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Lemnian deeds is a term that refers to the cruel slaughter of someone as revenge (in both cases, a whole gender of people, see below). There are two possible origins for this term: the epic of Jason and the argonauts, and that of Herodotus narrative of the Pelasgians. Interestingly, the gender of the slaughtered victims is the opposite of the one in the other version.

As is usual in other nationalistic epics as well, other people and tribes are deemed to have barbaric tendencies. Besides, Pelasgians of Lemnos spoke pre-Greek Lemnian, and were technologically inferior (as can be seen from the weapons found in burials), which further promoted their primitive nature.

Jasonian origin

It is said that Pelasgian women decided to kill their men, due to the men's cheating with the mainland Thracian women. In anger, the women slaughtered the men in their sleep and lived without men for many years, until Jason and the Argonauts arrived during The Quest for the Golden Fleece. They mingled with the women and created a new race: the Minyae.

Pelasgian origin

Michael Stewart relates the story of Herodotus thus:[1]

The historian, Herodotus, relates the story that when the Pelasgians were driven from Attika (Attica) they kidnapped a number of Athenian women and took them to Lemnos; the women were defiant and taught their children to act and speak like Athenians; the Pelasgians would not accept such rebellious attitudes and killed the captive mothers and children and thus the term Lemnian Deeds became an enduring insult to the honor and manhood of the inhabitants.

References

  1. Stewart, Michael. "People, Places & Things: Lemnos", Greek Mythology: From the Iliad to the Fall of the Last Tyrant. http://messagenetcommresearch.com/myths/ppt/Lemnos_1.html
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