When we left Theseus he had just triumphed over the Minotaur and he and Ariatha had successfully fled the island in one of Minos’s black sailed ships – they took refuge on the island of Naxos and there, apparently, the two were married. Let us see how this story ends and how the fates treat our brave Theseus.
Welcome back everyone; appreciate you coming back each and every week for another episode of the Legends Myths and Whiskey podcast. Today we’re going to wrap up the story of the Hero Theseus and then we’re going to take a break, maybe a week or two, to prepare for our Norse series. We’ll still be creating content for the Realm of the Satyr (join by the way, if you haven’t already, it’s free and there’s a link in the description) but we’ll be taking our time to some extent getting ready for this new series.
When we left Theseus he had just triumphed over the Minotaur… oh, wait a minute, I nearly forgot… There are a couple of friends I want to say hello to, two new friends I’ve just made and who really exemplify the reason I created this program. This episode is dedicated to Grey Owens and his father Keith. The two of them listen to the LMAW Podcast while driving and Grey, who as I understand it is the coolest six year old of all Greene, Missouri, loves them – especially the epic fights between the heroes of good and the villains of evil. Of course it’s no surprise Grey is such a mythology lover, as his father publishes the Loraedor blog (there’s a link in the description), a website full of his thoughts and created resources for fantasy sandbox roleplaying. It’s a great little corner of the web and heavily influenced by all things mythology and fantasy. Together Grey and Keith sound like a pretty awesome team of dudes and to know that there are parents out there who encourage their children to find value in these old stories… well, nothing warms my heart more. So thanks, Grey and Keith, I hope we can continue to make this program worth your while.
So when we left Theseus he had just triumphed over the Minotaur and he and Ariatha had successfully fled the island in one of Minos’s black sailed ships – they took refuge on the island of Naxos and there, apparently, the two were married. Let us see how this story ends and how the fates treat our brave Theseus.
But that fair Ariadne never came to Athens with her husband. Some say that Theseus left her sleeping on Naxos among the Cyclades; and that Dionusos the wine-king found her, and took her up into the sky, as you shall see some day in a painting of old Titian’s, one of the most glorious pictures upon earth. And some say that Dionusos drove away Theseus, and took Ariadne from him by force: but however that may be, in his haste or in his grief, Theseus forgot to put up the white sail. Now Ægeus his father sat and watched on Sunium day after day, and strained his old eyes across the sea to see the ship afar. And when he saw the black sail, and not the white one, he gave up Theseus for dead, and in his grief he fell into the sea, and died; so it is called the Ægean to this day.
And now Theseus was king of Athens, and he guarded it and ruled it well.
For he killed the bull of Marathon, which had killed Androgeos, Minos’ son; and he drove back the famous Amazons, the warlike women of the East, when they came from Asia, and conquered all Hellas, and broke into Athens itself. But Theseus stopped them there, and conquered them, and took Hippolute their queen to be his wife. Then he went out to fight against the Lapithai, and Peirithoos their famous king: but when the two heroes came face to face they loved each other, and embraced, and became noble friends; so that the friendship of Theseus and Peirithoos is a proverb even now. And he gathered (so the Athenians say) all the boroughs of the land together, and knit them into one strong people, while before they were all parted and weak: and many another wise thing he did, so that his people honoured him after he was dead, for many a hundred years, as the father of their freedom and their laws. And six hundred years after his death, in the famous fight at Marathon, men said that they saw the ghost of Theseus, with his mighty brazen club, fighting in the van of battle against the invading Persians, for the country which he loved. And twenty years after Marathon his bones (they say) were found in Scuros, an isle beyond the sea; and they were bigger than the bones of mortal man. So the Athenians brought them home in triumph; and all the people came out to welcome them; and they built over them a noble temple, and adorned it with sculptures and paintings in which were told all the noble deeds of Theseus, and the Centaurs, and the Lapithai, and the Amazons; and the ruins of it are standing still.
But why did they find his bones in Scuros? Why did he not die in peace at Athens, and sleep by his father’s side? Because after his triumph he grew proud, and broke the laws of God and man. And one thing worst of all he did, which brought him to his grave with sorrow. For he went down (they say beneath the earth) with that bold Peirithoos his friend, to help him to carry off Persephone, the queen of the world below. But Peirithoos was killed miserably, in the dark fire-kingdoms under ground; and Theseus was chained to a rock in everlasting pain. And there he sat for years, till Heracles the mighty came down to bring up the three-headed dog who sits at Pluto’s gate. So Heracles loosed him from his chain, and brought him up to the light once more.
But when he came back his people had forgotten him, and Castor and Polydeuces, the sons of the wondrous Swan, had invaded his land, and carried off his mother Aithra for a slave, in revenge for a grievous wrong.
So the fair land of Athens was wasted, and another king ruled it, who drove out Theseus shamefully, and he fled across the sea to Scuros. And there he lived in sadness, in the house of Lucomedes the king, till Lucomedes killed him by treachery, and there was an end of all his labours.
So it is still, my children, and so it will be to the end. In those old Greeks, and in us also, all strength and virtue come from the gods. But if men grow proud and self-willed, and misuse their fair gifts, the gods let them go their own ways, and fall pitifully, that the glory may be theirs alone. May the gods help us all, and give us wisdom, and courage to do noble deeds! Buy may they also keep pride from us when we have done them, lest we fall, and come to shame!
This week we’ve got a wild and weird one for you, but oh so good. That Boutiquey Whiskey Company’s 17yo Willowbank. This one is a bit pricey, $160, but for our money, and trust us we don’t have much, it’s worth the six-month effort to save for it and the unbelievably difficult task of actually finding it (especially if you’re in the states). Willowbank comes from the land of the Kiwis, New Zealand, and it is as unique and wonderful a dram as New Zealand is a country.
On the nose is Green apples, sweet honey, rich almondy pastry, coffee, cinnamon, oak, and vanilla.
The Palate, if you could imagine anything being more robust that the nose, carries on this insanity of the senses delivering an earthy-mixed-with-butterscotch sweetness and then all that crumbles away and you’re smacked right in the mouth with red hot cinnamon, leather, molasses, and sweet milkiness.
The finish is, unsurprisingly here, distinct from everything leading up to it: floral oak and hardened, candied, burnt cane sugar.
I honestly cannot put a score on this bottle as I have no idea what qualities to judge. The Nose is insane, that palate is insane, and the finish is so un-insane that you almost feel insane at the end of it. Insane in the best of ways.
I don’t have a score, but I do recommend it. This is something your guests haven’t had. Something you haven’t had. Something that can be best described in one word: Bonkers. Save your extra dollars and pick up a bottle when you can, it’ll last a long while and it will always be a conversation starter.
Thanks for listening everyone. A quick reminder before you go:
This podcast is free, and it will always remain that way, but let me tell you, it sure isn’t free to make. Our monthly overhead is just shy of $600 and getting to a point where that cost is covered would be a major victory for us. Supporting us is really easy, just head on over the Patreon.com/lmawpodcast, and pledge to give what you can every month. Some give $10, some give $3, it’s really up to you. You’ll get access to our back catalog and soon, because we’re working our butts off to make it happen, you’ll get some really awesome additional content. If you’re interested in seeing our costs and earnings, we keep all of that on our website at legendsmythsandwhiskey.com under the About page. Every dime we make, every resource it goes to, every project we’re working on. Go give it a read – you might discover there’s a lot more content out there from us than you think.
Love you all, appreciate you all, thank you for listening, I’ll see you soon, take care.
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