I haven’t managed to e-publish the third book, yet – Christmas, is my excuse. I also didn’t take any photos from my recent Disneyland outing – forgot my camera. In 2017 I’m thinking about taking a cruise from Venice to Crete to Athens. So that’s another confession: I’ve never been to Crete and yet I’m creating stories involving Europe’s first civilization. The modern people of Crete seem very proud of being first, if what I’ve found on the internet is any indication (visit YouTube; Love Crete ).
One of the great things about the Minoans – for a guy who likes to make up stories – is that we know so little about them. My fabrications start from Arthur Evan’s “Pax Minoica” and from that disputed claim imagine a civilization that is very civil. And because it’s a children’s story I left out the nasty Mycenaean myth about a bull headed man, love child of a match not made in heaven. That myth strikes me as the sort of racist joke spread by rubes and louts (the Mycenaeans) who needed an excuse to loot and kill some better heeled neighbors.
Frescos and vases are pretty much what we have to go on. It’s some lovely stuff. The Wikipedia author of the Minoan Civilization article used the phrase “bursting with vitality” in describing a vase’s decoration. The Minoans seemed to have kept up this love of life right up to the time a catastrophic event or events destroyed them. Many of us moderns, on the other hand, seem to delight in dystopian art (I don’t). Of course, we are far more aware of potential earth shattering disasters: super volcanoes, errant asteroids, fits of collective stupidity caused by internet fake news, etc.
The photos are ones I took of some recreated Minoan jugs on display at the Monterrey Aquarium. The connection is the happy octopi.