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Updated: Jun 15, 2021


The Gordian Knot was a problem, a series of knots that was supposed to be unsolvable. Legend has it that Alexander the Great solved the puzzle by simply cutting it with his sword.

Today the puzzle is used to describe a enigmatic situation which seems to have no answer, or again unable to be solved.

The history of the story says that in 333 B.C. the Macedonian conqueror marched his army into the Phrygian capital of Gordium, which is now Turkey. Inside the city was a wagon with its yoke tied in multiple knots. It seemed impossible to see where they even started.

The legend surrounding the Gordian Knot was that it had once belonged to Gordius, the father of King Midas. It was said that whoever could solve the enigma would become the ruler of all of Asia.

When Alexander came across the knot, he became annoyed after several attempts at solving it. It is then said that he proclaimed that, "It makes no difference how they are loosed." Before anybody knew what was happening Alexander drew his sword and cut the knot.

Whether Alexander had cheated or not, he then went on to conquer most of Asia.

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