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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Procrustes and his bed

Procrustes (means stretcher… was his nickname; his original name was Damastes) was notorious for his strange sense of hospitality. He owned an estate in Corydalus in Attica on the way between Athens and Eleusis, where he abducted travelers, provided them with a generous dinner, and then invited them to spend the night in his special bed. He wanted that his guests fit perfectly in the bed. Those who were taller than the bed, had their legs cut to fit the bed and those who were short for bed were stretched to fit to the bed.
Theseus (one of the fearless hero of Greek mythology; who killed Minotaur) was abducted like other travelers on passing near the Procrustes estate and offered the generous dinner. After dinner, knowing the intention of the Procrustes, Theseus made him lie on the bed, finding him taller than the bed, beheaded him…………………
Procrustes was obsessed with size of his guests and wanted them to fit to his measuring bed (assimilate)… Though this is a legend but the fact is a lot of people still carry the “bed of Procrustes”. It is natural to find variation in every sphere of life. We appreciate diversity in animal and plant world but when it comes to variation among humans, we lose the sense of appreciation to our version of likeness. This legend has a beautiful message (I let you to conclude by yourself)…………………

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