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King Midas' Ass's Ears Revisited

Vassileva, Maya (2008) King Midas' Ass's Ears Revisited. Ancient West & East, 7 . pp. 237-247. ISSN 1783-8363

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Official URL: http://poj.peeters-leuven.be/content.php?url=issue&journal_code=AWE&issue=0&vol=7

Abstract

On several occasions the Phrygian King Midas was portrayed with donkey’s ears in Greek literature and art. There is no text that offers a plausible explanation of Midas’ strange appearance and later commentators provide many competing stories to account for his animal ears. A new interpretation can be offered on the grounds of a pre-Phrygian Anatolian tradition. The revised reading of the Luwian hieroglyphs on the so-called ‘Tarkondemos Seal’ reveals the donkey as an old Anatolian royal symbol. The Phrygians might possibly have adopted this kind of symbolism which later was lost or misunderstood. Greeks who provided their own interpretations of Midas’ ass’s ears only re-interpreted the original myth creating several aitia. Anatolian and Aegean Bronze Age survivals in Phrygian culture are being discussed as well.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:King Midas, Phrygia
Subjects:History.Archaeology > History of ancient world
History.Archaeology > History of Ancient Greece
History.Archaeology > History of civilization
Religion > Mythology. Cults. Other religions
ID Code:1587
Deposited By: доц. д-р Майя Василева
Deposited On:04 Jan 2013 12:57
Last Modified:10 Aug 2016 09:43

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