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Pytheas
Pytheas
of Massalia (Ancient Greek: Πυθέας ὁ Μασσαλιώτης Pythéas ho Massaliōtēs; Latin: Pytheas Massiliensis; fl. 4th century BC), was a Greek geographer and explorer from the Greek colony of Massalia (modern-day Marseille). He made a voyage of exploration to northwestern Europe in about 325 BC, but his description of it, widely known in Antiquity, has not survived. In this voyage he circumnavigated and visited a considerable part of Great Britain. He is the first person on record to describe the Midnight Sun. The theoretical existence of a Frigid Zone, and temperate zones where the nights are very short in summer and the sun does not set at the summer solstice, was already known. Similarly, reports of a country of perpetual snow and darkness (the country of the Hyperboreans) had reached the Mediterranean some centuries before. Pytheas
Pytheas
is the first known scientific visitor and reporter of the Arctic, polar ice, and the Germanic tribes. He introduced the idea of distant Thule
Thule
to the geographic imagination, and his account of the tides is the earliest known to suggest the moon as their cause. Pytheas
Pytheas
may have also reached Iceland.[1]

Contents

1 Dates 2 Record 3 Circumstances of the voyage 4 Discovery of Britain

4.1 The "circumnavigation" 4.2 Name and description of the British 4.3 The three corners of Britain: Kantion, Belerion and Orkas 4.4 The tin trade

5 Discovery of Thule 6 Encounter with drift ice 7 Discovery of the Baltic 8 Voyage to the Don 9 Pytheas' measurements of latitude

9.1 Latitude
Latitude
by the altitude of the sun 9.2 Latitude
Latitude
by the elevation of the north pole 9.3 Location of the Arctic
Arctic
Circle 9.4 Latitude
Latitude
by length of longest day, and by sun's elevation on shortest day

10 Pytheas
Pytheas
on the tides 11 Literary influence 12 See also 13 Notes 14 Bibliography 15 Further reading 16 External links

Dates[edit] Pliny says that Timaeus (born about 350 BC) believed Pytheas' story of the discovery of amber.[2] Strabo
Strabo
says that Dicaearchus
Dicaearchus
(died about 285 BC) did not trust the stories of Pytheas.[3] That is all the information that survives concerning the date of Pytheas' voyage. Presuming that Timaeus would not have written until after he was 20 years old in about 330 BC and Dicaearchus
Dicaearchus
would have needed time to write his most mature work, after 300 BC, there is no reason not to accept Henry Fanshawe Tozer's window of 330–300 BC for the voyage.[4][original research?] Some would give Timaeus an extra 5 years, bringing the voyage down to 325 BC at earliest. There is no further evidence. If one presumes that Pytheas
Pytheas
would not have written before reaching age 20, he would have been a contemporary and competitor of Timaeus and Dicaearchus. As they read his writings he must have written toward the earlier years of the window. Record[edit]

1620 edition of Strabo's Geographica.

Pytheas
Pytheas
described his travels in a work that has not survived; only excerpts remain, quoted or paraphrased by later authors, most familiarly in Strabo's Geographica,[5] Pliny's Natural History and passages in Diodorus of Sicily's history. Most of the ancients, including the first two just mentioned, refer to his work by his name: " Pytheas
Pytheas
says …" Two late writers give titles: the astronomical author Geminus of Rhodes mentions τὰ περὶ τοῦ Ὠκεανοῦ (ta peri tou Okeanou), literally "things about the Ocean", sometimes translated as "Description of the Ocean", "On the Ocean" or "Ocean"; Marcianus, the scholiast on Apollonius of Rhodes, mentions περίοδος γῆς (periodos gēs), a "trip around the earth" or περίπλους (periplous), "sail around".[citation needed] Scholars of the 19th century tended to interpret these titles as the names of distinct works covering separate voyages; for example, Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology hypothesizes a voyage to Britain and Thule
Thule
written about in "Ocean" and another from Cadiz
Cadiz
to the Don River, written about in "Sail Around".[6] As is common with ancient texts, multiple titles may represent a single source, for example, if a title refers to a section rather than the whole. The mainstream today recognizes periplus as a genre of navigational literature and concedes that there was only one work, "on the Ocean", which was based on a periplus. Diodorus does not mention Pytheas
Pytheas
by name. The connection is made as follows:[7] Pliny reports that "Timaeus says there is an island named Mictis … where tin is found, and to which the Britons cross."[8] Diodorus says that tin is brought to the island of Ictis, where there is an emporium. The last link is supplied by Strabo, who says that an emporium on the island of Corbulo in the mouth of the Loire
Loire
was associated with the Britain of Pytheas
Pytheas
by Polybius.[9] Assuming that Ictis, Mictis and Corbulo are the same, Diodorus appears to have read Timaeus, who must have read Pytheas, whom Polybius
Polybius
also read. Circumstances of the voyage[edit] Further information: Greeks
Greeks
in pre-Roman Gaul Pytheas
Pytheas
was the first documented Mediterranean mariner to reach the British Isles. The start of Pytheas's voyage is unknown. The Carthaginians had closed the Strait of Gibraltar
Strait of Gibraltar
to all ships from other nations. Some historians, mainly of the late 19th century and before, therefore speculated (on no evidence) that he must have traveled overland to the mouth of the Loire
Loire
or the Garonne. Others believed that, to avoid the Carthaginian blockade, he may have stuck close to land and sailed only at night, or taken advantage of a temporary lapse in the blockade.[10] An alternate theory holds that by the 4th century BC, the western Greeks, especially the Massaliotes, were on amicable terms with Carthage. In 348 BC, Carthage
Carthage
and Rome came to terms over the Sicilian Wars
Sicilian Wars
with a treaty defining their mutual interests. Rome could use Sicilian markets, Carthage
Carthage
could buy and sell goods at Rome, and slaves taken by Carthage
Carthage
from allies of Rome were to be set free. Rome was to stay out of the western Mediterranean, but these terms did not apply to Massalia, which had its own treaty. During the second half of the 4th century BC, the time of Pytheas' voyage, Massaliotes were presumably free to operate as they pleased; there is, at least, no evidence of conflict with Carthage
Carthage
in any of the sources that touch on the voyage.[11] The early part of Pytheas' voyage is outlined by statements of Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes
that Strabo
Strabo
says are false because taken from[clarification needed] Pytheas.[12] Apparently, Pytheas
Pytheas
said that tides ended at the "sacred promontory" (Hieron akrōtērion, or Sagres Point), and from there to Gades is said to be 5 days' sail. Strabo
Strabo
complains about this distance, and about Pytheas' portrayal of the exact location of Tartessos. Mention of these places in a journal of the voyage indicates that Pytheas
Pytheas
passed through the Straits of Gibraltar and sailed north along the coast of Portugal. Discovery of Britain[edit] The "circumnavigation"[edit]

A 1490 Italian reconstruction of the map of Ptolemy. The map is a result of a combination of the lines of roads and of the coasting expeditions during the first century of Roman occupation. One great fault, however, is a lopsided Scotland, which in one hypothesis is the result of Ptolemy
Ptolemy
using Pytheas' measurements of latitude (see below).[13] Whether Ptolemy
Ptolemy
would have had Pytheas' real latitudes at that time is a much debated issue.

Strabo
Strabo
reports that Pytheas
Pytheas
says he "travelled over the whole of Britain that was accessible".[14] The word epelthein, at root "come upon", does not imply any specific method, and Pytheas
Pytheas
does not elaborate. He does use the word "whole" and he states a perimetros ("perimeter") of more than 40,000 stadia. Using Herodotus' standard of 600 feet for one stadium gives 4,545 miles; however, there is no way to tell which standard foot was in effect. The English foot is an approximation. Strabo
Strabo
wants to discredit Pytheas
Pytheas
on the grounds that 40,000 stadia is outrageously high and cannot be real. Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus
gives a similar number:[15] 42,500 stadia, about 4,830 miles, and explains that it is the perimeter of a triangle around Britain. The consensus has been that he probably took his information from Pytheas
Pytheas
through Timaeaus. Pliny gives the circuitus reported by Pytheas
Pytheas
as 4,875 Roman miles.[16] The explorer Fridtjof Nansen
Fridtjof Nansen
explains this apparent fantasy of Pytheas as a mistake of Timaeus.[17] Strabo
Strabo
and Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus
never saw Pytheas' work, says Nansen, but they and others read of him in Timaeus. Pytheas
Pytheas
reported only days' sail. Timaeus converted days to stadia at the rate of 1,000 per day, a standard figure of the times. However, Pytheas
Pytheas
only sailed 560 stadia per day for a total of 23,800, which in Nansen's view is consistent with 700 stadia per degree. Nansen goes on to point out that Pytheas
Pytheas
must have stopped to obtain astronomical data; presumably, the extra time was spent ashore. Using the stadia of Diodorus Siculus, one obtains 42.5 days for the time that would be spent in circumnavigating Britain. (It may have been a virtual circumnavigation[clarification needed]; see under Thule below.) The perimeter, according to Nansen based on the 23,800 stadia, was 2,375 miles. This number is in the neighborhood of what a triangular perimeter ought to be, but it cannot be verified against anything Pytheas
Pytheas
may have said, nor is Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus
very precise about the locations of the legs. The "perimeter" is often translated as "coastline", but this translation is misleading. The coastline, following all the bays and inlets, is 12,429 kilometres (7,723 mi) (see Geography of the United Kingdom). Pytheas
Pytheas
could have travelled any perimeter between that number and Diodorus'. Polybius
Polybius
adds that Pytheas
Pytheas
said he traversed the whole of Britain on foot,[18] of which he, Polybius, is skeptical. Despite Strabo's conviction of a lie, the perimeter said to have been given by Pytheas is not evidence of it. The issue of what he did say can never be settled until more fragments of Pytheas
Pytheas
turn up. Name and description of the British[edit]

