The Argo Sails Again


On June 16 a replica of the mythical ship Argo left Volos in Greece. The original intent was to re-enact Jason and Argonaut's voyage to the kingdom of Colchis (now in Georgia) to retrieve the Golden Fleece, but Turkey refused to guarantee safe passage of the Greek vessel through its waters, so the ship is bound for Venice. It’s too bad that politics had to interfere with this educational enterprise. The ship is powered by representatives from the 27 EU countries (perhaps they should have invited Turkey…) and is scheduled to arrive in Venice on August 12th. The BBC has a video showing some of the construction and preparation of the vessel; AFP and ANA have the story.

Here’s an excerpt from the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes:

Now when gleaming dawn with bright eyes beheld the lofty peaks of Pelion, and the calm headlands were being drenched as the sea was ruffled by the winds, then Tiphys awoke from sleep; and at once he roused his comrades to go on board and make ready the oars. And a strange cry did the harbour of Pagasae utter, yea and Pelian Argo herself, urging them to set forth. For in her a beam divine had been laid which Athena had brought from an oak of Dodona and fitted in the middle of the stem. (II. 519 ff.)

The original Argo could speak, sort of a prehistorical version of OnStar. Those Greeks thought of everything.



8 comments on “The Argo Sails Again

  1. Chuck says:

    Very cool. I just hope they have good weather. I wouldn't want to be in an open boat in rough seas.

  2. びっくり says:

    Maybe the Turks saw your earlier post about the Trojan horse. 🙂

  3. Jodie says:

    Oh I remember seeing this on the BBC a while ago, glad to know it's still going well.
    I knwo you're a football fan, just wondering if you're looking forward to the Olympics? I saw the first full BBC trailer for it yesterday with all the rcent British victories and it almost made me cry.

  4. Sylvia says:

    Good point, Bikkuri! A Greek warship is a Greek warship, whatever the century!
    Jodie, I have mixed feelings about the Olympics (because I have mixed feelings about China) but I'm sure I'll watch whatever football is shown here (which probably won't be much). I hate to think of all those healthy young athletes running around and inhaling that toxic air, even though that air is the result of our consumerism.

  5. Chuck says:

    There's an interesting article in the June issue of The Atlantic about the pollution problem in China and, in part, how it relates to the Olympics. And I suppose we've seen the reports about the problem they're having with seaweed!

  6. Sylvia says:

    Wow. That article tries to be upbeat but it's still incredibly depressing. It also leaves out two things: one, that it is the West that has demanded cheap goods and doesn't care how they are made; and two, that there is an elite making unbelievable amounts of money while most of the country is kept in poisoned poverty. Unregulated capitalism with a veneer of communism to keep the people docile is a diabolical combination.

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