Apollo’s mother, Leto, became pregnant by Zeus, which of course greatly infuriated Hera, although the myths tell us that Leto was already in the family way when Zeus and Hera tied the knot. Zeus was rather fond of Leto, while Hera was anything but. No surprise there. She threw a spectacular hissy fit and one can just imagine the glee with which this tale was told and retold by the ancients as the myths took shape; soap operas are nothing new. Husbands with a wandering eye, betrayed womenfolk, children born outside a formal relationship – these have been well understood from time immemorial, and are the endlessly fascinating stuff of stories in every genre.
It didn’t take Hera long to get rid of Leto. As I’ve already mentioned
(Apple SlapDash; Stormy Relationships) she wasn’t one to tolerate her husband’s straying under any circumstances, nor was she going to give lodging to Leto on Mt Olympus. Out! Leave! Banished! So Leto wandered about until Zeus had his fellow god, Boreas of the North Wind, carry Leto out over the sea until she wound up on Delos. Heavy with child, as they say, on this rocky island did the heart wrenching operatic saga continue. Fascinating stuff indeed, but my point is that Apollo was born here.
I guess today we’d call Apollo a Renaissance man as he was heavily involved in quite a few things, including music, medicine and minding other people’s business through his role as the god of prophecy in Delphi. His large portfolio included being god of the sun and light, duties performed by Helios in earlier versions of the myths, so one might say Apollo’s was a hostile takeover, although Helios continued to be known as god of the sun, alongside Apollo.
No question Apollo took his obligations as sun god very seriously for he never failed to drive his chariot of fire across the world to bring the light. From East to West in regular rhythm did he travel, and we chased him across the sky last week as we flew back to Texas from Greece.
This is Mythos, who was named after the award winning Greek beer, Mythos. A very popular brew, Mythos has a good head of foam topping its rich golden colour, so it’s easy to see how Mythos cat got his name, but feline Mythos also has a good head on his shoulders for he was sharp-witted enough to make his home here.
How do I open this?
Mythos has a long sad story of his own, which I will tell you in some future post, but today I’ll introduce what is likely to become the latest addition to the furry and hairy household.
For want of a better name at present, I give you Mythos Minor.
This feisty little chap showed up here just over a week ago, in the rain, out of the forest. Skin and bone, skin and bone but with the typical hugely swollen bellyfull of worms.
I don’t care that it’s the dog food – there’s so much! And I’m SO hungry
When Costa saw him a couple of days later he assured me that the intrepid infant had made his way to us from the furthest end of the village, a distance of at least a mile, across rocky headlands and through dense undergrowth. If Costa says so, then it is so.
Are you my mom?
Costa is familiar with all that happens here, and it would seem that Mythos Minor was one of several cats and kittens that scrounged around at a particular taverna, now closed since September. This is an annual saga.
Well-meaning holiday makers feed many of these feral cats, but when they leave the cats (and dogs) have to fend for themselves. Anyway, Costa is quite convinced of Minor’s origins. How on earth did this spunky soul make it to us, and how long did it take him? Fortunately, unlike Raki, he’s fully weaned.
What to do? Like all kittens, he’s very cute and curious.
All these big cats frighten me.
We’d love to keep him, even though he’s already caused much upset among the other cats, all of whom are rescues. We’ve brought him to the attention of Sharon at PAWS and our fingers are tightly crossed that he might be adopted, but…..
Smells good! This is catnip?
That’s Raki? He doesn’t like me!
Right now Junior has a warm bed in the shed with a heat lamp and all comforts.
He’s taken out several times a day to play about, climb trees and be socialised. He’s very friendly and affectionate and absolutely hates being put back into the shed after we’ve tired him out.
Please take care of me.
He’s a spunky soul, and does his best to stand his ground, but two of our big toms are determined to hurt him. Funny how they’ve forgotten the dreadful circumstances each was in when they were rescued!
Stepping boldly forth
He deems everything worthy of his attention, and zooms about as long as I am there to protect him.
So much to explore!
Mythos Major was advancing on Minor earlier this morning.
Raki is NOT happy
Anxious to avoid an upset, I tried to distract him with a cat treat which he is very partial to. Minor had no intention of being left out though, figuring that anything Major got he should get too.
Why should I be nice to the little brat?
Minor’s more than just courageous though; he’s one smart kitty and pretty soon decided not to push his luck,
Bribery – it worked!
… contenting himself with the leftovers.
Deferring to the big boy
Mt Pelion, home to many of the Greek myths, stares down upon me as I write as though it knows that Mythos Minor is unlikely to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Is that another little bit?
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Tagged abandoned, beer, bellyful, big boy, camouflage, cat treats, catnip, cats, Centaurs, dogs, feral, Greek myths, holiday makers, leftovers, long trek, major, minor, Mt Pelion, Mythos, PAWS, Pelion Peninsula, skin and bone, worms
Jason, so the Greek myth tells us, set sail from Volos in search of the Golden Fleece. My window looks out over the Pagasitic Gulf down which he steered his fragile wooden boat, the Argo, with his sailors at the beginning of their great and wonderful adventures. Above is Mt Pelion, home of the fabled Centaurs – half man, half horse – among whom the wisest was Chiron, tutor of the young Jason.
On June 14th, 2008 a replica of the Argo left from Volos on what was originally intended to be the same course as that taken by Jason, but was instead heading to Venice as the Turkish authorities refused permission for it to pass through the Bosphorus. The building of the replica is itself a fascinating story: all tools used were made by hand exactly as the ancient originals were; traditional shipbuilding techniques were employed; wood was sourced and handhewn on Mt Pelion; no modern method or equipment was used.
Crew Boarding the Argo
On the morning of the launch we rose early to drive to Volos seafront, and great was the excitement! I’ve posted some of the photos we took, but a quick search of Google will yield far better ones, as well as videos. When the order was given to raise oars, a shiver ran through the crowd, which seemed to be holding its collective breath. Children scampered about, some were hoisted onto shoulders for a better view. Eyes anxiously scanned the sky for cloud, and nervously glanced at the huge ferries through which the tiny Argo would thread her way. Then came the call to dip oars! An enormous shout went up, a tumult of voices roaring encouragement. Boats of all sizes sounding their horns. Hands waving, hands clapping, hands shaking flags and not a few hands wiping tears.
First Voyage of the New Argo
Historians and archaeologists believe that the Jason myth is based on fact, for there were indeed many adventurers who sailed in search of gold in the areas around the Black Sea. A sheep’s fleece is still used in some parts to sift gold from sluice water, and long is the history of fleece and the wool produced from it. I have rather a large stash of wool, for I love to knit, and my very own Jason who travels about quite a bit. Jason is a glass head on whom I once placed a hat I was knitting in order to take a photograph, and who now serves to record various hats and other bits of my knitting. Here he is, gazing down on Volos from one of the mountain villages.
Volos, Thessaly, Greece
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Tagged archaeologists, Argo, Black Sea, Bosphorus, Centaurs, Chiron, Golden Fleece, Greece, Greek myths, historians, Jason, Mt Pelion, Thessaly, traditional shipbuilding, Venice, Volos