- Under spam attack again: commenting requires login (temporary measure)
- Bigamy, sorcery, and rotting timbers: was Jason just another rat?
- xattr: com.apple.diskimages.fsck, record of disk image integrity check
- xattr: com.apple.diskimages.recentcksum, disk image checksum
Posted: 08 Feb 2018 10:50 AM PST
I am afraid that this blog has once again been under a spam attack all day, in which spammers are trying to post spurious comments at a rate of about one every minute.
I have therefore had to limit comments to those who are already recognised by the blog, or who log in to make their comment. I am very sorry that this will make it more difficult to add a comment for some. Once the attack has gone away, I hope to be able to ease that restriction again.
Please don’t let it inhibit your use of the blog, or making comments.
I will update this article when I am able to relax these temporary restrictions.
Posted: 08 Feb 2018 04:30 AM PST
Jason, of Golden Fleece fame, comes across as one of the better heroes of classical myth. Compared with multiple murderer, rapist, and utterly untrustworthy partner Theseus, or Hercules/Heracles, or …, perhaps he’s just the best of a bad bunch. Until you look at the way that he treated the women whom he married.
His first bride is almost forgotten now: Hypsipyle, Queen of Lemnos, a rather beautiful Greek island known now for its superb sandy beaches.
According to myth, Lemnos had a troubled history. Its womenfolk had neglected due worship of Venus/Aphrodite, so the goddess made their husbands reject them. In revenge, the women decided to kill the men, leaving the island populated only by women. There had been one exception: Hypsipyle had spared her father, originally the king, by tucking him into a large wooden chest and pushing him out into the sea. King Thoas was recovered, and Hypsipyle secreted him away quietly.
Just when the situation for the women of Lemnos was looking worrying, who should turn up but Jason and his fifty hunky Argonauts. Perhaps word had got around that they might be welcomed there. They certainly seemed to enjoy their visit, and didn’t find much time to send any postcards back to their families explaining what they were doing. Jason, according to his status, was entertained by Queen Hypsipyle to the point where they married and she later gave birth to twins.
But Jason and the Argonauts had a mission in Colchis, and once it became clear how fruitful their stay on Lemnos had been, they set sail in quest of the Golden Fleece. Jean Pichore’s miniature shows Jason parting from Hypsipyle, making their twins look quite advanced in age.
Jason then met the sorceress daughter of King Aëtes, Medea, who helped him accomplish the series of trials, culminating in him putting the monster which guarded the Golden Fleece to sleep, and achieving his mission. King Aëtes welshed on his deal with Jason, so the hero made off with both the Golden Fleece and Medea, marrying her bigamously on their way back to Thessaly.
When Hypsipyle hears of this, she is unimpressed, to say the least. It is at this stage that Ovid imagines, in the sixth letter of his Heroides, Hypsipyle writing to Jason, as shown in the two miniatures below, painted by Robinet Testard.
Medea’s bigamous marriage didn’t last long either.
The writing is not on the wall in Gustave Moreau’s Jason (1865), but in the almost illegible inscriptions on the two phylacteries wound around the column.
Cooke has deciphered their Latin as reading:
We should thus read the painting in terms of the conflict between Jason and Medea: Medea expresses her subjugate trust in him, whilst Jason considers her to be just another spoil won alongside the Golden Fleece. And she was a spoil which Jason was quick to dispose of when it suited him: when he met Glauce (or Creusa, but not the wife of Aeneas), he decided to move on and marry her too.
In JMW Turner’s spectacular Vision of Medea (1828), Medea is now in the midst of an incantation to force Jason’s return. In the foreground are the materials which she is using to cast her spell: flowers, snakes, and other supplies of a sorceress. Seated by her are the Fates. In the upper right, Medea is shown again in a flash-forward to her fleeing Corinth in her chariot drawn by dragons, the bodies of her children thrown down after their deaths.
Meanwhile, life for the spurned Hypsipyle wasn’t easy either. The women of Lemnos discovered that she had been sheltering ex-King Thoas, and she ended up as a slave of Lycurgus, the King of Sparta. One of her tasks was to look after his son Opheltes, but one day her attention was distracted from her charge, and he was killed by a snake.
Johann Christian Reinhart’s extraordinary Classic landscape with Hypsipyle and Opheltes tells this almost as Poussin would have done, with an idealised landscape, the boy swathed in the snake’s coils, and Hypsipyle rushing to try to save him. I think this is an extraordinary painting because, despite almost passing as a Poussin painted in about 1650, Reinhart completed it almost two centuries later, in 1816.
For neglecting Lycurgus’ son, Hypsipyle was almost put to death, but for once the Fates were lenient, and she and her two sons were allowed to return to Lemnos, where she retired gracefully from mythology.
Jason seemingly reaped what he had sown. Medea presented his new bride Glauce/Creusa with a magic dress, which burned her and her father to death. Jason’s faithlessness towards Medea brought him disfavour with Juno/Hera, and he spent the end of his life alone and unhappy, sleeping rough under the stern of the rotting hulk of his ship, the Argo. One night the timbers collapsed on him as he slept, killing him.
Posted: 08 Feb 2018 01:00 AM PST
Purpose: contains details of the last integrity check of the disk image using
This information is presumably then used to determine whether to attempt mounting the disk image, or to display an error alert.
Rarely, when a disk image fails to mount with an error, this xattr can be deleted and allow the next attempt to mount the image to complete successfully.
Original page: 2018-02-04
Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:30 PM PST
Purpose: contains details of the last checksum of the disk image using
The content follows a standard format:
Presumably other types of checksum can also be used, as documented in
Original page: 2018-02-04
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