Part of a series on the

History of the British Isles

Overview

United Kingdom

England

Isle of Wight Isles of Scilly

Scotland

Shetland Orkney Inner Hebrides Outer Hebrides

Wales

Anglesey

Northern Ireland

Ireland Isle of Man (Mann) Channel Islands

Jersey Guernsey

Prehistoric period

Prehistoric Britain

Prehistoric England Prehistoric Scotland

Prehistoric Shetland Prehistoric Orkney

Prehistoric Wales

Prehistoric Ireland Prehistoric Mann

Classical period

Roman Britain Roman Scotland Roman Wales Protohistoric Ireland, Roman Ireland Sub-Roman Britain

Medieval period

Medieval England

Early medieval England High medieval England Late medieval England

Medieval Scotland

Early medieval Scotland High medieval Scotland Late medieval Scotland

Medieval Wales

Early medieval Wales High medieval Wales Late medieval Wales

Medieval Ireland

Early medieval Ireland High medieval Ireland Late medieval Ireland

Medieval Mann

Early modern period

Early modern Britain Early modern England Early modern Scotland Early modern Wales Early modern Ireland Early modern Mann

Late modern period

United Kingdom (since 1707)

Victorian period Edwardian period First World War Interwar period Second World War Post-war period (political history) Post-war period (social history)

Late modern Ireland Late modern Mann

v t e

The first known written use of the word was an ancient Greek transliteration of the original P-Celtic term. It is believed to have appeared within a periplus by the geographer and explorer Pytheas
Pytheas
of Massalia, but no copies of this work survive. The earliest existing records of the word are quotations of the periplus by later authors, such as those within Strabo's Geographica, Pliny's Natural History and Diodorus of Sicily's Bibliotheca historica.[19] According to Strabo, Pytheas
Pytheas
referred to Britain as Bretannikē, which is treated a feminine noun.[20][21][22][23]

Pictish beast
Pictish beast
on an early medieval Pictish stone

"Britain" is most like Welsh Ynys Prydein, "the island of Britain", in which is a P-Celtic allophone of Q-Celtic Cruithne in Irish Cruithen-tuath, "land of the Picts". The base word is Scottish/Irish cruth, Welsh pryd, "form". The British were the "people of forms",[24] thought to refer to their practice of tattooing or war painting.[25] The Roman word Picti, "the Picts", means "painted". This etymology shows that Pytheas
Pytheas
interacted not so much with Irish or Scots, as they used Q-Celtic. Rather, Pytheas
Pytheas
brought back the P-Celtic form from more geographically accessible regions where Welsh or Breton are spoken today. Furthermore, some proto-Celtic was spoken over all of Greater Britain, and this particular spelling is prototypical of those more populous regions.

Reconstruction of a Celtic thatched hut in Wales

Diodorus based on Pytheas
Pytheas
reports that Britain is cold and subject to frosts, being "too much subject to the Bear", and not "under the Arctic
Arctic
pole", as some translations say.[26] The numerous population of natives, he says, live in thatched cottages, store their grain in subterranean caches and bake bread from it.[26] They are "of simple manners" (ēthesin haplous) and are content with plain fare. They are ruled by many kings and princes who live in peace with each other. Their troops fight from chariots, as did the Greeks
Greeks
in the Trojan War. The three corners of Britain: Kantion, Belerion and Orkas[edit] Opposite Europe in Diodorus is the promontory (akrōtērion) of Kantion (Kent), 100 stadia, about 11 miles, from the land, but the text is ambiguous: "the land" could be either Britain or the continent. Four days' sail beyond that is another promontory, Belerion, which can only be Cornwall, as Diodorus is describing the triangular perimeter and the third point is Orkas, presumably the main island of the Orkney
Orkney
Islands. The tin trade[edit] The inhabitants of Cornwall
Cornwall
are involved in the manufacture of tin ingots. They mine the ore, smelt it and then work it into pieces the shape of knuckle-bones, after which it is transported to the island of Ictis
Ictis
by wagon, which can be done at low tide. Merchants purchasing it there pack it on horses for 30 days to the river Rhône, where it is carried down to the mouth. Diodorus says that the inhabitants of Cornwall
Cornwall
are civilised in manner and especially hospitable to strangers because of their dealings with foreign merchants. Discovery of Thule[edit] Strabo
Strabo
relates, taking his text from Polybius, " Pytheas
Pytheas
asserts that he explored in person the whole northern region of Europe as far as the ends of the world."[27] Strabo
Strabo
does not believe it but he explains what Pytheas
Pytheas
means by the ends of the world.[28] Thoulē, he says (today spelled Thule),[29] is the most northerly of the British Isles. There the circle of the summer tropic is the same as the Arctic
Arctic
Circle (see below on Arctic
Arctic
Circle). Moreover, says Strabo, none of the other authors mention Thule, a fact which he uses to discredit Pytheas, but which to moderns indicates Pytheas
Pytheas
was the first explorer to arrive there and tell of it. Thule
Thule
is described as an island of six days' sailing north of Britain, near the frozen sea (pepēguia thalatta, "solidified sea").[30] Pliny adds that it has no nights at midsummer when the sun is passing through the sign of the Crab (at the summer solstice),[8] a reaffirmation that it is on the Arctic
Arctic
Circle. He adds that the crossing to Thule
Thule
starts at the island of Berrice, "the largest of all", which may be Lewis
Lewis
in the outer Hebrides. If Berrice was in the outer Hebrides, the crossing would have brought Pytheas
Pytheas
to the coast of Møre og Romsdal
Møre og Romsdal
or Trøndelag, Norway, explaining how he managed to miss the Skagerrak. If this is his route, in all likelihood he did not actually circumnavigate Britain, but returned along the coast of Germany, accounting for his somewhat larger perimeter. Concerning the location of Thule, a discrepancy in data caused subsequent geographers some problems, and may be responsible for Ptolemy's distortion of Scotland. Strabo
Strabo
reports that Eratosthenes places Thule
Thule
at a parallel 11500 stadia (1305 miles, or 16.4°) north of the mouth of the Borysthenes.[30] The parallel running through that mouth also passes through Celtica and is Pytheas' base line. Using 3700 or 3800 stadia (approximately 420–430 miles or 5.3°–5.4°) north of Marseilles
Marseilles
for a base line obtains a latitude of 64.8° or 64.9° for Thule, well short of the Arctic
Arctic
Circle. It is in fact the latitude of Trondheim, where Pytheas
Pytheas
may have made land. A statement by Geminus of Rhodes quotes On the Ocean as saying:[31]

... the Barbarians showed us the place where the sun goes to rest. For it was the case that in these parts the nights were very short, in some places two, in others three hours long, so that the sun rose again a short time after it had set.

Nansen points out that according to this statement, Pytheas
Pytheas
was there in person and that the 21- and 22-hour days must be the customary statement of latitude by length of longest day. He calculates the latitudes to be 64° 32′ and 65° 31′, supporting Hipparchus' statement of the latitude of Thule. And yet Strabo says:[28]

Pytheas
Pytheas
of Massalia tells us that Thule ... is farthest north, and that there the circle of the summer tropic is the same as the Arctic[32] Circle.

Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes
extends the latitudinal distance from Massalia to Celtica to 5000 stadia (7.1°), placing the base line in Normandy. The northernmost location cited in Britain at the Firth of Clyde
Firth of Clyde
is now northern Scotland. To get this country south of Britain to conform to Strabo's interpretation of Pytheas, Ptolemy
Ptolemy
has to rotate Scotland
Scotland
by 90°. The 5000 stadia must be discounted: it crosses the Borysthenes
Borysthenes
upriver near Kiev
Kiev
rather than at the mouth.[33] It does place Pytheas
Pytheas
on the Arctic
Arctic
Circle, which in Norway
Norway
is south of the Lofoten islands. On the surface it appears that Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes
altered the base line to pass through the northern extreme of Celtica. Pytheas, as related by Hipparchus, probably cited the place in Celtica where he first made land. If he used the same practice in Norway, Thule
Thule
is at least somewhere on the entire northwest coast of Norway
Norway
from Møre og Romsdal to the Lofoten Islands. The explorer, Richard Francis Burton, in his study of Thule
Thule
points out that it has had many definitions over the centuries. Many more authors have written about it than remembered Pytheas. The question of the location of Pytheas' Thule
Thule
remains. The latitudes given by the ancient authors can be reconciled. The missing datum required to fix the location is longitude: "Manifestly we cannot rely upon the longitude."[34] Pytheas
Pytheas
crossed the waters northward from Berrice, in the north of the British Isles, but whether to starboard, larboard, or straight ahead is not known. From the time of the Roman Empire all the possibilities were suggested repeatedly by each generation of writers: Iceland, Shetland, the Faroe Islands, Norway
Norway
and later Greenland. A manuscript variant of a name in Pliny has abetted the Iceland
Iceland
theory: Nerigon instead of Berrice, which sounds like Norway. If one sails west from Norway
Norway
one encounters Iceland. Burton himself espoused this theory. The standard texts have Berrice today, as well as Bergos for Vergos in the same list of islands. The Scandiae islands are more of a problem, as they could be Scandinavia, but other islands had that name as well. Moreover, Procopius
Procopius
says[35] that the earlier name of Scandinavia was Thule
Thule
and that it was the home of the Goths. The fact that Pytheas returned from the vicinity of the Baltic favors Procopius's view. The fact that Pytheas
Pytheas
lived centuries before the colonization of Iceland and Greenland
Greenland
by European agriculturalists makes them less likely candidates, as Thule
Thule
was populated and its soil was tilled. Concerning the people of Thule
Thule
Strabo
Strabo
says of Pytheas, but grudgingly:[36]

... he might possibly seem to have made adequate use of the facts as regards the people who live close to the frozen zone, when he says that, ... the people live on millet and other herbs, and on fruits and roots; and where there are grain and honey, the people get their beverage, also, from them. As for the grain, he says, – since they have no pure sunshine – they pound it out in large storehouses, after first gathering in the ears thither; for the threshing floors become useless because of this lack of sunshine and because of the rains.

What he seems to be describing is an agricultural country that uses barns for threshing grain rather than the Mediterranean outside floor of sun-baked mud and manufactures a drink, possibly mead.[37] Encounter with drift ice[edit]

Pancake ice
Pancake ice
in the Baltic in spring near the Swedish coast.

After mentioning the crossing (navigatio) from Berrice to Tyle, Pliny makes a brief statement that:

A Tyle unius diei navigatione mare concretum a nonnullis Cronium appellatur.

"One day's sail from Thule
Thule
is the frozen ocean, called by some the Cronian Sea."

The mare concretum appears to match Strabo's pepēguia thalatta and is probably the same as the topoi ("places") mentioned in Strabo's apparent description of spring drift ice, which would have stopped his voyage further north and was for him the ultimate limit of the world. Strabo
Strabo
says:[14][38]

Pytheas
Pytheas
also speaks of the waters around Thule
Thule
and of those places where land properly speaking no longer exists, nor sea nor air, but a mixture of these things, like a "marine lung", in which it is said that earth and water and all things are in suspension as if this something was a link between all these elements, on which one can neither walk nor sail.

The term used for "marine lung" (pleumōn thalattios) appears to refer to jellyfish of the type the ancients called sea-lung. The latter are mentioned by Aristotle
Aristotle
in On the Parts of Animals as being free-floating and insensate.[39] They are not further identifiable from what Aristotle
Aristotle
says but some pulmones appear in Pliny as a class of insensate sea animal;[40] specifically the halipleumon ("salt-water lung").[41] William Ogle, Aristotle's translator and annotator, attributes the name sea-lung to the lung-like expansion and contraction of the Medusae, a kind of Cnidaria, during locomotion.[42] The ice resembled floating circles in the water. The modern term for this phenomenon is pancake ice. The association of Pytheas' observations with drift ice has long been standard in navigational literature, including Nathaniel Bowditch's American Practical Navigator, which begins Chapter 33, Ice
Ice
Navigation, with Pytheas.[43] At its edge, sea, slush, and ice mix, surrounded by fog. Discovery of the Baltic[edit]

Amber

Strabo
Strabo
says that Pytheas
Pytheas
gave an account of "what is beyond the Rhine as far as Scythia", which he, Strabo, thinks is false.[44] In the geographers of the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire, such as Ptolemy, Scythia
Scythia
stretches eastward from the mouth of the Vistula; thus Pytheas
Pytheas
must have described the Germanic coast of the Baltic sea; if the statement is true, there are no other possibilities. As to whether he explored it in person, he said that he explored the entire north in person (see under Thule
Thule
above). As the periplus was a sort of ship's log, he probably did reach the Vistula. According to The Natural History by Pliny the Elder:[2]

Pytheas
Pytheas
says that the Gutones, a people of Germany, inhabit the shores of an estuary of the Ocean called Mentonomon, their territory extending a distance of six thousand stadia; that, at one day's sail from this territory, is the Isle of Abalus, upon the shores of which, amber is thrown up by the waves in spring, it being an excretion of the sea in a concrete form; as, also, that the inhabitants use this amber by way of fuel, and sell it to their neighbours, the Teutones.

