THE GORDIAN KNOT
Greek Oral History
At the end of a prosperous reign, the King of Phrygia died, leaving no heir. This prompted the Phrygians to send some of their people on a long, dangerous journey to the Oracle at Delphi to ask for a prophecy.
Once in Delphi, the Oracle told the people their next king would arrive drawn by oxen. After making the arduous trip back to Phrygia, the emissaries described what they had heard. As they told the news, Gordius and his wife rode into town on their oxen-drawn wagon.
In keeping with the Oracle's declaration, the elders made Gordius king. In gratitude, Gordius dedicated his oxcart to Zeus. To remind himself of his humble beginnings, he then tied the wagon to a post in front of his palace with an enormous knot.
Gordius ruled well. And in time, his son Midas came to rule the land. Phrygia prospered. But when Midas stepped from the throne, he left no heir to rule in his stead. Once again, the people made the difficult trip to consult the Oracle. They were told that he who unraveled the knot tied by Gordius would be their next ruler.
Many years passed, and many tried unsuccessfully to untie the famous Gordian knot. In the year 333 BC, a mighty Macedonian king came to Asia. Flanked by his troops and armed with one of history's finest and most creative minds, Alexander the Great stood transfixed before the knot. Grasping his sword, he slashed through the knot with a swift and decisive blow and went on to rule all of Asia.
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|©2021 Damon Hyldreth|