually highest borne by direct descent of illustrious ancestresses, as Eurythemis probably could recite in full. Her mother held honors much as lowlanders bestow to a basileia, a petty queen over some small realm. Eurythemis seems to have possessed more stature at a maiden’s young age than we normally can allow reasonably to any such standing. So she must have been, therefore, a woman worthy of greatest acclaim.

Here our first introductions of Lëda pause, and end to this posted Bardot Blog. There will be several ahead in order to completely discuss her, such as we can know and say. The entire series will mean much unlearning of what Classical Greek Mythology has top say about Lëda. We would have her a prehistorical heroine and not a mythic personage out of fantasy.


S W Bardot for the Bardot Group

187th Bardot Blog: With Apologies for My Hiatus

I have failed to post any Bardot Blogs this year, and for that I render my profuse apologies. I have many excuses. however. All of them relate to my publishing activities after a whole year spent at promoting Bardot Books to literary agents and other forms of author representation. Concluding my failure at all that in December, since the beginning of 2019 I’ve been catching up on three separate manuscripts relating to a continuing serialization of Bardot Books. Below the results already released or near and soon pending to release.

I wish I had not learned so much about the very sorry state of Classical Studies, whether at language study, or related social science disciplines or about worst selling fictional literary releases into popular historical genre. The entire field remains at plummet into a dearth of any popularity whatsoever. What Classical Studies once had, and should have still, but most apparently cannot be resurrected or accomplished. That goal seems unattainable. Only books of non-fiction, mostly academic releases to and for our erudite publics, seem to be popularly received. I can attest  to many excellent non-fiction releases of Classics subjects that aren’t merely literary interpretations out of the Humanities.

I thought I’d take some time out to explain about such woeful circumstances. It’s not just thoughts about your S W Bardot

Awhile my searches for literary agents, I had thought my seventy-five years was the problem behind my inquiry letters so long and belatedly ignored  — or passed to round files — before a reply was sent back to me. Those who so greatly assisted me have not thought me so bad, but it also became clear that the rejection notices made clear that my submissions and samples weren’t read They did point out that authors of prehistoric fiction of the Greeks and Anatolians of the Late Aegean Bronze Age have been subsumed within a terrible record of releases since the 1970s. Fictional sales have been deplorable. That makes it very difficult to make a case for any paradigm as popularization of Antiquity through fictional stylizations. It really has come down to the incredibility of any such pitch, given the terrible sales record of historical fiction in general.

That now said and admitted,  I’ve returned to prehistorical maritime history and am again an Early Greek Mythologist and sometime mythographer, I assess the problem ahead of me differently. I have to be a contented autodidact because there really isn’t anything alive today as a High Professoriat at Greek Mythology or any exalted expertise by the naval architecture and theoretical performance of warships launched into the Second Era of Great Oared Vessels, So I have to be a lay person’s kind of writer while I address the robustness of the LABA geography and famous personages in both depth and breadth for lay person audiences.

What goads me in particular is the insistent invalidity. still so glaringly obvious, inherent the so-called Pre-Classical Tradition to which classical and humanities scholars must bend in genuflection. That is the wisdom of all ages accorded to the academic claim, that only the Ancient Greeks could know about their prehistoric forbears, and only Homer and Hesiod have legitimately expounded  that lore of their forbears. That’s pretty hard to take considering that the Ancient Greeks didn’t like much their female forbears, way back when their men were too willing to subordinate themselves to their regimes. Too, most illustrious and greatest women of saga, legend and epic were transformed into monsters by Classical Greek Mythology, 500 BC, ff.

It seems to me very definite that the Ancient Greeks were terrible historians. They also have been proven completely unmindful of such skills as correlative dating of mythic biographies in real past time to the regions which they lived in or ruled.. That also goes for the names and spans of years, decades or centuries of oldest regions. That’s why so much prehistory is lost in time that the Ancients didn’t really want to find it for themselves ever again. The worst of that PCT is how many of the ancient mythographers sought to actually expunge real male and female forbears who genuinely lived under some grace or divine auspice while making themselves paragons and their people luminous and illustrious.

My Fictional Paradigm:

Biography of two mythic persons, Odysseus and Penelope,  both out of epic fiction. They actually lived through the real history of the Trojan War Era. Furthermore, they are in proof that the war was, in fact, a most robust warfare for them, even as they have become tainted by history written long after the war’s genesis — indeed, a thoroughly dishonest honest fiction in proof of how they supposedly existed but did not..

