TROY-GOG MAGOG | ISMAROS-BRITTANY | KUTHERA-SENEGAL | CYCLOPES-MADEIRA, FOGO, CAMEROON | AIOLIA-CORVO | LAISTRUGONIA-CUBA, LA HAVANA | AIAIA-KIRKE | HADES-WALCHEREN
ATLANTIC KUTHERA AND LOTOPHAGIA
Odysseus' first voyage, part 3 PDF-DOWNLOAD
Legenda Map Atlantic Ocean:
Route I: (Janssen) From Troy through the Channel to the Kikones in Brittany, the Lotus-eaters in Senegal, the Cyclopes in Cameroon, Aiolos on Corvo, the Laistrugones in La Havana, back to Kirke in Zeeland.
Route II: (Wilkens) Same as I to Senegal, then to the Cyclopes on Fogo, Aiolos on Saba, the Laistrugones in La Havana, back to Kirke in Zeeland.
Route III: (Cailleux) After the Kikones to the Lotofages on Hierro, to the Cyclopes on Madeira, to Aiolos on Corvo, further equal to I.
Striped line: the current sailing and trade routes across the ocean.
The Bay of Biscay
After the disastrous encounter with the Kikones (see part 2), in which he lost six men per ship, so a total of 6 x 12 = 72 men, Odysseus departs from this litus Saxonicum (Saxonian coast = Brittany, Bay of Douarnenez) towards Ithaka.
Then we sailed on, depressed and saddened, though
happy to have escaped death, because of the loss of our companions.
But my curved ships did not sail away before
one of us called three times the name of each of the mates
who, killed by Kikones, had died on the battlefield.
Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, then stirred the Boreas wind with
fierce hurricane power against our ships and covered
land and sea with clouds: night dominated the sky.
They were then set aside transversely of the wind and
the storm blowing violently tore the sails in three or four pieces.
That is why in terror of death we put them away in the ships
and rowed the vessels wildly towards the coast. Over there
we stayed for two whole nights and days,
tormented by pain, exhausted by fatigue. (9.62 ff.)
Because of the hurricane from the north (Boreas), the direction that the ships are sailing must be southern. They are, therefore, driven across the Bay of Biscay towards the Spanish north coast, where they manage to come ashore by rowing. They stay there for two whole days to recover from the hardships. Homeros does not provide more details, making it difficult to determine the landing location in northern Spain. Cailleux believes he has a solution (PA 45) and states that the landing place must have been in Northern Galicia where the river Ullah flows, which would be named after Ulysses, just like the river Odet, which flows through Quimper in Armorica, could be named after Odysseus. The legend told about Iago in Galicia is at least remarkable. He sailed up the River Ullah with twelve mates, fleeing from enemies, split a rock in two with his stick and settled in a place Iria Flava, now called Padrón, where the pilgrims in Cailleux' time were still making a difficult climb up to the church of St. Iago on their knees. For comparison: Ulysses sailed the Ullah with twelve ships after a difficult journey across the Bay of Biscay escaping the enemies, the Kikones, and stayed there for two days, 'tormented by pain and exhausted by fatigue.' "Stick" and "day" in Gallo-Germanic are almost the same words: dag and dach. Possibly in the city of Padrón, named after 'a large mooring stone called the pedrón', the arrival of Odysseus, el Padrón, who moored at a large anchor stone, is still commemorated by the pilgrims. However, the data from Homeros are too poor for us to be able to say anything with certainty about this location.
Cape Maleia and Kuthera
The following geographical points on Odysseus' journey to Ithaka (Cadiz) are Cape Maleia and Kuthera. Here too, the data from Homeros' text are very small in number, but actually the logic only forces us one way.
When the Morning with lovely braids brought the third day,
we set the masts upright and hoisted the white sails.
We rested because wind and navigators led the ships.
Now I would have reached my home country unharmed
if the waves, north wind and the current had not beaten me off course,
when I tried to sail around Maleia, and had made me miss Kuthera. (9.76 ff.)
Odysseus was almost home and only had to sail round Cape Maleia, that is to say he had to round Cape S.Vincente, called Promontorium Herculis in Roman times. Of Herculis Vincens, the Victorious Hercules, only the second part, Vincens, has been preserved in the current name S.Vincente, the southwestern tip of Iberia. The Phoenician name for Hercules is Melkart or Malios, Melios, Melon, Malika, Milicus, hence Cape Maleia.1 The Boreas is still blowing hard so that, partly due to the countercurrent from Gibraltar, he is unable to round the cape and is driven along the coast of Morocco with the so-called Portugal current (north-south), where he missed also a possible landing place Kuthera.
Where is the Atlantic Kuthera?
According to the route indicated by Homeros, it should be a place south of Cape S. Vincente, that is to say on the coast of Mauretania or Morocco. Kuthereia: 'Kutherian' or 'from Kuthera '(8,283) is a fixed epithet for Aphrodite, so the place must have something to do with her mystery cult and orgies. In fact, there is only one place that has been mentioned by classical sources and corresponds to the meaning of the name Kuthera. Cailleux (PA 48) identifies the place with El Araich (Larasch) in Morocco on the river Lixus (Loukkos), where lies an old ruine, the city of Lissus, founded in 1200 BC and perhaps named after Ulysses. El Araich has the stem a-r-k, which is also present in Erux (= Sicily), Iraq and Bro Erech (Brittany), and means 'garden, place of pleasure', where the reincarnation orgies took place and is, therefore, a regional centre of the ancient religious system. According to tradition, a mysterious city of Asgard has been located in that neighbourhood, a name associated with cult places such as Asgard in Scandinavia and Asciburgium (Middelburg) in Zeeland.2 Antique authors, therefore, place the Garden of the Hesperides just there, 'Oceani iuxa littus' (= along the coast of the Ocean)3. Old travel journals mention a kind of Mithras orgy with virgins and human sacrifices, while the name Kuthera seems to be derived from the Spanish cotarro which means "loose or promiscuous" party. Travellers from the sixteenth century report the following about Ham Lisnan that is located near Asgard:4 'They had a temple near Ham Lisnan where huge numbers of people, men and women, gathered at certain times during the night. After making sacrifices there, they turned off all the lights and every man had sexual intercourse with every woman he first touched. However, the women who attended this horrible cult were not allowed to sleep with another man for a whole year, while the children born of this intercourse were raised separately by the priests of the temple because they were intended for religious services.'
The connection between the "Girls of the West" (Hesperides), Asgard, Aphrodite, and Kuthera has been clearly demonstrated. So, because of this identification of Kuthera, that is not referred to as an island by Homeros, we don't have to go into the Mediterranean either. Strabo, the Greek geographer who had visited almost the entire Roman world, wrote already around 20 BC that Homeros was very well aware of the ebb and flow of the ocean tide and even mentioned the Atlantic by name (Strabo I, 7). He believed that some scenes from the Odyssey must have taken place on the Atlantic Ocean, such as that of Kirke, granddaughter of Okeanos, that of the Faiakans who had withdrawn on an island far from all people, and that of Kalypso, a daughter of Atlas. Strabo quotes scholars such as Poseidonios, Artemidoros, and Asklepiades, who had traveled extensively. Artemidoros is said to have located the Lotophages on the coast of Mauritania (see below), Asklepiades describes a city of Odysseia with a temple for Ulixes and an area where Hellenes live.5 Because Strabo still assumed a location of Troy in Asia Minor, his route description of Odysseus' voyages is not a logical whole. We can now add to the aforementioned scenes described by Strabo the Lotophages, Cyclopes, Aiolos, Laistrugons etc., all of which take place on the Atlantic Ocean.
As interesting as this Moroccan Kuthera, an earthly paradise, may have been, Odysseus sails past it and is driven further south by a continuous north wind.
From there I was driven by terrible winds
over the fish-rich sea for nine days; on the tenth day,
however, we set foot on the land of the Lotus-eaters, who eat
flowery food. We went ashore there to drew water.
Next to the fast ships, my mates ate quickly.
However, when we were full of food and drink,
I sent my companions inland to investigate
what kind of human beings lived there.
I chose two men, a third acted as a messenger.
So they left at once and mingled with the Lotus-eaters.
The Lotus-eaters certainly did not harm my friends,
on the contrary, gave their lotus to taste.
Whoever ate the honey-sweet fruit of the lotus
didn't want to go back or bring back word to us.
No, they wanted to stay with the Lotus-eaters,
eating the lotus and forgetting all thoughts of return.
