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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Before The Hunger Games ...

... there was The King Must Die.

There's a post at America magazine's blog with a video of Fr. Barron talking about The Hunger Games and the stories from earlier cultures that might be its inspiration. One of those stories is that of the Greek hero Theseus. In her 1958 novel The King Must Die, Mary Renault wrote of the early life of Theseus, including his adventure in Crete with the minotaur. At that time, Minoan Crete was the great power in the area (check out the palace of Knossos) and the Mycenaean Greeks had to send tribute - boys and girls to be sacrifices to the minotaur. Mary Renault changed the mythological story a bit to be more in tune with actual history and had the boys and girls, Theseus included, sent to Crete not to be passive sacrifices but to be teams of athletes, trained to fight with bulls for the entertainment of the Cretans. Here's a fresco from Knossos showing "bull-leaping" ....

The King Must Die is worth a read, and if you're interested, you can read more about it at Mary Renault's Theseus. As to The Hunger Games, I'm signed up at the library for the audio version but over 100 people are ahead of me so it may be a while before I get to see what all the buzz is about ;)


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