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KION OURANOU. The Sky Column on Atlas Mountain

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Author Topic: KION OURANOU. The Sky Column on Atlas Mountain  (Read 885 times)
Chronos
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« on: December 02, 2009, 10:48:23 pm »

The fundamental idea in Atlas’ legends is that this shepherd-king of the ancient world supported with his head and arms the pole, or the northern extremity of the axis around which the sky vault rotates. And Atlas mountain is also located in the northern regions of Europe by Ovid (Metam. IV. 130-131), by Hesiod (Theog. v.518, 736) and by Virgil in his Aeneid, these last two works having been written on the basis of the geographical data of the sacred literature.

Mercury (Hermes), Virgil tells us, sent by Jove to Africa with order to Aeneas to leave without delay for Italy, flew over countries and seas, helped by his sandals’ wings. “In this travel of his through the air, Hermes sees the cap and the precipitous slopes of hard Atlas, who supports the sky with his head. His head is crowned with fir trees and always surrounded by black clouds, beaten by winds and rain. His shoulders are covered by masses of snow, and rivers of water rush forth from the old one’s face, while his terrible beard is full of ice” [3].

 

[3. In another poem of his (Georg. III. 349 seqq), Virgil also mentions near the Istru the long shape of the Rhodope mountains range (Carpathians), which arches back around the central axis of the sky.

St. Paulinus in his poem dedicated to the bishop Niceta from Dacia at 398ad, also considers that the Dacians lived under the northern pole].
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