Ancient Mysteries Mythology Myths of Crete & Pre-Hellenic Europe

Myths of Crete & Pre-Hellenic Europe

Myths of Crete  & Pre-Hellenic Europe
Catalog # SKU1769
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Donald A. Mackenzie
 
$24.95
Quantity

Description

Myths Of Crete
& Pre-Hellenic Europe


by
Donald A. Mackenzie

The Mysteries of Crete still tease the historian and researcher. Atlantis, Minoean, and other ancient dynasties are rumored to have roots to Crete. With its Grecian and Egyptian connections, it was a major landmark island between these two great civilizations.

From the Author:

This volume deals with the myths and legends connected with the ancient civilization of Crete, and also with the rise and growth of the civilization itself, while consideration is given to various fascinating and important problems that arise in the course of investigating pre-Hellenic habits of thought and habits of life, which are found to have exercised a marked influence in the early history of Europe. In the first two chapters the story of European civilization is carried back to remote Palæolithic times, the view having been urged, notably by Mosso, that a connection existed between the civilization of the artistic cave-dwellers in France and Spain, and that of the Island of Minos. It is shown that these civilizations were not, however, contemporary, but separated by thousands of years, and that in accounting for close resemblances the modern dogma of independent evolution is put to a severe test.

The data summarized in the Introduction emphasize the need for caution in attempting to solve a complex problem by the application of a hypothesis which may account for some resemblances but fails to explain away the marked differences that existed even between contemporary civilizations of the Neolithic, Copper, and Bronze Ages.

To enable the reader to become familiar with the geological, ethnological, and archæological evidence regarding the earliest traces and progressive activities of man in Europe, who laid the foundations of subsequent civilizations, a popular narrative is given in the first chapter, the scientific data being cast in the form of a legend following the manner of Hesiod's account of the Mythical Ages of the World in the Work and Days, and of that of the Indian sage Markandeya's story of the "Yugas" in the Màhabhàrata, and of Tuan MacCarell's narrative of his experiences in the various Irish Ages.

Cretan civilization has not yet been rendered articulate, for its script remains a mystery, but of late years a flood of light has been thrown upon it by the archæologists, among whom Sir Arthur Evans is pre-eminent. We can examine the remains of the palace of Minos; tread the footworn stones of the streets of little towns; examine pottery and frame a history of it; gaze on frescoes depicting scenes of everyday life in ancient Crete, on seal engravings which show us what manner of ships were built and navigated by mariners who ruled the Mediterranean Sea long before the Phoenician period, what deities were worshipped and what ceremonies were performed; we can study a painted sarcophagus which throws light on funerary customs and conceptions of the Otherworld, and stone vases which afford glimpses of boxers, bull-baiters, soldiers, and processions; and we can also examine the jewellery, weapons, and implements of the ancient folk.

With the aid of these and other data we are enabled to reconstruct in outline the island civilization and study its growth over a period embraced by many centuries. It has even been found possible to arrange a system of Cretan chronology) approximate dates being fixed with the aid of artifacts, evidently imported from Egypt, and of Cretan artifacts found in the Nilotic area and elsewhere.

The idea of the "Hellenic miracle" no longer obtains. It is undoubted that Crete was the forerunner of Greece, and that the Hellenes owed a debt to Cretan civilization the importance of which was not realized even by the native historians of ancient Greece. EXCERPT

"THE ancient history of Crete", it used to be customary to write, "begins with the heroic or fabulous times. Historians and poets tell us of a king called Minos, who lived before the Trojan War. Then comes the well-known story of the Minotaur, Theseus, and Ariadne." The solar symbolists disposed of the various legends as poetic fictions.

The controversy aroused by the discoveries of Schliemann at Mycenæ and Tiryns was being waged with vigour and feeling when a native Cretan excavated at Knossos a few great jars and fragments of pottery of Mycenæan character. The spot was afterwards visited by several archæologists, including Dr. Schliemann and Dr. Dörpfeld, and a preliminary investigation brought to light undoubted indications that the remains of an ancient palace, partly built of gypsum, lay beneath the accumulated debris of ages. It was impossible, however, to make satisfactory arrangements with the local proprietors or the Turkish Government. The view expressed by Mr. W. J. Stillman, that the ruins were those of the famous Labyrinth, did not attract much attention.