The "Gutones" is a simplification of two manuscript variants, Guttonibus and Guionibus, which would be in the nominative case Guttones or Guiones, the Goths
Goths
in the mainstream view.[45] The second major manuscript variant is either Mentonomon (nominative case) or Metuonidis (genitive case). A number of etymologies have been proposed but none very well accepted. Amber
Amber
is not actually named. It is called the concreti maris purgamentum, "the leavings of the frozen sea" after the spring melt. Diodorus uses ēlektron, the Greek word for amber, the object that gave its name to electricity through its ability to acquire a charge. Pliny is presenting an archaic view, as in his time amber was a precious stone brought from the Baltic at great expense, but the Germans, he says, use it for firewood, according to Pytheas. "Mentonomon" is unambiguously stated to be an aestuarium or "estuary" of 6000 stadia, which using the Herodotean standard of 600 feet per stadium is 681 miles. That number happens to be the distance from the mouth of the Skagerrak
Skagerrak
to the mouth of the Vistula, but no source says explicitly where the figure was taken. Competing views, however, usually have to reinterpret "estuary" to mean something other than an estuary, as the west of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
is the only body of estuarial water of sufficient length in the region. Earlier Pliny says that a large island of three days' sail from the Scythian coast called Balcia by Xenophon
Xenophon
of Lampsacus is called Basilia by Pytheas.[46] It is generally understood to be the same as Abalus. Based on the amber, the island could have been Heligoland, Zealand, the shores of Bay of Gdansk, Sambia or the Curonian Lagoon, which were historically the richest sources of amber in northern Europe. This is the earliest use of Germania. Voyage to the Don[edit] Pytheas
Pytheas
claimed to have explored the entire north; however, he turned back at the mouth of the Vistula, the border with Scythia. If he had gone on he would have discovered the ancestral Balts. They occupied the lands to the east of the Vistula. In the west they began with the people living around Frisches Haff, Lithuanian Aismarės, "sea of the Aistians", who in that vicinity became the Baltic Prussians.[47] On the east Herodotus
Herodotus
called them the Neuri, a name related to Old Prussian narus, "the deep", in the sense of water country. Later Lithuanians would be "the people of the shore". The Vistula was the traditional limit of Greater Germany. Place names featuring *ner- or *nar- are wide-ranging over the vast Proto-Baltic homeland, occupying western Russia before the Slavs.[48] Herodotus
Herodotus
says that the Neuri had Scythian customs, but they were at first not considered Scythian.[49] During the war between the Scythians and the Persian Empire, the Scythians came to dominate the Neuri. Strabo
Strabo
denies that any knowledge of the shores of the eastern Baltic existed. He had heard of the Sauromatai, but had no idea where to place them.[50] Herodotus
Herodotus
had mentioned these Sauromatai as a distinct people living near the Neuri. Pliny the Elder, however, is much better informed. The island of Baunonia (Bornholm), he says lies a days' sail off Scythia, where amber is collected.[46] To him the limit of Germany is the Vistula. In contrast to Strabo, he knows that the Goths
Goths
live around the Vistula, but these are definitely Germans. By the time of Tacitus, the Aestii
Aestii
have emerged.[51] The former Scythia
Scythia
is now entirely Sarmatia. Evidently the Sarmatians have conquered westward to the Vistula. The Goths
Goths
have moved to the south. That the Balts
Balts
lived east of the Vistula from remote prehistoric times is unquestioned. The Baltic languages, however, are only known from the 2nd millennium AD. They are known to have developed in tribal contexts, as they were originally tribal. The first mention of any tribes is in Ptolemy's description of European Sarmatia, where the main Prussian tribes are mentioned for the first time.[52] In Tacitus, only the language of the Aestii
Aestii
is mentioned. Strabo
Strabo
distinguishes the Venedi, who were likely Slavs. From these few references, which are the only surviving evidence apart from glottochronology[53] and place name analysis, it would seem that the Balts
Balts
of Pytheas' time were well past the Common Balto-Slavic
Balto-Slavic
stage, and likely spoke a number of related dialects. By turning back at what he thought was the limit of Germany, he not only missed the Balts, but did not discover that more Germans, the Goths, had moved into the Baltic area. Polybius
Polybius
relates: "... on his return thence (from the north), he traversed the whole of the coast of Europe from Gades to the Tanais."[54] Some authors consider this leg a second voyage, as it does not seem likely he would pass by Marseilles
Marseilles
without refitting and refreshing the crew. It is striking that he encountered the border of Scythia, turned around, and went around Europe counter-clockwise until he came to the southern side of Scythia
Scythia
on the Black Sea. It is possible to speculate that he may have hoped to circumnavigate Europe, but the sources do not say. In other, even more speculative interpretations, Pytheas
Pytheas
returned north and the Tanais is not the Don but is a northern river, such as the Elbe river.[6] Pytheas' measurements of latitude[edit] Latitude
Latitude
by the altitude of the sun[edit] In discussing the work of Pytheas, Strabo
Strabo
typically uses direct discourse: " Pytheas
Pytheas
says ..." In presenting his astronomical observations, he changes to indirect discourse: " Hipparchus
Hipparchus
says that Pytheas
Pytheas
says ..." either because he never read Pytheas' manuscript (because it was not available to him) or in deference to Hipparchus, who appears to have been the first to apply the Babylonian system of representing the sphere of the earth by 360°.[55] Strabo
Strabo
uses the degrees, based on Hipparchus.[56] Neither say that Pytheas
Pytheas
did. Nevertheless, Pytheas
Pytheas
did obtain latitudes, which, according to Strabo, he expressed in proportions of the gnōmōn ("index"), or trigonometric tangents of angles of elevation to celestial bodies. They were measured on the gnōmōn, the vertical leg of a right triangle, and the flat leg of the triangle. The imaginary hypotenuse looked along the line of sight to the celestial body or marked the edge of a shadow cast by the vertical leg on the horizontal leg. Pytheas
Pytheas
took the altitude of the sun at Massalia at noon on the longest day of the year and found that the tangent was the proportion of 120 (the length of the gnōmōn) to 1/5 less than 42 (the length of the shadow).[57] Hipparchus, relying on the authority of Pytheas
Pytheas
(says Strabo[58]), states that the ratio is the same as for Byzantium
Byzantium
and that the two therefore are on the same parallel. Nansen and others prefer to give the cotangent 209/600,[59] which is the inverse of the tangent, but the angle is greater than 45° and it is the tangent that Strabo
Strabo
states. His number system did not permit him to express it as a decimal but the tangent is about 2.87. It is unlikely that any of the geographers could compute the arctangent, or angle of that tangent. Moderns look it up in a table. Hipparchos
Hipparchos
is said to have had a table of some angles. The altitude, or angle of elevation, is 70° 47′ 50″[59] but that is not the latitude. At noon on the longest day the plane of longitude passing through Marseilles
Marseilles
is exactly on edge to the sun. If the Earth's axis were not tilted toward the sun, a vertical rod at the equator would have no shadow. A rod further north would have a north-south shadow, and as an elevation of 90° would be a zero latitude, the complement of the elevation gives the latitude. The sun is even higher in the sky due to the tilt. The angle added to the elevation by the tilt is known as the obliquity of the ecliptic and at that time was 23° 44′ 40″.[59] The complement of the elevation less the obliquity is 43° 13′, only 5′ in error from Marseilles's latitude, 43° 18′.[60] Latitude
Latitude
by the elevation of the north pole[edit] A second method of determining the latitude of the observer measures the angle of elevation of a celestial pole, north in the northern hemisphere. Seen from zero latitude the north pole's elevation is zero; that is, it is a point on the horizon. The declination of the observer's zenith also is zero and therefore so is their latitude. As the observer's latitude increases (traveling north) so does the declination. The pole rises over the horizon by an angle of the same amount. The elevation at the terrestrial North Pole
North Pole
is 90° (straight up) and the celestial pole has a declination of the same value. The latitude also is 90.[61] Moderns have Polaris
Polaris
to mark the approximate location of the North celestial pole, which it does nearly exactly, but this position of Polaris
Polaris
was not available in Pytheas' time, due to changes in the positions of the stars. Pytheas
Pytheas
reported that the pole was an empty space at the corner of a quadrangle, the other three sides of which were marked by stars.[62] Their identity has not survived but based on calculations these are believed to have been α and κ in Draco and β in Ursa Minor.[63] Pytheas
Pytheas
sailed northward with the intent of locating the Arctic
Arctic
Circle and exploring the "frigid zone" to the north of it at the extreme of the earth. He did not know the latitude of the circle in degrees. All he had to go by was the definition of the frigid zone as the latitudes north of the line where the celestial arctic circle was equal to the celestial Tropic of Cancer, the tropikos kuklos (refer to the next subsection). Strabo's angular report of this line as being at 24° may well be based on a tangent known to Pytheas, but he does not say that. In whatever mathematical form Pytheas
Pytheas
knew the location, he could only have determined when he was there by taking periodic readings of the elevation of the pole (eksarma tou polou in Strabo
Strabo
and others).[citation needed] Today the elevation can be obtained easily on ship with a quadrant. Electronic navigational systems have made even this simple measure unnecessary. Longitude was beyond Pytheas
Pytheas
and his peers, but it was not of as great a consequence, because ships seldom strayed out of sight of land. East-west distance was a matter of contention to the geographers; they are one of Strabo's most frequent topics. Because of the gnōmōn north-south distances were accurate often to within a degree.[citation needed] It is unlikely that any gnōmōn could be read accurately on the pitching deck of a small vessel at night. Pytheas
Pytheas
must have made frequent overnight stops to use his gnōmōn and talk to the natives, which would have required interpreters, probably acquired along the way. The few fragments that have survived indicate that this material was a significant part of the periplus, possibly kept as the ship's log. There is little hint of native hostility; the Celts and the Germans appear to have helped him, which suggests that the expedition was put forward as purely scientific. In any case all voyages required stops for food, water and repairs; the treatment of voyagers fell under the special "guest" ethic for visitors.[citation needed] Location of the Arctic
Arctic
Circle[edit] The ancient Greek view of the heavenly bodies on which their navigation was based was imported from Babylonia
Babylonia
by the Ionian Greeks, who used it to become a seafaring nation of merchants and colonists during the Archaic period in Greece. Massalia was an Ionian colony. The first Ionian philosopher, Thales, was known for his ability to measure the distance of a ship at sea from a cliff by the very method Pytheas
Pytheas
used to determine the latitude of Massalia, the trigonometric ratios. The astronomic model on which ancient Greek navigation was based, which is still in place today, was already extant in the time of Pytheas, the concept of the degrees only being missing. The model[64] divided the universe into a celestial and an earthly sphere pierced by the same poles. Each of the spheres were divided into zones (zonai) by circles (kukloi) in planes at right angles to the poles. The zones of the celestial sphere repeated on a larger scale those of the terrestrial sphere. The basis for division into zones was the two distinct paths of the heavenly bodies: that of the stars and that of the sun and moon. Astronomers know today that the Earth revolving around the sun is tilted on its axis, bringing each hemisphere now closer to the sun, now further away. The Greeks
Greeks
