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Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Greek Tale of Lust and Love

Painting of the King showing his wife to Gyges

The Foremost master of logic in Greek history is Plato.  he is credited with innumerable books and treatises.The works of Plato are read all over the world and philosophers look for hidden meanings in his writings. Plato is the author of the famous book "Republic". This tome is read and studied till the present day and is an important part of philosophy.
Plato in his Glaucon, who was the brother of Plato needs to be read. 
book recounts a lovely tale that has intrigued  me to a great extent. I have interpreted it as a realization of a dream of man and sexual conquest. Nobody can deny, that men even the most puritan of them do have lascivious thoughts of women and in this context the tale related by
The legend as related in the book " Republic' runs something like this. There was a lesser vassal called Gyges, who paid allegiance to the King of Lydia. Gyges however was infatuated with the queen, the wife of the king of Lydia. He longed to posses her and wondered how he could ever achieve his aim. The more he saw the queen in court his lust for her increased.
Providence took a hand and one day while he was roaming about in the country side  a earthquake took place. This earthquake had magical effect and a small cave opened. Gyges went inside the cave and saw a large horse made of bronze. This horse was a cover for a tomb of a man and Gyges saw the corpse was wearing a ring. He removed the ring and  wore it. In a moment he was aware that he had astonishing powers and  once he wore the ring he  became invisible.
Gyges probably exulted at this power and wearing it he entered the kings palace and proceeded to the chamber of the queen. As he entered, he saw the queen now nude and he seduced her. Plato does not explain how he seduced her as he was invisible. But in all probability, his invisibilities added to his charm as he made love to the queen.
After this, Gyges moved to the Kings chamber and killed him. The King probably could not see his assailant as he was invisible. After killing the king he went back to the queen and revealed himself and married her and became ruler of Lydia. it's a thrilling tale and I am always a fan of such tales from mythology. There is no factual truth in the tale though the kingdom of Lydia did exist. But I interpret it as a fulfillment of extreme desire for a woman. This can lead to anything. After all the Great Humayun killed the  husband of Noor Jehan and married her. All I can say is that desire for a woman can make a man to go to any extreme.