A peasant who became the King of Phrygia created this intricate problem that was solved in 333 B.C.

In the episode of Jeopardy! airing on Monday, April 8, 2024, the category “Mythology” served as the stage for a Final Jeopardy question that delved deep into ancient lore and legend.

The contestants were presented with a clue that not only tested their knowledge of historical figures but also their understanding of mythological narratives intertwined with real historical events. The clue was: “A peasant who became the King of Phrygia created this intricate problem that was solved in 333 B.C.

What is the Gordian Knot?

The question and its answer refers to none other than the famous Gordian Knot and its solver, Alexander the Great. According to legend, Gordius, a simple peasant, was made king after an oracle prophesied that the next man to enter the city on a cart would become its ruler. In gratitude, Gordius dedicated his cart to Zeus, tying it up with a complex knot – the Gordian Knot.

The prophecy said that whoever could untie this knot would become the ruler of all Asia. This story captures a fascinating moment where myth meets history, highlighting the often symbolic nature of such tales and their impact on historical narratives.

Alexander the Great and the Gordian Knot

The solution to this riddle lies in the actions of Alexander the Great. In 333 B.C., during his conquest to fulfill his destiny as the ruler of Asia, Alexander encountered the Gordian Knot. Faced with a problem that seemed insurmountable, Alexander demonstrated his characteristic decisiveness and ingenuity by slicing through the knot with his sword.

This bold act symbolized his ability to overcome seemingly impossible challenges through unconventional means, a trait that defined his military and leadership strategy. The cutting of the Gordian Knot has since become a metaphor for solving a complex problem with a bold stroke.

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