The labyrinth at Knosos may have links with Egypt, Lydia and perhaps with the immigrants from the Danube area and from the east, including the Etruscans. The axe is a symbol of the electrical god. Its Lydian and Cretan name, tlabrys or labrys, appears in the word labyrinth [initial 't', like 's', is sometimes dropped].
Homer mentions Daedalus as the builder of a dancing floor for Ariadne. The word for a dancing floor, choros, is also the Greek for the dance itself.
The maze at Knosos was probably a dancing floor. It is described as achanes, roofless.
Spiral designs and meanders became popular in Cretan art at the time of the Egyptian monarch Amenemhet III. This pharaoh built a 'labyrinth' in the Fayum, contemporary with the first palace at Knosos. It was a temple whose design suggested a maze.
Fresco fragments at Knosos show a building with columns, the roof decorated with horns, and with double axes on the capitals. Hutchinson, Prehistoric Crete p. 179, writes that it was presumably painted in the Middle Minoan IIIA period.
This may be the moment to discuss the axe in greater detail. The Greek sacrificial axe was the pelekus. The word resembles the name of Peleg, in the book of Genesis, "in whose days the earth was divided". An Egyptian hieroglyph meaning god, divine, resembles an axe or hoe [a single, not a double, axe]. The word is neter. The word has the same consonants as the Greek antron, cave.
When dealing with questions of vocabulary, it is necessary to bear in mind firstly, that Semitic languages were written without the help of letters for a full range of vowel sounds. The Greeks adapted the Phoenician alphabet, introducing written vowels. Secondly, Semitic languages are written from right to left. Etruscan and Greek, after some uncertainty, changed to left to right. Confusion would occur where Indo-European met Semite, as in Asia Minor. This offers an explanation better than coincidence of why so many important words can be read backwards and give the same meaning but in a different language. For instance, Phoenician namal, harbour, has the consonants nml; the Greek limen, which has lmn, also means 'harbour'. Raqs, dance, becomes sacer, sacred.
The Latin dolabra, axe or hoe, is similar to tlabrys, axe, a word which occurs in the language of Lydia, a country in Asia Minor which has Etruscan connections. Initial t and initial s are sometimes dropped, so we have in tlabrys the Lydian version of labrys, double axe, Latin dolabra, which symbolises lightning, and gave its name to the labyrinth.
Dolabra is ar falando, sky fire. Falando is an Etruscan word meaning iron, and the sky whence iron falls in the form of meteorites. At Mycenae, in the Peloponnese, the mould for a winged axe has been found. The Latin bipennis means axe; penna is Latin for a feather.
The chief Roman magistrates, who had executive authority, imperium, were the consuls, praetors, dictator and master of the horse. They were each entitled to be accompanied by a bodyguard of lictors, who carried the fasces, a bundle of rods and the axe, securis. The Hebrew seghor mmeans spear, axe, gold. The Latin verb icio means to strike. The lictor is probably El, god above, and ictor, striker, a word that could come from icio.
The Hebrew maghzerah is an axe. This word resembles the Latin magister and magistratus, e. g. consul, praetor etc.. These words are probably magh, great, set, and ar, the divine fire, Latin ara, altar. The altar was the place to which priests tried to attract the electrical fire from heaven so that it could strike and mark the victim. Set was the Egyptian god who was equated with Typhon. For Set as an interpretation of the letter Z, one may compare the Hebrew letter Z, zayin, which means a weapon. Ayin is an eye, so zayin is Set's eye, a source of dangerous radiation. The letter zayin is also similar in shape to the Egyptian tcham, a sceptre which looks like a scotch for a snake, with an eagle perched on top of the stick. The Latin acies, line of battle, the cutting edge of the Roman army, also means eye, or vision. There is a good account of the ancient theory of vision in Plato's Timaeus. The eye was an emitter of rays, not just a receiver.
At Knosos, axes are found, resting on a base of horns. This may be an indication that the electrical deity was perceived as a single force behind the two symbols. Horns are also found on altars. In Greece, suppliants, and people taking solemn oaths, would touch an altar, probably a horn of the altar.
The Cretan tlabrunth is assumed to mean "place of the double axe". The ending -unth calls for examination.
The Greek hodos, path, way, is likely to be the same as the Etruscan uth, or uthi. The n of -unth would indicate that the vowel u has a nasal sound, a phenomenon found in Etruscan and in modern Polish which could explain certain Greek words ending in -eus, e. g. basileus, Tereus. One may compare the Etruscan falando, sky, the Latin palatium, and the Hebrew palda, iron. The fall of meteorites led some thinkers of the ancient world to the belief that the sky was made of iron.
Hodos, path or way, may mean the place where somebody is to be found, their dwelling or sphere of action. Psalm 77, verses 13 and 19, gives some support to this: "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?"
"Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known".
The Latin cauda, tail, sounds like ka and uthi, where ka dwells. The Egyptian hieroglyph for Set shows the animal with an erect tail. In Plato's Timaeus, the divine fire in the muelos inside the skull is also found in the spine. Greek suppliants would touch a person's chin or knees, probably because the chin and knees were regarded as containers of the muelos, marrow.
The lute is a musical instrument made of wood. The name
comes from Arabic, al uth, wood [al is the definite article]. Is
there a link with the world tree, Yggdrasil, and the poros,
passage, of the Greek poet Alkman? The kion, column of
coloured light [ka travelling], of Plato, Republic X, was the
hodos, road, par excellence, by which souls travelled back
and forth between earth and stars.