In 1883 some peasants in the eastern part of the island happened upon ancient votive objects in the Dictæan cave, which they had been in the habit of utilizing as a shelter for their goats. These they put on the market, and as there was a great demand for them, a brisk trade in Cretan antiquities sprang up. Archæologists were again drawn to the island, and excavations which did not produce great results were conducted in front of the cave.

This made the peasants redouble their efforts to supply a growing demand, and as they met with much success the archæologists became more and more impressed by the possibilities of the island as an area for conducting important research work. In 1894 Sir Arthur Evans and Mr. Hogarth paid a visit to Crete, and examined both the site of Knossos and the Dictæan cave. The times were inauspicious for their mission, for the island was seething with revolt against the Turkish authorities. Sir Arthur, however, was able to effect the purchase of part of the Knossos ground, having become convinced that great discoveries remained to be made. What interested him most at the time were the indications afforded by mysterious signs on blocks of gypsum of a system of hitherto unknown prehistoric writing. It was not, however, until 1900 that he was able to acquire by purchase the entire site of Knossos and conduct excavations on an extensive scale.

During the interval, further investigations were conducted by different archæologists at the Dictæan cave, which is double-chambered. Inscribed tablets and other finds came to light, but all research work had to be abandoned in 1897, when it was found that the upper cave was blocked with fallen rock. The political unrest on the island, besides, made it unsafe for foreigners to pursue even the peaceful occupation of digging for ancient pottery and figurines of bronze and lead.

In 1900, however, Sir Arthur Evans operating at Knossos, and Mr. Hogarth at the Dictæan cave, achieved results which more than fulfilled their most sanguine hopes. What they accomplished was to reveal traces of an ancient and high civilization, of which the Mycenæan appeared to be an offshoot. No such important discovery had been made since Schliemann, twenty-five years previously, unearthed the graves he so confidently believed to be those of Agamemnon and his companions. "Here again", as Mr. Asquith said at the annual meeting of the subscribers to the British School at Athens, "scepticism received an ugly blow. Legends", he added, "which had become somewhat ragged and tattered have been decently reclothed. The mountain on which Zeus was supposed to have rested from his labours, and the palace in which Minos invented the science of jurisprudence, are being brought out of the region of myth into the domain of possible reality."

Sir Arthur Evans went to Crete as a trained and experienced archæologist, and was assisted from the beginning, in March, 1900, by Dr. Duncan Mackenzie, who had already distinguished himself by his excavations on the island of Melos, and Mr. Fyfe, the British School of Athens architect. A large staff of workers was employed, and by the time the season's work was concluded in June a considerable portion of the Knossos palace was laid bare.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
I. PRIMITIVE EUROPEANS OF GLACIAL AND INTERGLACIAL PERIODS
II. PALÆOLITHIC MAGIC AND RELIGION
III. ANCIENT PEOPLES OF THE GODDESS CULT
IV. HISTORY IN MYTH AND LEGEND-SCHLIEMANN'S DISCOVERIES
V. CRETE AS THE LOST ATLANTIS
VI. THE GREAT PALACE OF KNOSSOS
VII. RACES AND MYTHS OF NEOLITHIC CRETE
VIII. PRE-HELLENIC EARTH AND CORN MOTHERS
IX. GROWTH OF CRETAN CULTURE AND COMMERCE
X. TRADING RELATIONS WITH TROY
XI. LIFE IN THE LITTLE TOWNS
XII. THE PALACE OF PHÆSTOS
XIII. CAVE DEITIES AND THEIR SYMBOLS
XIV. DECLINE OF CRETE AND RISE OF GREECE
INDEX


Softcover, 6¾" x 8¾", 460+ pages
Perfect-Bound - Large 13 Point Font

: *
: *
: *
Type the characters you see in the picture:


*
Under the Prophet in Utah
Way of All Flesh
PLANET X AND THE  COMING  OF  THE  GUARDIANS
 
Sex in the Sticks
Textbook of Cryptic Masonry
Fate of Dietrich Flade