Sunday, December 13, 2009

Aegina - Britomartis Finds Safety on the Island, Huntress. Name Migrations?

Aegina is a small island about an hour by water away from Piraeus, the closest port to Athens.

We enjoyed a day there, and now look at its roots.

Topic:  The roots of our names, and the course that those names follow from culture to culture. Here, Aegina the island features in the story of Bradamante, the female knight from the middle ages.

A.  Tracing Bradamante, Female Knight.

1.  The Italian tradition.

There is a tradition of female knights in the Italian "Renaissance Guerriera" tradition.  In that tradition, the autonomous female knight is possessed of beauty and great strength (some in later years added the pejorative to take away some of the glamor, and portrayed here as a virago). Part of the tradition is Bradamante as a loner.  She may or may not eventually settle down with her lover.  See Italy Road Ways, Order of the Glorious Saint Mary

Name derivation.  Bradamante had been translated as a name, to suggest an untamed one, especially in love. See :// Wild lover.

Finding Britomartis. 

2.  The earlier Minoan Tradition.

However, the Bradamante name also was suggested as rooted in the ancient Minoan myths of Britomartis, huntress of small game, says this site.  The king, Minos of Crete, wanted her and chased.

She fled, leaped into the sea where she became entangled in fishing nets, and the fishermen carried her to safety to the Island of Aegina. See ://

3.  Stag slayer; archer

Other versions of the story at that same site have Britomartis as slayer of stags.  And a goodly archer. That story comes to us from the 1st century BC.  As time passed, it, too, was watered down such that she became a mere hunter of small game, chipmunks?

Enjoy the description of the stag slayers, other nymphs of the hunt. Perhaps as Britomartis morphed into Diana:
"These were the first who wore gallant bow and arrow-holding quivers on their shoulders; their right shoulders bore the quiver strap, and always the right breast showed bare."
That also from ://

4.  A Wild One.

Reducing her stature and power went on and on. She was reduced later to a mere "wild lover"

5.  A Recluse.

But yet another story cited there has Britomartis avoiding the company of men. She does escape their ravaging intentions over and over.

B. Britomartis: 

Britomartis, Did she morph into Bradamante. Did the two lines of stories blend.

Britomartis as a name comes from words meaning sweet or blessing, or sweet or blessed maiden.  See later blends of characteristics with Artemis, or Diana.  It may have been Artemis who saved her (Artemis also loved her) and who made her into a goddess.  This gets complex.  See site.

Lovely Aegina, island with the grilled octopus to die for.  Another reason to love it, wildly.

No comments: