Talos: Mythical Droid of Crete

This 5th-century BCE Greek vase depicts the death of Talos at the hands of Medea and the Argonauts. The artist is known only as the Talos Painter.

This 5th-century BCE Greek vase depicts the death of Talos at the hands of Medea and the Argonauts. The artist is known only as the Talos Painter.

Talos was a giant bronze man, the Cretan sun god and general guardian of the island. There are many conflicting stories about his genesis, purpose and death, but his role as protector of Crete is a common thread. Zeus and Hephaestus (the god of the forge) are variously named as his creator.

Talos circled the entire island 3 times each day (to account for this, some ancient depictions show him with wings) and lobbed boulders at unauthorized ships that approached the island. Any invader who reached the shore would die a hideous death in his hot-metal embrace.

Talos had one vulnerability – a plug on his ankle, which contained the molten-metal life-blood coursing through a single artery. When Jason and his Argonauts attempted to land on Crete to resupply after their Golden Fleece adventure, they were held off by a barrage of rock-missiles. Fortunately, for the Argonauts, Jason’s wife, the sorceress Medea, was also on board. She cast a spell on Talos, which caused him to remove the plug from his ankle and “bleed” to death.

Some scholars suggest the story represents the cultural, political and technological transition from the Bronze Age and the power of Minoan Crete, which collapsed around 1100 BCE, to the rise of Proto-Greek groups, which invaded Greece in waves across the millennium prior to the fall of Minoan Crete.

Foto Friday – Zoom 4

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Cienfuegos, Cuba

Cienfuegos, Cuba

Athens Acropolis

Athens Acropolis

Fez, Morocco

Fez, Morocco

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem - photo by Noam Chen, courtsey of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem – photo by Noam Chen, courtsey of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Knossos Palace, Crete

Knossos Palace, Crete

Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene, Jerusalem - photo by Noam Chen courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene, Jerusalem – photo by Noam Chen courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

Foto Friday – Zoom 3

Church of All Nations, Jerusalem - photo by Noam Chen, courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Church of All Nations, Jerusalem – photo by Noam Chen, courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Cienfuegos, Cuba

Cienfuegos, Cuba

Bou Inania Madrasa, Fez

Bou Inania Madrasa, Fez

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Havana, Cuba

Havana, Cuba

Holy Sephulchre, Jerusalem - photo by Noam Chen courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Holy Sephulchre, Jerusalem – photo by Noam Chen courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Chora Museum, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Knossos Palace, Crete

Knossos Palace, Crete

NAME THAT COUNTRY Episode 23


All the clues in this post refer to one Ya’lla Tours destination: Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Turkey, or United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai).

We’ll show you images of popular tourist sites in our mystery country, along with descriptions of those sites. Continue reading

Foto Friday Frescos (& Mosaics)

Akrotiri, Santorini, Greece

Akrotiri, Santorini, Greece

Knossos, Crete, Greece

Knossos, Crete, Greece

Apocalypse Cave, Patmos, Greece

Apocalypse Cave, Patmos, Greece

St. John Monastery, Patmos, Greece

St. John Monastery, Patmos, Greece

Beit Alpha, Israel

Beit Alpha, Israel

Beit Shean, Israel

Beit Shean, Israel

Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

Madaba, Jordan

Madaba, Jordan

Qasr Amra, Jordan

Qasr Amra, Jordan

Volubilis, Morocco

Volubilis, Morocco