had the opposite model, that the stars and the sun rotated around the earth. The stars moved in fixed circles around the poles. The sun moved at an oblique angle to the circles, which obliquity brought it now to the north, now to the south. The circle of the sun was the ecliptic. It was the center of a band called the zodiac on which various constellations were located. The shadow cast by a vertical rod at noon was the basis for defining zonation. The intersection of the northernmost or southernmost points of the ecliptic defined the axial circles passing through those points as the two tropics (tropikoi kukloi, "circles at the turning points") later named for the zodiacal constellations found there, Cancer and Capricorn. During noon of the summer solstice (therinē tropē) rods there cast no shadow.[65] The latitudes between the tropics were called the torrid zone (diakekaumenē, "burned up"). Based on their experience of the Torrid Zone south of Egypt
Egypt
and Libya, the Greek geographers judged it uninhabitable. Symmetry requires that there be an uninhabitable Frigid Zone (katepsugmenē, "frozen") to the north and reports from there since the time of Homer
Homer
seemed to confirm it. The edge of the Frigid Zone ought to be as far south from the North Pole
North Pole
in latitude as the Summer Tropic is from the Equator. Strabo
Strabo
gives it as 24°, which may be based on a previous tangent of Pytheas, but he does not say. The Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
would then be at 66°, accurate to within a degree.[66] Seen from the equator the celestial North Pole
North Pole
(boreios polos) is a point on the horizon. As the observer moves northward the pole rises and the circumpolar stars appear, now unblocked by the Earth. At the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
the radius of the circumpolar stars reaches 24°. The edge stands on the horizon. The constellation of mikra arktos (Ursa Minor, "little bear") was entirely contained within the circumpolar region. The latitude was therefore called the arktikos kuklos, "circle of the bear". The terrestrial Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
was regarded as fixed at this latitude. The celestial Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
was regarded as identical to the circumference of the circumpolar stars and therefore a variable. When the observer is on the terrestrial Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
and the radius of the circumpolar stars is 66° the celestial Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
is identical to the celestial Tropic of Cancer.[67] That is what Pytheas means when he says that Thule
Thule
is located at the place where the Arctic Circle is identical to the Tropic of Cancer.[28] At that point, on the day of the Summer Solstice, the vertical rod of the gnōmōn casts a shadow extending in theory to the horizon over 360° as the sun does not set. Under the pole the Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
is identical to the Equator and the sun never sets but rises and falls on the horizon. The shadow of the gnōmōn winds perpetually around it. Latitude
Latitude
by length of longest day, and by sun's elevation on shortest day[edit] Strabo
Strabo
uses the astronomical cubit (pēchus, the length of the forearm from the elbow to the tip of the little finger) as a measure of the elevation of the sun. The term "cubit" in this context is obscure; it has nothing to do with distance along either a straight line or an arc, does not apply to celestial distances, and has nothing to do with the gnōmōn. Hipparchus
Hipparchus
borrowed this term from Babylonia, where it meant 2°. They in turn took it from ancient Sumer
Sumer
so long ago that if the connection between cubits and degrees was known in either Babylonia
Babylonia
or Ionia
Ionia
it did not survive. Strabo
Strabo
states degrees in either cubits or as a proportion of a great circle. The Greeks
Greeks
also used the length of day at the summer solstice as a measure of latitude. It is stated in equinoctial hours (hōrai isēmerinai), one being 1/12 of the time between sunrise and sunset on an equinox. Based partly on data taken from Pytheas, Hipparchus
Hipparchus
correlated cubits of the sun's elevation at noon on the winter solstice, latitudes in hours of a day on the summer solstice, and distances between latitudes in stadia for some locations.[68] Pytheas
Pytheas
had proved that Marseilles and Byzantium
Byzantium
were on the same parallel (see above). Hipparchus, through Strabo,[69] adds that Byzantium
Byzantium
and the mouth of the Borysthenes, today's Dnepr river, were on the same meridian and were separated by 3700 stadia, 5.3° at Strabo's 700 stadia per a degree of meridian arc. As the parallel through the river-mouth also crossed the coast of "Celtica", the distance due north from Marseilles to Celtica was 3700 stadia, a baseline from which Pytheas
Pytheas
seems to have calculated latitude and distance.[70] Strabo
Strabo
says that Ierne (Ireland) is under 5000 stadia (7.1°) north of this line. These figures place Celtica around the mouth of the Loire river, an emporium for the trading of British tin. The part of Ireland referenced is the vicinity of Belfast. Pytheas
Pytheas
then would either have crossed the Bay of Biscay
Bay of Biscay
from the coast of Spain to the mouth of the Loire, or reached it along the coast, crossed the English channel
English channel
from the vicinity of Brest, France
Brest, France
to Cornwall, and traversed the Irish Sea to reach the Orkney
Orkney
Islands. A statement of Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes
attributed by Strabo
Strabo
to Pytheas, that the north of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
was an easier passage to Celtica than across the Ocean,[71] is somewhat ambiguous: apparently he knew or knew of both routes, but he does not say which he took. At noon on the winter solstice the sun stands at 9 cubits and the longest day on the summer solstice is 16 hours at the baseline through Celtica.[72] At 2500 stadia, approximately 283 miles, or 3.6°, north of Celtica, are a people Hipparchus
Hipparchus
called Celtic, but whom Strabo
Strabo
thinks are the British, a discrepancy he might not have noted if he had known that the British were also Celtic. The location is Cornwall. The sun stands at 6 cubits and the longest day is 17 hours. At 9100 stadia, approximately 1032 miles, north of Marseilles, 5400 or 7.7° north of Celtica, the elevation is 4 cubits and the longest day is 18 hours. This location is in the vicinity of the Firth of Clyde. Here Strabo
Strabo
launches another quibble. Hipparchus, relying on Pytheas, according to Strabo, places this area south of Britain, but he, Strabo, calculates that it is north of Ierne. Pytheas, however, rightly knows what is now Scotland
Scotland
as part of Britain, land of the Picts, even though north of Ierne. North of southern Scotland
Scotland
the longest day is 19 hours. Strabo, based on theory alone, states that Ierne is so cold[28] that any lands north of it must be uninhabited. In the hindsight given to moderns Pytheas, in relying on observation in the field, appears more scientific than Strabo, who discounted the findings of others merely because of their strangeness to him. The ultimate cause of his skepticism is simply that he did not believe Scandinavia could exist. This disbelief may also be the cause of alteration of Pytheas' data. Pytheas
Pytheas
on the tides[edit] Pliny reports that " Pytheas
Pytheas
of Massalia informs us, that in Britain the tide rises 80 cubits."[73] The passage does not give enough information to determine which cubit Pliny meant; however, any cubit gives the same general result. If he was reading an early source, the cubit may have been the Cyrenaic cubit, an early Greek cubit, of 463.1 mm, in which case the distance was 37 metres (121 ft). This number far exceeds any modern known tides. The National Oceanography Centre, which records tides at tidal gauges placed in about 55 ports of the UK Tide
Tide
Gauge Network on an ongoing basis, records the highest mean tidal change between 1987 and 2007 at Avonmouth
Avonmouth
in the Severn Estuary
Severn Estuary
of 6.955 m (22.82 ft).[74] The highest predicted spring tide between 2008 and 2026 at that location will be 14.64 m (48.0 ft) on 29 September 2015.[75] Even allowing for geologic and climate change, Pytheas' 80 cubits far exceeds any known tides around Britain. One well-circulated but unevidenced answer to the paradox is that Pytheas
Pytheas
is referring to a storm surge.[4] Matching fragments of Aëtius in pseudo- Plutarch
Plutarch
and Stobaeus[76] attribute the flood tides (πλήμμυραι plēmmurai) to the "filling of the moon" (πλήρωσις τῆς σελήνης plērōsis tēs sēlēnēs) and the ebb tides (ἀμπώτιδες ampōtides) to the "lessening" (μείωσις meiōsis). The words are too ambiguous to make an exact determination of Pytheas' meaning, whether diurnal or spring and neap tides are meant, or whether full and new moons or the half-cycles in which they occur. Different translators take different views. That daily tides should be caused by full moons and new moons is manifestly wrong, which would be a surprising view in a Greek astronomer and mathematician of the times. He could have meant that spring and neap tides were caused by new and full moons, which is partially correct in that spring tides occur at those times. A gravitational theory (objects fall to the center) existed at the time but Pytheas
Pytheas
appears to have meant that the phases themselves were the causes (αἰτίαι aitiai). However imperfect or imperfectly related the viewpoint, Pytheas
Pytheas
was the first to associate the tides to the phases of the moon. Literary influence[edit] Pytheas
Pytheas
was a central source of information on the North Sea and the subarctic regions of western Europe to later periods, and possibly the only source. The only ancient authors we know by name who certainly saw Pytheas' original text were Dicaearchus, Timaeus, Eratosthenes, Crates of Mallus, Hipparchus, Polybius, Artemidorus and Posidonius.[77] Notably the list does not include Strabo
Strabo
or Tacitus, though Strabo
Strabo
discusses him and Tacitus
Tacitus
may likely have known about his work. Either of the two could have known him through other writers or have read his work in the original. Strabo, citing Polybius, accuses Pytheas
Pytheas
of promulgating a fictitious journey he could never have funded, as he was a private individual (idiōtēs) and a poor man (penēs).[27] Markham proposes a possible answer to the funding question:[78] seeing that Pytheas
Pytheas
was known as a professional geographer and that north Europe was as yet a question mark to Massalian merchants, he suggests that "the enterprise was a government expedition of which Pytheas
Pytheas
was placed in command." In another suggestion the merchants of Marseilles
Marseilles
sent him out to find northern markets. These theories are speculative but perhaps less so than Strabo's contention that Pytheas
Pytheas
was a charlatan just because a professional geographer doubted him.[79] Strabo
Strabo
does explain his reasons for doubting Pytheas' veracity. Citing numerous instances of Pytheas
Pytheas
apparently being far off the mark on details concerning known regions, he says: "however, any man who has told such great falsehoods about the known regions would hardly, I imagine, be able to tell the truth about places that are not known to anybody."[44] As an example he mentions that Pytheas
Pytheas
says Kent
Kent
is several days' sail from Celtica when it is visible from Gaul across the channel. If Pytheas
Pytheas
had visited the place he should have verified it personally. The objection although partially true is itself flawed. Strabo interjects his own view of the location of Celtica, that it was opposite to Britain, end to end.[44] Pytheas, however, places it further south, around the mouth of the Loire
Loire
(see above), from which it might justifiably be several days' sail.[80] The people across from Britain in Caesar's time are the Germani in the north and the Belgae in the south. Still, some of the Celtic lands were on the channel and were visible from it, which Pytheas
Pytheas
should have mentioned but Strabo implies he did not. Strabo's other objections are similarly flawed or else completely wrong. He simply did not believe the earth was inhabited north of Ierne. Pytheas
Pytheas
however could not then answer for himself, or protect his own work from loss or alteration, so most of the questions concerning his voyage remain unresolved, to be worked over by every generation. To some he is a daring adventurer and discoverer;[81] to others, a semi-legendary blunderer or prevaricator. The logical outcome of this tendency is the historical novel with Pytheas
Pytheas
as the main character and the celebration of Pytheas
Pytheas
in poetry beginning as far back as Virgil. The process continues into modern times; for example, Pytheas
Pytheas
is a key theme in Charles Olson's Maximus Poems. Details of Pytheas' voyage also serve as the backdrop for Chapter I of Poul Anderson's science fiction novel, The Boat of a Million Years. See also[edit]

