Asterion, the starry Minotaur, Jorges L. Borges, the Labyrint and other.

…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

666 and 216 digits number : are they the same?

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)

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The myth of Europa and Zeus, or the marriage of the Earth and the Sky

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.

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Aronofsky, Japanese Go boards and the magic 216 digits number

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.

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