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Gordian knot, knot that gave its name to a proverbial term for a problem solvable only by bold action. In bc, Alexander the Great, on his march through.
Table of contents

Instead of being yoked to an ox, Midas placed his waggon in the center of the acropolis yoked to a pole with a large knot. Curiously, the knot was an intricate and complex Turkish knot , having no ends exposed.

What Was the Gordian Knot?

Hundreds of tightly interwoven thongs of cornel-bark made the knot an impressive centerpiece for the shrine. There it remained as an important symbol for the Phrygians.

Month after month the bark hardened, and stories grew up around the shrine. People speculated as to its purpose. Most regarded it as a curious puzzle.

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Eventually, an oracle foretold that whoever loosed the Gordian Knot would lord over the whole of Asia. The lore grew and grew. Over the years people living near Gordium looked upon their puzzle relic with great pride. It became quite a tourist attraction and generated lots of revenue for local business.

Gordian Knot of the Syrian Conflict

Residents considered it the duty of every wanderer to visit their shrine and attempt to solve their puzzle. They regarded it as extremely unlucky for visitors to leave their city without trying to loose the knot.

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It has its beginnings long time ago, when the Phrygians had no ruler and they plunged into a civil war, an ancient prophecy of the oracle was announced at Telmissus the ancient capital of Lycia. Alexander the Great slicing the Gordion knot with a sword-stroke. The first through the gates of the city was Gordias, a poor peasant who with his wife came to the city with a cart drawn by an ox.

cut the Gordian knot

Gordias was declared king and his grateful son, Midas dedicated the ox-cart to the Phrygian god Sabazios identified with Zeus. He tied its yoke to a post with an extremely sophisticated knot called the Gordian Knot.


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The knot was later described by Roman historian Quintus Curtius Rufus as a masterwork. Gordias founded the city of Gordium, which became the Phrygian capital and his ox-cart was preserved and remained in the royal palace.

Alexander the Great's Gordian Knot Puzzle

According to the prophecy of the oracle, a man who untied the knot was to receive power over Asia Minor or even all of Asia. According to legend, whoever loosed it would rule all Asia. Alexander the Great , according to some accounts, undid the Gordian knot by cutting through it with his sword. The salty, crunchy delight of a really good pretzel is somewhat represented in social media by an emoji that falls a bit flat in conveying a pretzel's utter deliciousness.