Britain (name) Cruthin Euthymenes Mining in Cornwall Prydain Scythia

Notes[edit]

^ http://www.britannica.com/biography/Pytheas ^ a b Natural History, Book 37, Chapter 11. ^ Geographica
Geographica
Book II.4.2 paragraph 401). ^ a b Tozer 1897, p. xxi. ^ Book I.4.2–4 covers the astronomical calculations of Pytheas
Pytheas
and calls him a prevaricator. Book II.3.5 excuses his prevarication on the grounds of his being a professional. Book III.2.11 and 4.4, Book IV.2.1 criticises him again, Book IV.4.1 mentions his reference to the Celtic Ostimi. Book IV.5.5 describes Thule. Book VII.3.1 accuses him of using his science to cover up lies. ^ a b Smith 1880, Pytheas. ^ Holmes, T. Rice (1907). Ancient Britain and the Invasions of Julius Caesar. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 499–500.  ^ a b Natural History Book IV Chapter 30 (16.104). ^ Geographica
Geographica
IV.2.1. ^ Whitaker, Ian (December 1981 – January 1982). "The Problem of Pytheas' Thule". The Classical Journal. 77 (2): 148–164. JSTOR 3296920.  ^ Ebel, Charles (1976). Transalpine Gaul: The Emergence of a Roman Province. Leiden: Brill Archive. pp. 9–15. ISBN 978-90-04-04384-8.  ^ Geographica
Geographica
III.2.11. ^ Tierney, James J. (1959). "Ptolemy's Map of Scotland". The Journal of Hellenic Studies. 79: 132–148. doi:10.2307/627926. JSTOR 627926.  ^ a b Geographica
Geographica
Book II.4.1. ^ Book V chapter 21. ^ Natural History Book IV Chapter 30 (16.102). ^ Nansen 1911, p. 51. ^ Book XXXIV chapter 5, which survives as a fragment in Geographica Book II.4.1. ^ Book I.4.2–4, Book II.3.5, Book III.2.11 and 4.4, Book IV.2.1, Book IV.4.1, Book IV.5.5, Book VII.3.1 ^ Βρεττανική. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project ^ Strabo's Geography Book I. Chapter IV. Section 2 Greek text and English translation at the Perseus Project. ^ Strabo's Geography Book IV. Chapter II. Section 1 Greek text and English translation at the Perseus Project. ^ Strabo's Geography Book IV. Chapter IV. Section 1 Greek text and English translation at the Perseus Project. ^ Thomas, Charles (1997). Celtic Britain. London: Thames and Hudson. p. 82. If we seek a meaning, the favoured view is that it arises from an older word implying 'people of the forms, shapes or depictions' (*kwrt-en-o-).  ^ Allen, Stephen (2007). Lords of Battle: The World of the Celtic Warrior. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. p. 174. Pretani is generally believed to mean "painted" or rather "tatooed", very likely referring to the use by the Britons of the blue dye extracted from woad. ... it is more likely to be a nickname given them by outsiders ... It may be compared with the word Picti ... which was used by the Romans in the 3rd century AD.  ^ a b Siculi, Diodori; L. Rhodoman; G. Heyn; N. Eyring (1798). "Book V, Sections 21–22". In Peter Wesseling. Bibliothecae Historicae Libri Qui Supersunt: Nova Editio (in Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
and Latin). Argentorati: Societas Bipontina. pp. 292–297.  The section numeration differs somewhat in different translations; the material is to be found near the end of Book V. ^ a b Geographica
Geographica
II.4.2. ^ a b c d Geographica
Geographica
II.5.8. ^ Pliny uses Tyle. Vergil
Vergil
references ultima Thule
Thule
in Georgic
Georgic
I, Line 30, where the ultima refer to the ends of the world. Burton 1875, p. 2 ^ a b Geographica
Geographica
I.4.2. ^ Nansen 1911, p. 53; Geminus, Introduction to the Phenomena, vi.9. ^ Page 54. ^ The mouth was further north than it is today; even so, 48.4° is up near Dnipro. The Greeks
Greeks
must be allowed some inaccuracy for their measurements. In any case damming has changed the river a great deal and a few thousand years has been enough to change the courses of many rivers. ^ Burton 1875, p. 10. ^ De Bello Gothico, Chapter 15. ^ Geographica
Geographica
IV.5.5. ^ Nelson points out that this passage in Strabo
Strabo
contains "ambiguity": he could mean either one drink made from grain and honey, in which case it would have to be mead unless one classified it as a combination of mead and beer, or two drinks, mead and beer. Strabo uses the singular pōma for "beverage" but the neuter singular does not exclude a type of which there are two specifics. Some mead also is and was made with hops and is strained briefly through grain (see mead) The issue remains. See Nelson, Max (2005). The Barbarian's Beverage: A History of Beer in Ancient Europe. Routledge. p. 64. ISBN 0-415-31121-7.  ^ Translation from Chevallier 1984. ^ IV.5. ^ Natural History IX.71. ^ Natural History XXXII.32. ^ Aristotle; William Ogle (1882). On the Parts of Animals. London: Kegan, Paul, French & Co. p. 226.  ^ Bowditch, Nathaniel (2002). The American Practical Navigator: an Epitome of Navigation (pdf) (Bicentennial ed.). National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 7 June 2012.  ^ a b c Geographica
Geographica
I.4.3. ^ Lehmann, Winfred P.; Helen-Jo J. Hewitt (1986). A Gothic Etymological Dictionary. Leiden: E.J. Brill. p. 164. ISBN 9789004081765.  ^ a b Natural History IV.27.13 or IV.13.95 in the Loeb edition. ^ Gimbutas 1967, p. 22. ^ Gimbutas 1967, p. 101. ^ Herodotus
Herodotus
IV.105. ^ 7.2.4. ^ Germania, 45. ^ III.5. ^ Novotná, Petra. "Glottochronology and Its Application to the Balto-Slavic
Balto-Slavic
Languages". Retrieved 18 February 2017.  ^ Polybius
Polybius
XXXIV.5. ^ Lewis, Michael Jonathan Taunton (2001). Surveying Instruments of Greece and Rome. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 26–27. ISBN 9780521792974.  ^ Geographica
Geographica
II.5.34: "If, then, we cut the greatest circle of the Earth into three hundred and sixty sections, each of these sections will have seven hundred stadia." ^ Geographica
Geographica
II.5.41. ^ II.1.12 and again in II.5.8. ^ a b c Nansen 1911, p. 46. ^ Most students of Pytheas
Pytheas
presume that his differences from modern calculations represent error due to primitive instrumentation. Rawlins assumes the opposite, that Pytheas
Pytheas
observed the sun correctly, but his observatory was a few miles south of west-facing Marseilles. Working backward from the discrepancy, he arrives at Maire Island or Cape Croisette, which Pytheas
Pytheas
would have selected for better viewing over the south horizon. To date there is no archaeological or other evidence to support the presence of such an observatory; however, the deficit of antiquities does not prove non-existence. Rawlins, Dennis (December 2009). "Pytheas' Solstice
Solstice
Observation Locates Him" (PDF). DIO & the Journal for Hysterical Astronomy. 16: 11–17.  ^ Bowditch, Nathaniel (2002). The American Practical Navigator: an Epitome of Navigation (pdf) (Bicentennial ed.). National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. p. 243. Retrieved 7 June 2012. That is, the altitude of the elevated pole is equal to the declination of the zenith, which is equal to the latitude  ^ The report survives in the Commentary on the Phainomena of Aratos and Eudoxos, 1.4.1, fragments of which are preserved in Hipparchos. ^ Rihll, T.E. "Greek and Roman Science and Technology, V3; Specific subjects; Astronomy". Note 14: Swansea University. Retrieved 7 June 2012.  ^ Geographica
Geographica
II.5.3. ^ Geographica
Geographica
II.5.7. ^ Strabo's extensive presentation of the geographic model including the theory of the Arctic
Arctic
is to be found in Book II Chapter 5. ^ Nansen 1911, p. 53. ^ Nansen 1911, p. 52. ^ Strabo
Strabo
II.1.12,13. ^ However, Srabo II.1.18 implies 3800, still attributed to Hipparchus. Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes
has quite a different view. See under Thule. ^ Strabo
Strabo
III.2.11. ^ Strabo
Strabo
II.1.18. The notes of the Loeb Strabo
Strabo
summarize and explain this information. ^ Natural History Book II Chapter 99 ^ "Harmonic Constants". National Oceanography Centre. 3 July 2012. Archived from the original on 3 July 2012.  ^ "Highest & lowest predicted tides". National Oceanography Centre. 3 July 2012. Archived from the original on 3 July 2012.  ^ Diels, Hermann, ed. (1879). Doxographi Graeci (in Ancient Greek). Berlin: G. Reimer. p. 383.  Downloadable Google Books. Diels includes two matching fragments of Aëtius' Placita, one from Pseudo- Plutarch
Plutarch
Epitome Book III Chapter 17 often included in Moralia
Moralia
and the other from Stobaeus' Extracta Book I Chapter 38 [33]. ^ Lionel Pearson, review of Hans Joachim Mette, Pytheas
Pytheas
von Massalia (Berlin: Gruyter) 1952, in Classical Philology 49.3 (July 1954), pp. 212–214. ^ Markham 1893, p. 510. ^ Geographica
Geographica
II.3.5. ^ Graham, Thomas H.B. (July–December 1893). " Thule
Thule
and the Tin Islands". The Gentleman's Magazine. Vol. CCLXXV. p. 179.  ^ Sarton, Georg (1993). Ancient Science Through the Golden Age of Greece. New York: Courier Dover Publications. pp. 524–525. ISBN 978-0-486-27495-9. His fate was comparable to that of Marco Polo in later times; some of the things that they told were so extraordinary, so contrary to common experience, that wise and prudent men could not believe them and concluded they were fables 