That I have sought far back into what had been expunged has been rewarded. Oldest pasts now come anew to clarity, The rewards are why I’ve been a proponent of the New Greek Mythology. Without any harangue upon the Anceint Greeks, its opera shun all Pre-Classical Tradition  wrought by dictatorial revisionists, peckish censors and just plain wrong Classical Greek Mythographers such as the Classical Greek dramatists . They all dictate the Olympian Pantheon, an orthodox polytheism which insistently places its twelve deities so far past that even an idiot of Athens knew they barely existed or could dominate oldest and most ascendant prehistorical times of Greece.

It’s not that those gods and goddesses weren’t manifest at some earliest stage of their geneses: Rather, they simply had not the attributes which were finally associated with, say,. Zeus son-of-Rheia, the Man-God more Cretan than he ever was Greek until his finally attributed omnipotence afterwards the Trojan War Era. Apollo and Artemis were very late coming out of Anatolia as Archer Deities; they practiced originally the special proficiency to shoot silent darts of deathly aim that carried plague, infection and infliction upon offensive persons. Poseidon was first ever the Lord God of Fonts and Springs, when he wasn’t the Anatolian Horse God, or the Greek Earth Quaker  and Cretan Consort to the Sea Mistress Amphitrite (who was herself earliest named — get this — Poseidonia). Athena was erstwhile a Matron Goddess of Attica, before she became the Patron Matron Goddess over the Athenians  There’s no kind of anchoring of the Olympians’ prehistorical periods attributes and powers by ciontrast to their later mythic story book identities. Lost are their fleeting counterparts ethnically and narrowly based, and hardly universal once sprung into the centuries 1600 to 1200 BC, during which Ancient Greek Civilization incubated and percolated into the final imperial ages of humankind.

The New Greek Mythology, therefore, can be the savings of Classical Studies  — through expository fiction far better than non-fiction proofs of history. It can convey the essential intellectual honesty that  really isn’t new at all. But it does claim that  Earliest Greek Mythology recited and rhapsodized anew through bards roaming and roving during the Great Oral Tradition long before the most original mythic masterpieces about forbears living from 1640 to 1220 BC. It owned up to much historicity and plainly told realities about a past put to plot motifs of explanatory story-telling which engaged a genuine curiosity for whatever the deepest pasts were that could become orally recited. It wasn’t the earliest Greeks’ fault that mortal humankind was a last of perhaps five “live” creations, only the last of which was born of a virginal Gaia the Earth Mother without seed of god or titan.

The Oldest Greeks who etched Linear B tablets never found implausible that Earth was at most 10,000 years old, the last 1,000 of which was a splendiferous Idyll from 3,500 BC to 1600 BC. Even so I’m  sure that they believed in Global Warming and Cooling which was by no inducement or polluting from humankind. The Idyll was the reason that so many Greeks and Anatolians thrived without toil, living off the land fruits, nuts and greens while also  devouring the juicy roasted creatures that they spitted over char fires. So for the seas, too, whereby simply wading in and peering below the surface, all kinds of edible swimming beasties could be caught by hands alone, but likewise spitted on char fire.

I’m sorry that I find so much of Greek Mythology at its earliest so real and very plausible by reading the minds of originalists  at mythic recitations. I love that they had near perfect aural memories of whatever they had recited to them; or they recited perfectly to others most eager to hear them whereby to pass on all the same words said for other audiences to enjoy most greatly as their original compositions.

So, my apology as recently a poor raconteur by writ. Hopefully a sin accepted for being confessed by my regular and oldest readers, let’s continue onward to tell and say of the earliest Greeks for just what they most likely were like. Let their gods and goddesses, their titans and titanesses, be immanent parts of our new immersions into the oldest of their far pasts. I also must admonish you, as I have to all readers of my now completed serialization, Cephalos War of Eleusis, that I regularly posture myself as the translator of the prehistorical period contemporaneous to Mentor son-of-Alkimos. A most literate and obscure earliest Greek, he lived from 1285 BC until some year of his death in the 1210s decade BC. He’s been the making of me, even as I have made him, too, as his avid translator.

Last to say, for each of the five books in series about Cephalos, I have composed the same Translator’s Forward. I reproduce it again below in final edification……….

 

 

for the Bardot Group of Scholars of Antiquity.

P. S.  Even expert mythologists are best reminded of what the Greek word muthos. means besides “tale,” of “bit of fiction” in amost generic sense. It also has the meaning of “plot” in a literary sense. Of course, a plot can be most anything, but usually its a fictional measn to an non-fictional end, or purpose, called an aitia. By long practice at examining myths that purpose themselves to Greek historicity, a lot of the plots are about first incidents and instances of culural, religious or social habitudes. They are a mean to defining the existential premise of habits or fist instances in explanation of accepted history, incidents and accepted practices. A nice way for lay persons to get a handle on myths is to consider them “bit plots” or “bites out a a great whole.”…….SWB

 

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