Greek myths, stars and the Method of Loci

Just a quick note to say I've added an article exploring a fascinating possibility; that several of the Greek myths were actually Method of Loci stories designed to memorise facts about star systems. Fun! Here's the start of the article:

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Greek myths are fascinating. They’re also very popular. Lots of movies and books are still being created, based on Greek myths. These modern celebrations have kept those myths alive for new generations, which is great, but have you ever read the original text of a Greek myth? They’re terrible to read! Here’s Apollodorus’s version of part of Hercules’ Labours:

“As a tenth labour Hercules was ordered to fetch the kine (cattle) of Geryon from Erythia. Now Erythia was an island near the ocean; it is now called Gadira. This island was inhabited by Geryon, son of Chrysaor by Callirhoe, daughter of Ocean. He had the body of three men grown together and joined in one at the waist, but parted in three from the flanks and thighs. He owned red kine, of which Eurytion was the herdsman and Orthus, the two-headed hound, begotten by Typhon on Echidna, was the watch-dog. So journeying through Europe to fetch the kine of Geryon Hercules destroyed many wild beasts and set foot in Libya, and proceeding to Tartessus he erected as tokens of his journey two pillars over against each other at the boundaries of Europe and Libya.


The above section is actually the interesting bit. The full text of this Labour goes on after this, and on, and on. Hercules pursues errant cattle and defeats various foes, creating an entire second half to the story that is thick with odd names, places and actions. Why was this story written in such a dull way? It’s tempting to say that the Ancient Greeks were dull writers but they weren’t. Many of their writings are fascinating and engaging, so what’s going on here? Read more