Bibliography[edit]

Burton, Richard F. (1875). Ultima Thule; or, A Summer in Iceland. London and Edinburgh: William P. Nimmo.  Chevallier, R. (December 1984). "The Greco-Roman Conception of the North from Pytheas
Pytheas
to Tacitus". Arctic. 37 (4): 341–346. doi:10.14430/arctic2217. hdl:10515/sy5tb0xz8. JSTOR 40510297.  Cunliffe, Barry (2002). The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas
Pytheas
the Greek: The Man Who Discovered Britain (Revised ed.). Walker & Co, Penguin. ISBN 0-14-200254-2.  Frye, John; Harriet Frye (1985). North to Thule: an imagined narrative of the famous "lost" sea voyage of Pytheas
Pytheas
of Massalia in the fourth century B.C. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. ISBN 978-0-912697-20-8.  Gimbutas, Marija (1967). Daniel, Glyn, ed. The Balts. Ancient Peoples and Places. New York: Frederick A. Praeger.  Hawkes, C.F.C. (1977). Pytheas: Europe and the Greek Explorers. Oxford: Blackwell, Classics Department for the Board of Management of the Myres Memorial Fund. 090356307X.  Markham, Clements R. (June 1893). "Pytheas, The Discoverer of Britain". The Geographical Journal. London: The Royal Geographical Society. 1 (6): 504–524. doi:10.2307/1773964. JSTOR 1773964.  Nansen, Fridtjof (1911). In Northern Mists: Arctic
Arctic
Exploration in Early Times. Volume I. Translated by Arthur G. Chater. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co.  Roller, Duane W. (2006). Through the Pillars of Herakles: Greco-Roman Exploration of the Atlantic. London, New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415372879.  Roseman, Christina Horst (1994). Pytheas
Pytheas
of Massalia: On the ocean: Text, translation and commentary. Ares Publishing. ISBN 0-89005-545-9.  Smith, William (1880). "Pytheas". A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. III. London: J. Murray.  Stefansson, Vilhjalmur (1940). Ultima Thule: further mysteries of the Arctic. New York: Macmillan Co.  John Taylor, Albion: the earliest history" (Dublin, 2016) Tozer, Henry Fanshawe (1897). History of Ancient Geography. Cambridge: University Press. 

Library resources about Pytheas

Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries

By Pytheas

Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries

Further reading[edit]

Cunliffe, Barry. The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas
Pytheas
the Greek. London: Allen Lane, 2001. Roseman C. H. Pytheas
Pytheas
of Massalia. A critical examination of the texts. Seattle: University of Washington, 1983. Spekke, Arnolds. The ancient amber routes and the geographical discovery of the Eastern Baltic. Stockholm: Goppers, 1957.

External links[edit]

Darbyshire, Adrian (8 April 2008). " Pytheas
Pytheas
visited the Isle of Man in 300 BC – claim". Isle of Man Today. Retrieved 30 June 2012. [permanent dead link] Engels, Andre. "Pytheas". Discoverer's Web. Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2008.   Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Pytheas". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.  "The Northern Lights Route: The Voyage of Pytheas
Pytheas
to Thule". University Library of Tromsø. 1999. Retrieved 5 November 2008.  Deruelle, Jean. "Pytheas, megaliths and the tides". from: L'Atlantide des Mégalithes. Editions France-Empire, 1999. 

v t e

Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
mathematics

Mathematicians

Anaxagoras Anthemius Archytas Aristaeus the Elder Aristarchus Apollonius Archimedes Autolycus Bion Bryson Callippus Carpus Chrysippus Cleomedes Conon Ctesibius Democritus Dicaearchus Diocles Diophantus Dinostratus Dionysodorus Domninus Eratosthenes Eudemus Euclid Eudoxus Eutocius Geminus Heron Hipparchus Hippasus Hippias Hippocrates Hypatia Hypsicles Isidore of Miletus Leon Marinus Menaechmus Menelaus Metrodorus Nicomachus Nicomedes Nicoteles Oenopides Pappus Perseus Philolaus Philon Porphyry Posidonius Proclus Ptolemy Pythagoras Serenus Simplicius Sosigenes Sporus Thales Theaetetus Theano Theodorus Theodosius Theon of Alexandria Theon of Smyrna Thymaridas Xenocrates Zeno of Elea Zeno of Sidon Zenodorus

Treatises

Almagest Archimedes
Archimedes
Palimpsest Arithmetica Conics (Apollonius) Elements (Euclid) On the Sizes and Distances (Aristarchus) On Sizes and Distances
On Sizes and Distances
(Hipparchus) On the Moving Sphere (Autolycus) The Sand Reckoner

