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The Bull in the Calendar

Secrets of the border

The "Bull Leaping Fresco" - III

there too is Knossos, a mighty city, where Minos was king for nine years, a familiar of mighty Zeus. Odyssey translated by Robert Fitzgerald

The so-called ‘Toreador Fresco’ found at Knossos is one of the most compelling icons of the lost world of ancient Crete. The slender, sensual, bare-breasted maidens who seem to be controlling the action are painted white, the moon’s colour, as in all Cretan frescoes, while the athlete vaulting through the bull’s horns appears, like all males, in red, colour of the sun.

Bull leaping, large Minoan fresco. Knossos, 1600-1450 BC. Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.

Mythology and archaeology begin to agree, and the roots of the story of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur seem tantalizingly close. Note the border – four striped bands and a row of multicoloured lunettes.

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Sidelights and Myths

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Egisto Sani, Zde