Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. Gordian Knot
Legend behind the second question Dooris asked Team 8 of Series 4, later quoted as Riddle 48 in Section 2 of the Knightmare board game's riddle book: 'Alexander the Great solved a knotty problem with a sword. True or False?' 'True' is the answer sought.

According to this legend, King Gordias, the future king and founder of Gordium in Phrygia (as well as the father of Greek mythology's King Midas), first entered the city as a farmer with an ox-cart. Following his fulfilment of an oracle's prophecy, he secured the ox-cart with a complex tying-up of its yoke: the Gordian Knot. It was Alexander the Great who, in 333 BC, undid this knot (though not all sources agree that he used his sword), and it was later claimed by some that in doing so he fulfilled another prophecy of kingship.

William Shakespeare and others have since used the phrase 'Gordian Knot' to refer to, as the Dooris and the riddle book have it, a knotty problem.

The legend itself might put one in mind of the story of Excalibur, the encounter Team 2 of Series 3 had with a cart and sword, or a hooded youth approaching a bicycle lock with a pair of pliers.

[Earlier versions: 2019-11-03 14:55:27, 2014-10-13 17:45:46, 2011-11-11 19:38:41]

Provided By: David, 2021-03-23 18:09:55
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