World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Asterion

Article Id: WHEBN0000083610
Reproduction Date:

Title: Asterion  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Europa (mythology), The Troy Game, Minos, Minotaur, Asterius
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Asterion

In Greek mythology, Asterion (Greek: Ἀστερίων, literally "starry") or Asterius (Ἀστέριος)[1] denotes two sacred kings of Crete, as well as a river and its god in Argos.

Contents

  • Asterion I 1
  • Asterion II 2
  • Other Asterions 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6

Asterion I

The first Asterion, the son of Tectamus, son of Dorus, king of Crete, was the consort of Europa and stepfather of her sons by Zeus,[2] who assumed the form of the Cretan bull to accomplish his role. The sons were Minos, the just king in Crete who judged the Underworld; Rhadamanthus, presiding over the Garden of the Hesperides or in the Underworld; and Sarpedon, likewise a judge in the Afterlife. When he died, Asterion gave his kingdom to Minos, who promptly "banished" his brothers after quarrelling with them. Crete, daughter of Asterion, was a possible wife of Minos.

Asterion II

According to Karl Kerenyi[3] and other scholars, the second Asterion, the star at the center of the labyrinth on Cretan coins, was in fact the Minotaur, as the compiler of Bibliotheca (III.1.4) asserts:

Pasiphaë gave birth to Asterius, who was called the Minotaur. He had the face of a bull, but the rest of him was human; and Minos, in compliance with certain oracles, shut him up and guarded him in the Labyrinth.

"Minotaur" is simply a name of Hellene coining to describe his Cretan iconic bull-man image: see Minotaur. Coins minted at Cnossus from the fifth century showed the kneeling bull or the head of a goddess crowned with a wreath of grain[4] and on the reverse—the "underside"—a scheme of four meander patterns joined at the centre windmill fashion, sometimes with sickle moons or with a star-rosette at the center: "it is a small view of the nocturnal world on the face of the coin that lay downward in the printing process, and is, as it were, oriented downward".

As long as it is recalled that the myth of Asterion, who appears in no anecdotal Hellenic context, is Minoan, it will be perceived that the figure of Zeus is an interloper, and that rather than the "stepfather" role to which he has been displaced, Asterion is originally the father of the Underworld progeny.

Other Asterions

A Greek myth[5] introduced Asterion as one of three river gods who judged between Poseidon and Hera, who should rule Argos. The River Asterion in Argos[6] is mentioned in the Dionysiaca (47.493) of Nonnus, who couples the reference with a rite in which young men dedicate locks of their hair.

Asterion in the herbal of Dioscurides, is Silene linifolia.[7] Of this herb, found near the Heraion of the Argolid, Pausanias noted "On its banks grows a plant, which also is called asterion. They offer the plant itself to Hera, and from its leaves weave her garlands."[8]

See also

  • "Jorge Luis Borges

Notes

  1. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca III.1.2–4, and Diodorus Siculus, IV.60.3, give Asterius; Pausanias, Description of Greece II.31.1, gives Asterion.
  2. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca III.1.2; Asterius "having died childless" III.1.3; scholiast on Iliad XII.292.
  3. ^ Kerenyi (1951), p. 111; Kerenyi (1976), p. 105.
  4. ^ Compare Carme.
  5. ^ Mentioned by Pausanias, 2.17.1–2. (on-line English text).
  6. ^ Theoi Project: Asterion, river-god of Argos
  7. ^ Charles Singer, "The Herbal in Antiquity and Its Transmission to Later Ages", The Journal of Hellenic Studies 47.1 (1927):1–52), illus. p. 16, fig. 12, naturalistic drawing of the first or second century CE, redrawn for the Vienna Dioscurides made for Julia Anicia.
  8. ^ Pausanias, 2.17.2.

References

  • A.B. Cook, Zeus, i.543ff.
  • Karl Kerenyi. The Gods of the Greeks. London: Thames & Hudson, 1951.
  • Karl Kerenyi. Dionysus: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life, 1976.
  • Sara Douglass, 2002–6. The Troy Game Series. (Asterion referred to as the name of the Minotaur)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.