Distant Lands

Distant Lands

Inspired by the Earliest Historians at the Edges of the Known World
Inspired by the Earliest Historians at the Edges of the Known World
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10 Thule.jpg

Thule

Thule
 

         Pytheas of Massalia was one of the first humans to explain the tides as powered by the Moon.  And though his writings are now lost, they were first to inform the Hellenistic world of the 'Land of the Midnight Sun'.

         Leaving his Greek colony on the coast of modern France just two years before the death of Alexander the Great, Pytheas traveled the coasts of Bretannikē.  He met and traded with Celt, Picts, and the Northern Germanic tribes, learning their customs and livelihoods, and drinking their mead.

         From the northernmost of the British Isles, Pytheas sailed to where water, sky, land, and fog all became one icy white consistency like a jellyfish, making passage farther north impossible.  Here was an island at the edge of the world.  Thule.  By the time Rhodes was a Roman protectorate 250 years later, astronomer Geminus suggested its name was an archaic word for “place where the sun goes to rest”.

         Polybius questioned how a poor man like Pytheas managed to make such an arduous and extensive journey, but for centuries cartographers used this island as a marker at the edges of their maps.  Drifting from Orkney to Shetland, to Norway to Greenland to Iceland - its location marked the boundary of the Known World.

 

         The farthest anyone has ever traveled and returned to tell the tale.  Thule.  Ice bound under the Polestar.

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