Wednesday, January 15, 2014
The Arctic Home in the Vedas: Part 14 - "Thule, Saturn, & an alternative explanation"
Thule, Saturn, & an alternative explanation: Part 3
The 80's musical track from the above video is entitled 'Hyperborea' by a German band called Tangerine Dream, which has been active from 1967 to the present. The theme song ('Betrayal') from the 1977 movie 'Sorcerer' was produced by them, as well as over sixty other film tracks. Anyway, I thought the above video captured the allure of what now seems clear to me to have been a real place; although there's no proof as of yet that it was a great civilization. At the very least, this ancient land of legend--and it's latter migrating peoples--are a big part of Indo-European history.
The "Arctic Home in the Vedas" is not just about Teutonic origins, but may say just as much about the very ancient proto-European culture. as well as the original pre-Greek and Roman Mediterranean civilizations. All three of those subraces are not given proper respect as far as their true origins. The Tarim mummies are just the tip of the iceberg. In hindsight, Bal Gangadhar Tilak was quite a pioneer; and the evidence proving him correct is mounting.
The ancient Greeks must have had periodic contact with these Teutons who were migrating outward after the last glacial movement. Perhaps some of them may even have contributed to ancient Greece and Assyria. I'm going to present this year some stunning information that may blow this thing out've the water as far as at least part of the Arctic circle being a livable place four or five thousand years ago. Much of this Greek-Teutonic contact likely occurred at the early stages of Greek civilization, where the legend developed.
This Hyperborean hypothesis seems to point to the logical location of northern Central Asia for what was probably some of the later settlements... like the Tarim Basin. It seems as though Greek conventional thinking later placed the Teutons as being from a location more like the British Isles; but they probably had it correct early on. Starting about three thousand years ago, some of these Teutons were migrating into Europe and merging with the proto-European/Alpine peoples; thus forming the "Celtic cultures." This is probably what confused them. It still confuses us today! Teutons were then associated with mary parts of the north from ancient Briton to ancient Tibet.
In Greek mythology the Hyperboreans (Ancient Greek: Ὑπερβόρε(ι)οι, pronounced [hyperbóre(ː)ɔi̯]; Latin: Hyperborei) were a mythical people who lived "beyond the North Wind". The Greeks thought that Boreas, the god of the North Wind (one of the Anemoi, or "Winds") lived in Thrace, and therefore Hyperborea indicates a region that lay far to the north of Thrace.
This land was supposed to be perfect, with the sun shining twenty-four hours a day, which to modern ears suggests a possible location within the Arctic Circle. However, it is also possible that Hyperborea had no real physical location at all - for according to the classical Greek poet Pindar,
neither by ship nor on foot would you find
the marvellous road to the assembly of the Hyperboreans.
Pindar also described the otherworldly perfection of the Hyperboreans:
Never the Muse is absent
from their ways: lyres clash and flutes cry
and everywhere maiden choruses whirling.
Neither disease nor bitter old age is mixed
in their sacred blood; far from labor and battle they live.
The earliest extant source that mentions Hyperborea in detail is Herodotus's Histories (Book IV, Chapters 32–36), written circa 450 BC. However, Herodotus recorded three earlier sources that supposedly mentioned the Hyperboreans, including Hesiod and Homer, the latter purportedly having written of Hyperborea in his lost work Epigoni: "if that be really a work of his." Herodotus also wrote that the 7th century BC poet Aristeas wrote of the Hyperboreans in a poem (now lost) called Arimaspea about a journey to the Issedones, who are estimated to have lived in the Kazakh Steppe. Beyond these lived the one-eyed Arimaspians, further on there were gold-guarding griffins, and beyond these the Hyperboreans. Naturally, Herodotus used to assume the location of Hyperborea somewhere in the Northeast Asia.
Pindar, Simonides of Ceos and Hellanicus of Lesbos, contemporaries of Herodotus in the 5th century BC, also all briefly described or referenced the Hyperboreans in their works.
Location of Hyperborea
The Hyperboreans were believed to live beyond the snowy Riphean Mountains which Homer first referenced in his Iliad (15. 171; 19. 358) or beyond the home of Boreas.
According to Pausanias: "The land of the Hyperboreans, men living beyond the home of Boreas."
Homer placed Boreas in Thrace, and therefore Hyperborea in his opinion was somewhere to the north of Thracian territory, perhaps Dacia. Sophocles (Antigone, 980–987), Aeschylus (Agamemnon, 193; 651), Simonides of Ceos (Schol. on Apollonius Rhodius, 1. 121) and Callimachus (Delian, [IV] 65) also placed Boreas in Thrace. Other ancient writers however believed the home of Boreas or the Riphean Mountains were in a different location. For example, Hecataeus of Miletus believed that the Riphean Mountains were adjacent to the Black Sea. Alternatively Pindar placed the home of Boreas, the Riphean Mountains and Hyperborea all near the Danube. Heraclides Ponticus and Antimachus in contrast identified the Riphean Mountains with the Alps, and the Hyperboreans as a Celtic tribe (perhaps the Helvetii) who lived just beyond them. Aristotle placed the Riphean mountains on the borders of Scythia, and Hyperborea further north. Hecataeus of Abdera and others believed Hyperborea was Britain.