They cried dearly when I dragged them to the ships by force. (9.82 ff.)
Where should we look for the Lotus-eaters?
The authors differ here. Wilkens' view is as follows: the wind drives Odysseus' twelve ships to the south for nine days, assuming that the 'terrible winds' still refer to the same Boreas. This results in a distance of approximately 2500 km (an average of 10 km per hour) so that the ships must have landed somewhere at Senegal-Gambia. Cailleux understands those winds to be rather variable winds that blow them in all directions and places the Lotus-eaters on the island of Hierro (Canaries) which is situated at a distance of approximately 1400 km from Kuthera (average speed 6 km per hour). Cailleux uses the following arguments (PA 52 ff.) for his identification:
1. The flowery food they feed on points to the nymph Flora of Chloris (Greek), which according to classical authors should be placed on the Insulae Fortunatae where the dead were buried as mummies. The flowers, therefore, point to the Floralia-orgies (Gr. Anthesteria) there. The name Lotus-eaters can be derived from loot = ent = ant (Gr. = Flower) and refers to the Floralia. Moreover, Hierro or Hiera can be deduced from haer, virgin, (Virgen de los Reyes?), which again can refer to the orgies of the Floralia
2. Artemidoros, quoted by Strabo 3,4,3, says 'that the population of southern Ethiopia is called "Lotophages" by western Ethiopians and feeds on lotus, a kind of grass with a root, but does not need drink and nor has the need because of the lack of water there, while their area extends to the south of Kyrene.' At Hierro (= Ombrios) there is no water, but there is a sacred tree that produces water through horizontal dew showers!
The following arguments can be raised against the identification of Cailleux:
- the land is called "fertile arable land" (23,311), which is difficult without water.
- Many mummies have been found on Hierro, but they date from a more recent period, namely from 85 AD.
- The land of the Lotophages is nowhere called "island" and the Artemidoros fragment does not refer to an island either. I suspect that he means the desert area from the west to Libya, that is Senegal, Mali, Niger, Libya.
- The Floralia can take place wherever Gallo-Germanic influences can be found, such as Cape Verde, Madeira, Azores, all of which belong to the Insulae Fortunatae and apparently also on the African mainland around Ham-Lisnan.
I believe Senegal is the best option. Its etymology is not clear. It may have been derived from Sene-Gallia, that is, "a settlement of Gauls from the Seine area" (compare the druid island of Sena, Séné). Against Senegal, however, can be argued that as a Sahel-country it is not really a fertile arable land, except around the Gambia and Senegal rivers and south of Gambia in the Casamance area (peanuts and cotton), but here too, just like on Lanzarote, climate change could have occurred, when the Sahara became a dessert starting from approximately 6000 BC. The three major rivers of Gambia and Senegal are also tidal rivers and may have been used for purification and reincarnation rites and orgies. Archaeological finds from the Stone Age prove that there has been an ancient civilization in Senegambia. A multitude of megalithic monuments has been preserved.
One of the many stonecircles, Wassu, Gambia
According to Wilkens (p.234), the lotus is a variant of the Provencal microcoulier, namely the "lotus tree" or Celtis (nettle tree) with olive-like fruits that have a sweetish taste, such as dates. Pliny gives the name Ziziphus Lotus, the fruits of which are prescribed by traditional Chinese healers as a soothing sleeping aid.
You can wonder if Odysseus' men would give up marine life and their homeland for this lotus plant. Although Homeros does not name the orgies by name, the term "flowery food" could certainly refer to this so that the reincarnation orgies of the Floralia cult could have an additional attraction to his men, given the measures Odysseus must take to keep them on board.
Then I bound them tight to the benches in the hollow ships.
Then I ordered the rest of my loyal mates to immediately
embark the fast craft, fearing that someone might
accidentally eat lotus and forget to return home. (9,99 ff.)
The number nine (nine days of sailing) indicates, as is usual with Homer, a connection with Nehalennia and the initiation process in the new religion (see Introduction Nehalennia and Religion H.O.). Odysseus is, as one could say, in the preliminary phase of the initiation that later takes place at Kirke's. He is now the uninitiated barbarian, eager for money and women, who organizes "raids" in enemy territory like with the Kikones. The story of the Lotophages, however, indicates a turning point: Odysseus manages to control himself and does not respond to the temptations of the lotus (drugs) and possibly women (Floralia parties).
