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#207390 - 09/27/12 09:44 PM Theseus' clew
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Today the History Channel had programs about different mythological figures, and I was fascinated to hear this (quote from the Online Etymology Dictionary): clue (n.)
1590s, phonetic variant of clew "a ball of thread or yarn," with reference to the one Theseus used as a guide out of the Labyrinth. The purely figurative sense of "that which points the way" is from 1620s.

#207398 - 09/28/12 07:09 AM Re: Theseus' clew [Re: Jackie]
Rhubarb Commando Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 1075
Loc: Lancaster, UK
That's fascinating, Jackie! I had only coe across the word before as a sailing term - meaing the lower corners of a sail. Hence, "to clew-up", meaning to gather the sail together on the yard arm as a preparation for furling it.
I'm immortal until proven otherwise

#207458 - 10/01/12 04:50 AM Re: Theseus' clew [Re: Jackie]
Candy Offline

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 1706
Loc: down under
So...Jackie if its 'purely figurative sense of, that which points the way' it has noting to do with unravelling a ball of wool or string on the way through with idea that one can find way out again?

#207460 - 10/01/12 09:15 AM Re: Theseus' clew [Re: Jackie]
Avy Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 724
Speaking of Theseaus, does anyone know of a good book that covers the the story of King Minos, Minotaur, Deadelus, Theseaus it all its gory and glorius detail; or must I be happy with itty bitty mythical bytes from Bullfinch's mythology and suchlike?
PS: Sorry jackie I am not "hi jacking" the thread really.

#207466 - 10/01/12 10:34 AM Re: Theseus' clew [Re: Avy]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
a good book that covers the the story of King Minos, Minotaur, Deadelus, Theseaus it all its gory and glorius detail;

You might try looking up those persons and animal in The Oxford Classical Dictionary and see the references and citations there. The great thing (or not so great depending on your particular tastes) is that the myths and legends of the Romans and the Greek is pretty much spread out over a wide range of texts, e.g., I looked up Minos in my copy (3rd edition) and the first citation I came across was to the Iliad. Also, different texts may give different stories as these classical mythologies were anything but standardized.
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

#207476 - 10/01/12 10:23 PM Re: Theseus' clew [Re: zmjezhd]
Avy Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 724
Oh okay! Wow. Great suggestion. Thanks!

#208631 - 01/01/13 03:34 PM Re: Theseus' clew [Re: Avy]
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
Hi Avy smile

or you could try Mary Renault - her novels based on classical mytholgy are (imho) never less than great reads, and often reach to the margins of poetry.

The King Must Die


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