Myths in Minutes: Perseus and Andromeda

Perseus and Andromeda 1 by Gustave Moreau

Perseus and Andromeda

On his way home from slaying the Gorgon Medusa, Perseus came to Ethiopia where he saw a beautiful maiden chained to a rock on the shoreline. This was Andromeda, the daughter of king Kepheus. Her parents had boasted that she was more beautiful as the Nereids (sea nymphs) and the sea god Poseidon was so enraged that he flooded the  lant with salt water. To pacify him, the Ethiopians agreed to sacrifice Andromeda to a sea monster.

Seeing her in chains Perseus fell in love with Andromeda. Kepheus told him he could marry her, but he would have to save her first. Perseus used his winged sandals to rise up in the air and attack the sea monster from above with his sickle of adamant. Once the monster was dead, the hero claimed Andromeda as his bride. Kepheus’s brother Phineus challenged Perseus because Andromeda was already promised to him. When it seemed Phineus and his men might overwhelm him in battle, Perseus drew Medusa’s head from its bag and turned them all to stone.

Myths in Minutes – Neil Philip

Cover: Perseus confronting Phineus with the Head of Medusa by Sebastiano Ricci

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Epictetus: He is Free

He is free who lives as he wishes to live, to whom none can do violence, none hinder or compel; whose impulses are unimpeded, whose desires attain their purpose, who falls not into what he would avoid. Who then would live in error? – None. Who would live deceived and prone to fall, unjust, intemperate, in abject whining at his lot? – None. Then does no wicked man live as he would, and therefore neither is he free.

Επίκτητος – Enchiridion

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Myths in Minutes: King Midas

King Midas

Midas was the king of Phrygia. Recognizing an old drunk as the satyr (nature spirit) Silenus, companion of Dionysos (God of wine and ecstasy), Midas entertained him royally, and in return Dionysos granted him a wish. Midas wished that everything he touched turned to gold. And so it did – including his daughter. Soon the desperate king was begging Dionysos to remove the gift. The God told him to bathe in the river Pactolus, which washed away his golden touch, turning the sands of the river golden ever after.

Later, Midas witnessed a musical contest between the gods Apollo (god of the sun and arts) and Pan (god of the wild), judged by the mountain god Tmolus. When Tmolus awarded the prize to Apollo, Midas objected, saying that Pan deserved it. Apollo cursed Midas with asses’ (donkey) ears. The king kept his shameful ears covered up, but could not hide them from his barber who, sworn to secrecy, just had to share what he knew. He dug a hole in the ground and whispered the secret into it. A bed of reeds grew there, and every time the wind blew through them, they too whispered, ‘king Midas has asses’ ears.’

Myths in Minutes – Neil Philip

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Epictetus: Trio

Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.

Deliberate much before saying or doing anything, for you will not have the power of recalling what has been said or done.

Επίκτητος – Enchiridion/Fragments

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