Later Roman and Greek sources continued to change the location of the Riphean mountains, the home of Boreas, as well as Hyperborea, supposedly located beyond them. However all these sources agreed these were all in the far north of Greece or southern Europe. The ancient grammarian Simmias of Rhodes in the 3rd century BC connected the Hyperboreans to the Massagetae and Posidonius in the 1st century BC to the Western Celts, but Pomponius Mela placed them even further north in the vicinity of the Arctic.
In maps based on reference points and descriptions given by Strabo, Hyperborea, shown variously as a peninsula or island, is located beyond what is now France, and stretches further north-south than east-west. Other descriptions put it in the general area of the Ural Mountains.
Later classical sources
Plutarch, writing in the 1st century AD, connected the Hyperboreans with the Gauls who had sacked Rome in the 4th century BC (see Battle of the Allia).
Aelian, Diodorus Siculus and Stephen of Byzantium all recorded important ancient Greek sources on Hyperborea, but added no new descriptions.
The 2nd century AD Stoic philosopher Hierocles equated the Hyperboreans with the Scythians, and the Riphean Mountains with the Ural Mountains. Clement of Alexandria and other early Christian writers also made this same Scythian equation.
Ancient identification with Britain
Hyperborea was identified with Britain first by Hecataeus of Abdera in the 4th century BC, as in a preserved fragment by Diodorus Siculus:
In the regions beyond the land of the Celts there lies in the ocean an island no smaller than Sicily. This island, the account continues, is situated in the north and is inhabited by the Hyperboreans, who are called by that name because their home is beyond the point whence the north wind (Boreas) blows; and the island is both fertile and productive of every crop, and has an unusually temperate climate.
Hecateaus of Abdera also wrote that the Hyperboreans had a 'circular temple' on their island, and some scholars have identified this with Stonehenge. This is further supported by the fact that Stonehenge has been known as Apollo's Temple since classical antiquity, and Hyperborea in Greek legend was related to Apollo.
Pseudo-Scymnus, around 90 BC, wrote that Boreas dwelled at the extremity of Gaulish territory, and that he had a pillar erected in his name on the edge of the sea (Periegesis, 183). Some have claimed this is a geographical reference to northern France, and Hyperborea as the British Isles which lay just beyond the English Channel.
Ptolemy (Geographia, 2. 21) and Marcian of Heraclea (Periplus, 2. 42) both placed Hyperborea in the North Sea which they called the "Hyperborean Ocean."
Alone among the Twelve Olympians, Apollo was venerated among the Hyperboreans, the Hellenes thought: he spent his winter amongst them. For their part the Hyperboreans sent mysterious gifts, packed in straw, which came first to Dodona and then were passed from tribe to tribe until they came to Apollo's temple on Delos (Pausanias). Abaris, Hyperborean priest of Apollo, was a legendary wandering healer and seer. Theseus visited the Hyperboreans, and Pindar transferred Perseus's encounter with Medusa there from its traditional site in Libya, to the dissatisfaction of his Alexandrian editors.
Along with Thule, Hyperborea was one of several terrae incognitae to the Greeks and Romans, where Pliny, Pindar and Herodotus, as well as Virgil and Cicero, reported that people lived to the age of one thousand and enjoyed lives of complete happiness. Hecataeus of Abdera collated all the stories about the Hyperboreans current in the fourth century BC and published a lengthy treatise on them, lost to us, but noted by Diodorus Siculus (ii.47.1–2). Also, the sun was supposed to rise and set only once a year in Hyperborea; which would place it above or upon the Arctic Circle, or, more generally, in the arctic polar regions.
The ancient Greek writer Theopompus in his work Philippica claimed Hyperborea was once planned to be conquered by a large race of soldiers from another island (some have claimed this was Atlantis), the plan though was abandoned because the soldiers from Meropis realized the Hyperboreans were too strong for them and the most blessed of people; this unusual tale, which some believe was satire or comedy, was preserved by Aelian (Varia Historia, 3. 18).
Apollonius wrote that the Argonauts sighted Hyperborea, when they sailed through Eridanos.
Greek legend asserts that the Boreades, who were the descendants of Boreas and the snow-nymph Chione (or Khione), founded the first theocratic monarchy on Hyperborea. This legend is found preserved in the writings of Aelian: "This god [Apollon] has as priests the sons of Boreas (North Wind) and Chione (Snow), three in number, brothers by birth, and six cubits in height [about 3 metres]."
Diodorus Siculus added to this account: "And the kings of this (Hyperborean) city and the supervisors of the sacred precinct are called Boreadae, since they are descendants of Boreas, and the succession to these positions is always kept in their family."
The Boreades were thus believed to be giant kings, around 3 metres tall, who ruled Hyperborea.
No other physical descriptions of the Hyperboreans are provided in classical sources. However, Aelius Herodianus, a grammarian in the 3rd century, wrote that the mythical Arimaspi were identical to the Hyperboreans in physical appearance (De Prosodia Catholica, 1. 114) and Stephanus of Byzantium in the 6th century wrote the same (Ethnica, 118. 16). The ancient poet Callimachus described the Arimaspi as having fair hair but it is disputed whether the Arimaspi were Hyperboreans.