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Greeks as navigators
According to a theory Greeks discovered the American continent thousands of years ago. Christopher Columbus, according to Emilio Taviani, conceives the idea for the discovering of the New World in Chios, where he obtained the ancient Chios, where he obtained the ancient Greek maps according to which he traced his route. The existence of these maps is also confirmed by the Ottoman cartographer Pirie Race, captain of Suleiman the Great, who designed his first map in 1513 based, as he says, on about twenty old maps. This accuracy and the details established later led to the conclusion that Pirie Race’s sources referred to the ancient Greek civilization. A civilization so advanced, as to know about America, centuries before Christopher Columbus.
And of course there remains the question how the ancient Greek navigators knew the Atlantic and the continent beyond it that is America, before 1200 b.C. Aristophanes in Ornithes calls the Greeks storks because they always move around. This characteristic as well as their interest to meet new places and their commercial acumen led our ancestors to travel towards all directions.
Their knowledge on shipbuilding, geography and astronomy was such that allowed them to make that kind of voyages. They knew before the Trojan War the Cassiterides islands that is Ireland and Britain, places from where they acquired tin as well as the countries of the North Sea from where they brought amber. This way Hellenism was showing a picture of colonialism in the 8th century b.C. A central hearth, the Mother-Country (metropolis) and a galaxy of colonies and dominions the number of which is so big that it takes pages for their names only to be referred. These numerous Greek hearths are gathered in a geographical area extending from Caucasus to the Iberian Peninsula, transforming the Mediterranean into an interior sea.
About Odyssey the majority of the researchers used to accept the classic opinion that Ulysses’ voyage was in the Mediterranean.
Many ideas were expressed on this problem. Somehow vaguely the philological research had accepted in our century the beliefs of the French Parliament member and Homer expert Victor Bernard according to whom the roaming was a story of Phoenician origin that describes the West and Central Mediterranean. This is the view we have been taught at school apart from its Phoenician character.
Since then and during the third fourth of our century, exceptional essays were written on this subject by other French researchers. The last word in the relative philology is the theory of the famous professor of Sorbonne and Cretan specialist Paul Fore who globally declared in 1980 his amazing theory that Ulysses’ roaming is a circle around the coasts of Crete and Ulysses was a Cretan of the Minoic Era.
Henriette Mertz, Gilber Pigio, Robert Philip and others came to realize that according to the distances and the phenomena.
I am going to analyze further down Odyssey is the first ancient story of an overseas voyage in the Atlantic.
Before these two French researchers, the American International Law expert and Homer expert too, Henriette Mertz made long journeys to solve the problem. She walked all over the Andes and roamed with ship several islands of the Ocean and the surrounding coasts, a task which. This, apart from being arduous, was also pointless because in the Atlantic Ocean there are so many thousands of islands and nations, who speak many dialects, that it’s too difficult for somebody to listen to and see it all. Although, she mentions many fictitious information she has found positively and admittedly two points of the Homeric roaming, which make the reader wonder why nobody else had found them before.
They all start from the same text, Odyssey, and yet one researcher sends Ulysses to the North Pole, the other to Cape Town in Africa, and somebody else to Florida or the Caspian Sea. All these contradictive results lead themselves to the conclusion that any such conversation is in vain. The particulars which the poet gives on Ulysses’ roaming are so general and vague that they allow everyone to send Ulysses to the four ends of the world.
Correspondences between Odyssey and modern geography
Let’s see now some records about the amazing analogies that exist between the information that Odyssey gives and the ones given by modern geography and history. The reader should bear in mind that the analogies given couldn’t be coincidental or random. They are so scandalously obvious that it is impossible to reach a worthless conclusion.
Azores, Calypso’s Island
As far as Calypsos Island is concerned the crossing of the elements of Odyssey with today’s information is so often that is impossible for Henrietta Mertz to make mistakes:
1. Homer calls the island omphalos (navel) of the sea. The Azores are indeed in the centre of the Northern basin of the Atlantic, completely isolated all around and in an equal distance from both the American coast of the New Earth and the European one of Portugal.
2. Homer talks about the amount of the seabirds on this island, the sea carrion crows and the sea hawks. The Azores means sea hawks in Portuguese. The first Portuguese navigators that discovered it in the middle of the ocean were impressed by the unbelievable flocks and the deafening cries of the seabirds on the sands and the rocks of these islands.
3.&3nbsp; Homer talks about trailing vines on this island. The main production of these islands in our days is grapes.
