“I will seize fate by the throat; it shall certainly never wholly overcome me.” LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
By Alex P. Vidal
Vladimir Putin’s occupation of Crimea reminded us of the Gordian knot cut by Alexander the Great on his way to Asia Minor.
It is told that the people of Phrygia, an ancient country of Asia Minor, were advised by the gods to choose as king the first man they met on the way to Jupiter’s temple.
The peasant Gordius passed by, driving a wagon, and hailed as king to his great amazement, he consecrated his wagon to the god Jupiter.
Now Gordius is remembered for the knot by which he fixed his wagon to the temple. So cleverly was it tied that no end could be perceived in the cord, and it came to be predicted that whoever could untie the Gordian knot would win the whole empire of Asia.
Alexander the Great happened to pass that way in his conquering sweep across Asia Minor. He tried to undo the knot, but was unable to solve the puzzle. Impatiently he drew his sword and slashed the knot in two.
This daring act impressed his soldiers, who already considered Alexander as the future conqueror of Asia. We now speak of any complex problem that can be solved only in a drastic way as a Gordian knot.
Putin’s daring capture of Crimea was a classic act and can be compared only to Alexander’s conquest of Asia Minor some 350 years before Jesus Christ was born.