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.