4. Homer mentions four boiling springs which, while they are near each other they send their waters towards different directions. This strange phenomenon which disregards the lows of gravity would be inexplicable in the mind of someone who hasn’t seen or hasn’t heard of the Geysers. It is ejected hot water coming from volcanic ground just like the ground of these islands. And there is also something else.
Was or wasn’t the Phaekes’ country an island?
1. After Calypso and her island Ulysses reaches to a point where he sees land in exactly eighteen days sailing straight ahead and having a helpful wind. He sees the shadowy mountains in the Phaekes country. He is mindful to stay awake and not to stray from his route. The goddess’s directions given to him before leaving were clear and steady: To watch out for the Great Bear and the Pleiades on the left. He sees no other island or land.
He is supposed to be heading towards Ithaca. Although Ulysses hasn’t lost his direction miraculously the Phaekes’ country comes in front of him. Nowhere does Homer speak about the Phaekes island so it obvious that anybody can wonder. What’s all this writing about it being an island? In the one hundred times that Homer mentions this place nowhere does he say that it is an island. So, Ulysses reaches this country after sailing east wards for eighteen whole days and nights. Of course, his handmade boat does not have a keel and so she couldn’t sail quickly, but it had a sail and a steering wheel. According to possible calculations running with four kilometers per hour he should have covered around one thousand eight hundred kilometers. This is the exact distance between the Azores and Cadix, outside Gibraltar where we should place the Phaekes’ country.
But if the Phaekes’ country is located somewhere here (in the coasts of the Cadix gulf in South Spain) then the place of the and the length of the voyage match perfectly. In eighteen days’ distance on a sailing boat, a helpful wind and having on your right the Pleiades and the Great Bear we reached from Spain to Azores!
Scylla and Charybdis
Scylla is defined in Homer as very tall with steep vertical slopes as if cut by knife so that it is impossible for anyone to climb, even if they had 20 hands and feet as Homer cites. There is no such cliff, of course. It is cited that the summit is hidden by the clouds which never scatter; not even in high summer. It is also cited that no ship should sail near because it rushes unexpectedly. No such cliff exists; that it grabs sailors from the ship decks and that in its foot and centre there is a cave which looks over to Hades (the Underworld) and Darkness. No such cliff exists. What does exist is a frequent phenomenon in the proximity near the American coasts (in certain latitude on either side of the Equator) called sea whirlwind. It has all the above characteristics:
Homer unites that it barks loudly. This means that it is accompanied by a hollow roar which all whirlwinds have and the gunshot-like rumble they produce when they collapse.
What are left are Charybdis and the Sirens. Here we must be more careful. The researcher apparently closer to the truth is Pilliot. He prefers as Charybdis (which according to Homer was a living monster which sucked huge quantities of water and then it disgorged it abruptly) the Foundy gulf in the Newfound Land coast in the American Continent. Where the highest level of the water between ebb and flood reaches the 16 meters. While in the Messini pass (in the Mediterranean as other researchers claim). It is only 60 cm; that is something barely visible. As for the Sirens, it can be any extended sands. There not being able to find any hunt or water the sailors mooring would die a martyr death and their bones would whiten later on the sands. A similar characteristic adventure was that of an anonymous colored woman who Vasco de Gama’s sailors had with them and left on Namibia’s huge sands in north-west Africa in order to reach the island on foot to bring them in contact with the natives.
This woman never came back. She was found dead. The extent of the sands, where only the blowing of the wind could be heard, was so large that the woman never reached a populated area. She died of exhaustion and her skeleton was found bleached white.
The Sirens’ myth wanted to protect the prehistoric sailors from the dangers of a hasty and thoughtless disembarkation on any coast they saw in the horizon when they approached with yelling and screaming after many months of torture in the sea.
If one accepts as correct Mertz’s two views on the location, that is that Ogigia is an island in the Azores and the river Ocean is the famous Golf Stream, then every theory on the Mediterranean begins to fall to pieces. Homer’s grandeur is even more recognized. The Odyssey acquires a new more charming background than Iliad. A great Irish novelist and historian, James Joyce, has already characterized Odyssey as the greatest literary composition of all times.
The ancient civilization was not only about/ has not only to do with Philosophy and the Fine Arts. It was also about Geography, Astronomy, explorations and campains.
1. Περιοδικό Αεροπορική Επιθεώρηση τεύχος 49 Ιούλιος 1995: «Η ανακάλυψη της Αμερικής από τους Έλληνες»
2. Περιοδικό Ιχώρ τεύχος 5, Ιανουάριος 2001: « Η περιπλάνηση του Οδυσσέα έγινε στην Αμερική Ομήρου Οδύσσεια