Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia
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1. Greek mythology
A collection of legends that originated with the people of Ancient Greece, and featured recurring characters: gods, mortals and monsters. Greek myths served to explain (providing interesting answers to questions about the world where scientific and historical fact, at the time, could not) and to entertain (via the art of storytelling), and continue to serve the latter function today. Romans were particularly keen on Greek myth, and a lot of the finest Latin writing concerns the retelling of Greek myths. Authors such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe (who wrote The Tragical History Of Doctor Faustus), made many references to Greek myths in their work.

Just like Norse and Celtic myths, Greek myths form an inspiring tapestry of supernatural tales from which Knightmare drew many times. The most obvious example is Medusa. Another name that has found its way from Greek myth to the Dungeon is Ariadne. Although the Boatman of Dunswater did not offer his name, it would be hard to argue that his similarity to Charon, Greek mythology's sinister ferryman, is merely coincidence. The same is true of Festus and the multi-headed guard dog Cerberus who, like Charon, features in the Knightmare gamebooks. Pan, the Greek god of the countryside, features as well, and in Series 6 his original panpipes had somehow become Elita's possession. Some Greek mythology references are more subtle, such as the cursed backpack encounter in gamebook The Future King evoking the meeting of Heracles and Atlas.

More broadly, the very concept of questing is exemplified by the heroes of Greek myth, such as Jason (see below) and Perseus. And the Underworld, one of the most dangerous places a questing hero could go, had three distinct realms, just as Knightmare's subterranean Dungeon had three levels.

Acquaintance with Greek mythology is widely considered a key constituent of 'good general knowledge'. Consequently, some of the riddles and questions posed to teams on Knightmare were about Greek mythology. Specific topics included the Muses ("Nine goddesses there were in Greece, of music, art and rhyming piece; now tell me quick and answer true what name they called this magic crew?" - as asked by Golgarach), the Argo (Jason's "ship of heroes"), Pegasus and the Minotaur (apparently mistakable for David Bowie).

Greek mythology was mentioned specifically during the quest by Team 3 of Series 8. Having discovered via a spyglass that Snapper-Jack was likely to quiz them on Greek mythology (on Lord Fear's advice), the team purchased a 'talking book' from Honesty Bartram. It would, he said, answer questions about Greek myths. Unfortunately, Watchers never got to hear the book in action, as the quest ended before it could be utilised.

In short, Knightmare's debt to Greek mythology is such that fascination with one is quite complementary to passion for the other.
 
 [Related Image] In addition to the above, I believe it is worth noting the connection between Greek mythology and Knightmare that is represented by Hugo Myatt. In 1996, he appeared in an episode of the educational BBC series Zig Zag, in which he played a potter/stall holder named Stephanos (a name that means crown in Ancient Greek). In the first half of the 15-minute programme, Stephanos discussed pottery; in the second half, he narrated the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur (which happens to feature a princess named Ariadne). The programme has been repeated at least twice: 20/05/99 and 23/10/00, both times on BBC2. In recent years, all the Stephanos episodes of Zig Zag have been uploaded to YouTube.

Coincidentally, Zoe Loftin (Mellisandre) also recounted the story of Theseus and the Minotaur via an educational series on BBC2, in an episode of Science Challenge first shown in 1991. Thank you to Canadanne for this information.

[Earlier versions: 2006-03-22 18:39:02, 2006-09-06 17:30:00, 2014-10-18 13:50:36]

Provided By: David, 2016-12-06 19:26:24
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