…and the queen gave birth to a son who was named Asterion… Apollodorus
Phalaris’s Brazen Bull
Story goes that Phalaris, tyrant of Akragas, a Greek city on the southern cost of Sicily, in today’s territory of Agrigentum, commanded Perillos to invent and design a new torture device for executing criminals. According to Diodorus Siculus, recounting the story in Bibliotheca Historica, Perillos of Athens proposed to Phalaris a bull that was made entirely of bronze, hollow, with a door in one side. The condemned was locked inside the belly of the bull and fire was set under it, heating the metal until the person inside roasted to death. Read more
The following article is considering many phylosophic and literary subjects such as Anima Mundi, Vitalism , Panpsychism , perfect numbers , the measures of the Ark of the Covenant and other.
Ades and Flora
About Pi ( a film by Darren Aronofsky) I have already written in a previous article: it is a movie full of philosophical meanings and even of cosmogonic and mythological allusions. This time I would like to reconsider a crucial scene already commented , when Sol and Max are talking about the Japanese Go board as an image of the universe. In Sol’s kitchen, on the left of the fridge, hanging on the wall, there are at least two meaningful pictures : one is maybe a tribute to Flora, it is a floral pattern with spirals, and spirals are a sort of leit-motiv in the movie, and the other is the represention of a huntsman with three dogs, that you could easily connect, for instance, to Ades and Cerberos of the ancient Greek mythology.
Pictures from Pi: Faith in Chaos ( Spirals and the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci)
Daedalus, ut fama est, fugiens Minoia regna,….posuitque immania templa….hic crudelis amor tauri suppostaque furto Pasiphae, mixtumque genus prolesque biformis Minotaurus inest.
Daedalus, so the story goes, flying the Cretan shore….built this boundless temple… here is the cruel bull’s love and the abduction of Pasiphae,…and the double hybrid nature of the Minotaurus…
From Aeneid, Book 6th
In my first issue in this blog, inside the article “Temple and Time”, I mentioned the sixth book of Aeneid and made some allusion to the temple of Apollos, built by the famous inventor Dedalus. Here Aeneas spends some time admiring the doors of the temple where various mythological scenes are depicted. There are images about Androgeos’s death, the Athenians, Cecrops descendants , commanded to pay annual tribute of seven of their youths , the Euboean shores and Pasiphae’s love and the Minotaur, the urn where the lots are kept and the Labyrint. There should have been also a representation of Icarus , but sorrow prevented Dedalus to give shape to his son’s death.Vergil tells us that Dedalus twice tried to fashion a depiction of his death in gold , but both times was overcome by emotion. Soon after this moment of contemplation , Aeneas prays the Sybil to be allowed to visit his father in the underworld.
Aronofsky is a Jewish film director and PI, his first movie, was shot in November 1997.
Max Cohen, the main charachter of the film , is an excentric mathematician suffering from continuous head-haches due to a prolongued eye-exposure to the sun-light : “When I was a little child my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So, once, when I was six, I did.”
Just to keep in connection with the theme of this blog, I’ll try to resume a central dialogue between Max Cohen and Sol Robeson, his friend and old mentor. Sol-whose name means Sun- is searching to explain the sense in the past people in Japan they gave to the simple Go board he keeps on the table in the kitchen. Go is a wonderful, complex game, and Sol and Max sometimes play it, or they just reason about its original philosophical meaning. Here is a summary of their dialogue.