No matter how short the story about the Kikones-Lotophages route is, it clearly indicates the three layers of the Odyssey, as described in the Introduction Troy.
Under the surface of the mythological story is a route book for the seafarer hidden, in which a number of clues are hidden:
- The Bay of Biscay, expressed by the Douarnenez-Galicia route, can be very dangerous, but a landing on the coast of northern Spain can help.
- It may be impossible to round the Cape Maleia in a northern storm and countercurrent, but there is a pleasant landing site along the coast of Morocco near the Lixus and El Araich rivers.
-On nine days sailing with a favourable north wind is a landing place where you can get fresh water in one of the rivers of Senegambia. From there one can make the crossing to the Caribbean.
The third layer is the ten-year initiation process in the new rebirth religion in which Odysseus finds himself and in which he is confronted with many trials. He passes the first test with the Lotophages: drugs (and sex). The old feudal reincarnation rites of the Floralia, which have already been discussed with the Kikones, are laterally indicated by Kuthera and the "flowery food" of the Lotophages.
The data from Homeros are too brief to determine with certainty the route of Odysseus after the Kikones. However, on the basis of rational arguments we can state:
- that Odysseus crosses the Bay of Biscay and rests two days somewhere in Galicia;
- that he is driven by the north wind past Cape Maleia (Cabo S.Vincente) and misses the turn to Cadiz;
- that he sails past a city or region called Kuthera, which is dedicated to Afrodite and, on the basis of ancient sources, can be equated with the Garden of the Hesperides. El Araich in Morocco is actually the only option for its location;
- that the Lotus-eaters must be situated in Senegal on the basis of the distance and the number nine (Nehalennia versus Floralia), the fact that Lotophagia is not an island but a "country" (gaia), the etymology of Sene-Gallia, the presence of three large tidal rivers, where Odysseus could at least fetch water, but which are also important for rebirth rites, and the archaeological sites.
-that the three layers of the Odyssey can also be designated in this route.
1.PH 397 and L&S sv.Melos, Enc.Meth. Antiq. part 4. The traditional etymology of Melkart is Milk-art that should mean 'City-king', a meaningless etymology. Cailleux rather sees in it the Spanish mella, which relates to the mysteries and orgies of this area.
2.See Introduction Kirke and Nehalennia. In Morocco, the name Asgard can still be found in various forms.
3.https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesp%C3%A9rides. Lexicon geographicvm .. by Philippus Ferrarius.
4.Richard Hakluyt's 12-volume Principal Navigations Voyages Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, originally published at the end of the sixteenth century, and reissued by the Cambridge Library Collection in the edition of 1903-5.
5. Odysseia is the current Odexeice in southern Portugal. The Hellenes lived in northern Portugal, see Introduction Argos and Hellas in H.O with map.
Abbreviations used for the books of Th. Cailleux (1878):
OC Origine celtique de la civilisation de tous les peuples
PH Poésies d' Homère
PA Pays Atlantiques, decrit par Homère
Citations of Homer: Roman cyphers = Ilias, e.g. XX,345; Arabic cyphers = Odyssey, e.g. 13,34.
Bibliography Atlantic authors:
Homeros Odyssee, by Gerard Janssen, Leeuwarden 2018
Gideon E. Troje lag in Engeland, Deventer 1991, reprint of Homerus, zanger der Kelten, 1973
Grave Ch.J. De République des Champs Élysées, Gent 1806, 3 parts.
Vinci F. The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales, 2005
Wilkens I.J. Where Troy once stood, 1990-2013,
Dutch: Waar eens Troje lag, 2015 Leeuwarden.
Series: Odysseus' First Voyage
- part 1: Troy- Gog Magog Hills, England
- part 2: Ismaros and the Kikonen - Brittany
- part 3: Lotophages - Senegal
- part 4: Cyclopes - Fogo, Madeira, Cameroon
- part 5: Aiolia andAiolos - Corvo (Azores)
- part 6: Laestrygones - Cuba, La Havana
- part 7: Aiaia and Kirke - Schouwen, Zeeland
- part 8: Hades-Walcheren, Zeeland
Series: Odysseus' Second Voyage
- part II: Skulla and Charubdis - St.Michael'Mount
- part III: Thrinakia - Cornwall