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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, 10:48:35 pm »

So far we talked about Atlas as of one of the great personalities of the prehistoric times, as of a powerful king rich in flocks and wealthy in gold, from the country of the Hyperboreans; we also talked about Atlas as an important mountain from the same region, which represented, by name and legends, the ancient titan.

But in Greek antiquity, the name Atlas had another special geographical meaning.

With Herodotus, Atlas is the name of a significant river, which flows from the heights of old Hem (Carpathians) and into the Lower Istru (Herodotus, lib. IV. 49; Gooss, Studien zur Geographie d. Trajanischen Daciens, p.10; Dio Cassius, lib. LXVII. 6), identical with Alutus fluvius of the Romans and with the river Olt of today (Germ. Alt) [4].

 

[4. The name Alutus (Greek ‘Atlas) presents itself as an old Pelasgian word, whose primitive meaning was without doubt “washed gold” and the place where gold is washed (Lat. alluo, to wash). From here derives also the legend that in Atlas’ kingdom even the leaves on the trees were of gold. The term alutatium, with the meaning of gold found on the surface of the earth, was still used in the times of Pliny (H. N. XXXIII. 21. 2) by the gold miners who washed gold in Dalmatia.

The washing of gold from the sands of Olt was in use in the Romanian Country until almost 1848.

Tunusli says (Ist. politica si geografica a Terei romanesci, p.37): “Gold is extracted from the sand of the rivers Olt, Topolog, Arges and Dambovita, by the royal gypsies called rudari”. Sulzer also speaks about the gold found in the river Olt (Geschichte d. transalp. Daciens I. 152-153)].

 
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