Problems

Problem of Apollonius Squaring the circle Doubling the cube Angle trisection

Centers

Cyrene Library of Alexandria Platonic Academy

Timeline of Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
mathematicians

v t e

Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
astronomy

Astronomers

Aglaonice Agrippa Anaximander Andronicus Apollonius Aratus Aristarchus Aristyllus Attalus Autolycus Bion Callippus Cleomedes Cleostratus Conon Eratosthenes Euctemon Eudoxus Geminus Heraclides Hicetas Hipparchus Hippocrates of Chios Hypsicles Menelaus Meton Oenopides Philip of Opus Philolaus Posidonius Ptolemy Pytheas Seleucus Sosigenes of Alexandria Sosigenes the Peripatetic Strabo Thales Theodosius Theon of Alexandria Theon of Smyrna Timocharis

Works

Almagest
Almagest
(Ptolemy) On Sizes and Distances
On Sizes and Distances
(Hipparchus) On the Sizes and Distances (Aristarchus) On the Heavens
On the Heavens
(Aristotle)

Instruments

Antikythera mechanism Armillary sphere Astrolabe Dioptra Equatorial ring Gnomon Mural instrument Triquetrum

Concepts

Callippic cycle Celestial spheres Circle of latitude Counter-Earth Deferent and epicycle Equant Geocentrism Heliocentrism Hipparchic cycle Metonic cycle Octaeteris Solstice Spherical Earth Sublunary sphere Zodiac

Influences

Babylonian astronomy Egyptian astronomy

Influenced

Medieval European science Indian astronomy Medieval Islamic astronomy

v t e

Polar exploration

Arctic

Ocean History Expeditions Research stations

Farthest North North Pole

Barentsz Hudson Marmaduke Carolus Parry North Magnetic Pole

J. Ross J. C. Ross Abernethy Kane Hayes

Polaris

Polaris C. F. Hall

British Arctic
Arctic
Expedition

HMS Alert Nares HMS Discovery Stephenson Markham

Lady Franklin Bay Expedition

Greely Lockwood Brainard

1st Fram
Fram
expedition

Fram Nansen Johansen Sverdrup

Jason

Amedeo

F. Cook Peary Sedov Byrd Airship Norge

Amundsen Nobile Wisting Riiser-Larsen Ellsworth

Airship Italia Nautilus

Wilkins

ANT-25

Chkalov Baydukov Belyakov

"North Pole" manned drifting ice stations NP-1

Papanin Shirshov E. Fyodorov Krenkel

NP-36 NP-37 Sedov

Badygin Wiese

USS Nautilus USS Skate Plaisted Herbert NS Arktika Barneo Arktika 2007

Mir submersibles Sagalevich Chilingarov

Iceland Greenland

Pytheas Brendan Papar Vikings Naddodd Svavarsson Arnarson Norse colonization of the Americas Ulfsson Galti Erik the Red Christian IV's expeditions

J. Hall Cunningham Lindenov C. Richardson

Danish colonization

Egede

Scoresby Jason

Nansen Sverdrup

Peary Rasmussen

Northwest Passage Northern Canada

Cabot G. Corte-Real M. Corte-Real Frobisher Gilbert Davis Hudson Discovery

Bylot Baffin

Munk I. Fyodorov Gvozdev HMS Resolution

J. Cook

HMS Discovery

Clerke

Mackenzie Kotzebue J. Ross HMS Griper

Parry

HMS Hecla

Lyon

HMS Fury

Hoppner

Crozier J. C. Ross Coppermine Expedition Franklin Back Dease Simpson HMS Blossom

Beechey

Franklin's lost expedition

HMS Erebus HMS Terror

Collinson Rae–Richardson Expedition

Rae J. Richardson

Austin McClure Expedition

HMS Investigator McClure HMS Resolute Kellett

Belcher Kennedy Bellot Isabel

Inglefield

2nd Grinnell Expedition

USS Advance Kane

Fox

McClintock

HMS Pandora

Young

Fram

Sverdrup

Gjøa

Amundsen

Rasmussen Karluk

Stefansson Bartlett

St. Roch

H. Larsen

Cowper

North East Passage Russian Arctic

Pomors Koch boats Willoughby Chancellor Barentsz Mangazeya Hudson Poole Siberian Cossacks Perfilyev Stadukhin Dezhnev Popov Ivanov Vagin Permyakov Great Northern Expedition

Bering Chirikov Malygin Ovtsyn Minin V. Pronchishchev M. Pronchishcheva Chelyuskin Kh. Laptev D. Laptev

Chichagov Lyakhov Billings Sannikov Gedenschtrom Wrangel Matyushkin Anjou Litke Lavrov Pakhtusov Tsivolko Middendorff Austro-Hungarian Expedition

Weyprecht Payer

Vega Expedition

A. E. Nordenskiöld Palander

USS Jeannette

De Long

Yermak

Makarov

Zarya

Toll Kolomeitsev Matisen Kolchak

Sedov Rusanov Kuchin Brusilov Expedition

Sv. Anna Brusilov Albanov Konrad

Wiese Nagórski Taymyr / Vaygach

Vilkitsky

Maud

Amundsen

AARI

Samoylovich

Begichev Urvantsev Sadko

Ushakov

Glavsevmorput

Schmidt

Aviaarktika

Shevelev

Sibiryakov

Voronin

Chelyuskin Krassin Gakkel Nuclear-powered icebreakers

NS Lenin Arktika class

Antarctic

Continent History Expeditions

Southern Ocean

Roché Bouvet Kerguelen HMS Resolution

J. Cook

HMS Adventure

Furneaux

Smith San Telmo Vostok

Bellingshausen

Mirny

Lazarev

Bransfield Palmer Davis Weddell Morrell Astrolabe

Dumont d'Urville

United States Exploring Expedition

USS Vincennes Wilkes

USS Porpoise

Ringgold

Ross expedition

HMS Erebus (J. C. Ross Abernethy) HMS Terror (Crozier)

Cooper Challenger expedition

HMS Challenger Nares Murray

Jason

C. A. Larsen

"Heroic Age"

Belgian Antarctic
Antarctic
Expedition

Belgica de Gerlache Lecointe Amundsen Cook Arctowski Racoviță Dobrowolski

Southern Cross

Southern Cross Borchgrevink

Discovery

Discovery Discovery Hut

Gauss

Gauss Drygalski

Swedish Antarctic
Antarctic
Expedition

Antarctic O. Nordenskjöld C. A. Larsen

Scottish Antarctic
Antarctic
Expedition

Bruce Scotia

Orcadas Base Nimrod Expedition

Nimrod

French Antarctic
Antarctic
Expeditions

Pourquoi-Pas Charcot

Japanese Antarctic
Antarctic
Expedition

Shirase

Amundsen's South Pole
South Pole
expedition

Fram Amundsen Framheim Polheim

Terra Nova

Terra Nova Scott Wilson E. R. Evans Crean Lashly

Filchner Australasian Antarctic
Antarctic
Expedition

SY Aurora Mawson

Far Eastern Party Imperial Trans- Antarctic
Antarctic
Expedition

Endurance Ernest Shackleton Wild

James Caird Ross Sea party

Mackintosh

Shackleton–Rowett Expedition

Quest

IPY · IGY Modern research

Christensen Byrd BANZARE BGLE

Rymill

New Swabia

Ritscher

Operation Tabarin

Marr

Operation Highjump Captain Arturo Prat Base British Antarctic
Antarctic
Survey Operation Windmill

Ketchum

Ronne Expedition

F. Ronne E. Ronne Schlossbach

Operation Deep Freeze McMurdo Station Commonwealth Trans- Antarctic
Antarctic
Expedition

Hillary V. Fuchs

Soviet Antarctic
Antarctic
Expeditions

1st

Somov Klenova Mirny

2nd

Tryoshnikov

3rd

Tolstikov

Antarctic
Antarctic
Treaty System Transglobe Expedition

Fiennes Burton

Lake Vostok Kapitsa

Farthest South South Pole

HMS Resolution

J. Cook

HMS Adventure

Furneaux

Weddell HMS Erebus

J. C. Ross

HMS Terror

Crozier

Southern Cross

Borchgrevink

Discovery

Barne

Nimrod

Shackleton Wild Marshall Adams

South Magnetic Pole

Mawson David Mackay

Amundsen's South Pole
South Pole
expedition

Fram Amundsen Bjaaland Helmer Hassel Wisting Polheim

Terra Nova

Scott E. Evans Oates Wilson Bowers

Byrd Balchen McKinley Dufek Amundsen–Scott South Pole
South Pole
Station Hillary V. Fuchs Pole of Cold

Vostok Station

Pole of inaccessibility

Pole of Inaccessibility Station Tolstikov

Crary A. Fuchs Messner

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 311417543 LCCN: n84135126 ISNI: 0000 0003 5499 9123 GND: 118793764 SELIBR: 337283 SUDOC: 059362685 BNF:

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