Hercules, Arcadia and Greece myth maps

Arcadia in the Peloponnese peninsula of southern Greece, once ruled by Mycenae, forms a ‘southern’ hemisphere or ‘underworld’ of myth, later overlapped by the Greece ‘northern’ hemisphere around the Aegean Sea, ruled by Athens. Both ‘spheres’ express layers of archetypal structure in their natural and cultural media features, including ‘cosmic’ grid, myth, icons, ritual and gods. Every built site, village, city, region and country expresses a version of archetype. Sites and artworks are now testable, and they test the archetypal model of subconscious expression in turn. Here is an excerpt from Stoneprint Journal 7; Hercules, Arcadia and Greece myth maps.

Every myth map has five layers of structure: twelve or more characters or sites expressing certain optional features; in the standard sequence on a ragged oval; opposite predictable features on an axial grid or ‘wheel spokes’; and certain junctures near the centre; parallel to the cosmic time-frame of one of the four recent Ages (Furter 2016). This structure is subconscious to builders, crafters and members of all cultures and eras, out of reach of conscious manipulation. Myths seem to lack clear sequences of characters and events, yet they are embedded in a landscape or region, enabling the archetypal model of culture to expand from spatial media to narrative media.

Myth map imprints in regions and countries last longer than cities, where they enlarge, split, or are re-modelled by ruin and re-building. Troy’s Hissarlik ‘Fort’, for example, was rebuilt nine times, ironically contributing to the unification of Hellenic Greece around the Aegean Sea. After the Trojan War and a vortex of migrations (Rohl 2007), Asia Minor developed its own hemisphere around Afyon, ruled by Byzantium, renamed Constantinople, renamed Istanbul, taking over the Asian coast and leaving Greece with only its older Arcadian hemisphere.

Cultural media have many functions. They allow different styling to enable ‘identity’ and social bonding. But we primarily use the core content and structure of cultural goods as a matrix for meaning itself. Despite styling and compromises in the embodiment of events, history, legend and myth, an identical cultural texture arises in all places and times. Yet we insist that ‘our’ recent culture is different and more ‘advanced’ than ‘theirs’, and ‘improved’ from our own ‘former’ culture.

Greek culture is among the most abstracted, condensed and recorded, enabling conscious study of our subconscious, and collective behaviour, and thus of archetype as the underlying enabler of nature, perception and re-expression. Hesiod was one of many thinkers who acknowledged ‘something more powerful behind gods’. Sumerian and Egyptian elements in his cosmology and theology indicates universality, not just diffusion. This edition demonstrates the rigorous, pervasive, universal core content behind all myths, overriding even history.

Trials and tasks for penance and a spiritual prize such as immortality, is a recurrent theme in myth, as noted in the Aarne -Thompson -Uther (ATU) catalogue of legends. Hercules has worldwide counterparts in tales of Mythic Animals B000 -B099; Giant-killer AT312; Strongman ATU 650A /KHM 166; Super task ATU 460-499; Test/Quest H1200 -H1399; and Otherworld visit F000 -F199. Gilgamesh also paid for a wild youth and sought immortality. Jacob also worked for a father in law, as Hercules did… [excerpt from Stoneprint Journal 7; Hercules, Arcadia, and Greece myth maps].

* This edition of 40 pages, includes 100 illustrations, and two large maps, and articles on Hercules, Hermes, Arachne, Theseus, cosmology, and archetype.

* Order copies of Stoneprint Journal 7; Hercules, Arcadia, and Greece myth maps, on edmondfurter at gmail dot com at $18 or e18, plus postage from Johannesburg. Consider including the book Stoneprint, the human code in art, buildings and cities, at $25 /e25, to save on mailing cost.

 

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