They have moved beyond the sacred gate and struck out,
for us and themselves into the world beyond the plough,
beyond the hound’s bodies and broken spears.

The Evenstar rises and sets in a mythic world of their own design,
for us they have moved beyond the days of our feeble hopes
and into the twilight, to leave behind fame, glory, wrath and ruin.

What say you?

What golden notions have stirred you heroes heart?
For sword and sandals have been placed in your safe keeping,
A father’s gift that pulls you forward,
To a destiny now hidden from all our eyes.

From where did you come and into what bright future will you travel?
Like flowers we turn our eyes to whatever bright sun is offered.
We raise our hands into the Olympian mists with prayer.

What cool distant evening will find you awash and beached
amongst the Isles of the Fair?

What then, will you return to us?

The heroes journey reaches out and weaves
a Thassian fabric as old as storied time,
to shape the very world beyond words and lips,
into ears beyond hearing.

As they strike out, we strike out with them,
for us they have ranged out beyond the guarded gate
and our grasp, to wander and wonder forever
into the dreams of mere men.

Sleepless pathfinders whose trackless course will never be forgotten,
by the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve.
The hero beyond the silver fire,
the hero beyond ourselves.

Episode 21: Theseus

Theseus cycle of deeds: centre, Minotaur; around, clockwise from top, Kerkyon, Prokrustes, Skiron, bull, Sinis, sow. Attic red-figured kylix, ca. 440-430 BC. From Vulci. Kodros Painter. Image source: Wiki Commons.

It’s been a wait for episode 21, we know, but we think it will be worth it! This episode is a very special joint project between us here at MythTake and our friends Aven and Mark at The Endless Knot Podcast.

If you’re already subscribing to The Endless Knot (and really, you should be!), you’ll know that our areas of interest often intersect and overlap. We’ve had many conversations with Mark and Aven over the last year, and finally decided to do a joint podcast–with a twist. To get the whole episode, you’ll have to listen to both our podcasts!

As usual, we examine the primary sources for Greek mythology. This episode is all about the Athenian hero Theseus, most famous for the slaying the Minotaur. We take a look at two dithyrambs by Bacchilydes that tell part of the Theseus story. Then, Aven and Mark tackle some of the etymology that comes out of this myth over on their podcast. So, once you’ve listened to our episode, make sure you catch theirs!

Don’t miss the rest of the show at here at The Endless Knot or subscribe via iTunes, GooglePlay or the podcatcher of your choice!

Listen to Episode 21 on PodBean

Download this episode (right click and save)

Possible source of the labyrinth myth? Minoan palace floor plan. Knossos, Crete. Image source: Wiki Commons.

Source Passages

Bacchylides. “The Coming of Theseus: A Dithyramb”

Bacchylides. “Theseus and the Ring: A Dithyramb”

Translation Sources

Greek Lyric Poetry. Translated by Richmond Lattimore. University of Chicago. 1960.

Further Reading

Jeremy B. Rutter. “Neopalatial Minoa and Its Influence in the Aegean and Eastern mediterranean Worlds.” Brewminate: A Bold Blend of News & Ideas. 8 March 2017.


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This week’s theme music: “Super Hero” by King Louie’s Missing Monuments from the album “Live at WFMU” (2011). Used under Creative Commons license. Music used under Creative Commons license and available from Free Music Archive.