Atlantis Online
June 29, 2022, 07:08:35 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Ruins of 7,000-year-old city found in Egypt oasis
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080129/wl_mideast_afp/egyptarchaeology
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

PILLARS OF HERCULES, SEA OF DARKNESS

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: PILLARS OF HERCULES, SEA OF DARKNESS  (Read 3099 times)
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« on: August 19, 2007, 05:42:38 pm »








Asfi, a port on the southern coast of Morocco, is now called Safi. It is hard to escape the impression that we owe the preservation of this account largely to the folk etymology in the last line. But it is also obvious that this is a report of an actual Atlantic voyage. The "sea with heavy waves, evil-smelling, ridden with reefs and with very little light" can probably be ignored, for the passage is influenced by the "land of darkness" thought to exist in the farthest West, and the reefs may echo a passage in Plato's Timeus which speaks of the shallows in the Atlantic marking the site where Atlan­tis sank. But "Sheep Island" (Jazirat al-Ghanam) has the ring of truth. In another passage al-Idrisi gives more details of this island - incidentally showing that a longer account of the voyage of the mugharrirun must have existed. He says Sheep Island is large, shrouded in shadows, and filled with small sheep whose flesh is bitter and inedible. Nearby is another island, called Raqa, which is the home of a red bird the size of an eagle, which catches fish in its claws and never flies far from the island. A fruit like a large fig grows there; if eaten, it is the antidote to any known poison. A king of the Franks heard of this, al-Idrisi adds, and sent a ship to the island to bring him that fruit and some of the birds, but the ship was lost and never returned.

Sheep Island and Raqa are most probably two of the islands in the Azores. The Azores are named after a kind of goshawk - in Portuguese, açor - prevalent there at the time of discovery. The sheep are a prob­lem, for the Azores were uninhabited when settled in the 15th century, and even if we slightly stretch the meaning of the word ghanam, which can also mean "goats," we are still left with the problem of the origin of the creatures. No large mammals are indigenous to the Azores, and sheep or goats could only have been brought to the island by previous mariners. The Azores lie almost 1300 kilometers (about 800 miles) west of the coast of Portugal - one-third of the way to America. In the 19th century, Carthaginian coins were found on the most westerly of the islands, Corvo - 31° west longitude - and although the find has been ques­tioned, the origin of the coins has never been satisfac­torily explained. Corvo is marked on the Canterino map of 1351, where the name occurs as Corvini - con­siderably before its official discovery.
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.


Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy