Was Odysseus A True Marathon Swimmer?
Was Odysseus A True Marathon Swimmer?Courtesy of WOWSA, Gozo.
Was Odysseus among the first mythical character to be a marathon swimmer?
According to Homer’s famous epic story Odyssey, Odysseus was sailing from Thrinacia to Ogygia when his ship was struck by a thunderbolt and all his men were killed except him. He survived by swimming to Ogygia and then spent seven year with Calypso before escaping.
While many modern scholars do not associate these locations with any existing geography, we imagined where Odysseus would have swum below. According to scholars, Thrinacia is associated with either Sicily or Malta while Ogygia is often associated with Gozo. If those is the case, then we made the following assumptions:
If Odysseus swam from Malta to Gozo, this would make his swim a doable 6 km.
If Odysseus swam from Sicily to Gozo, this would have made his swim a much more godlike 93 km.
If Odysseus swam from Malta to the Atlantic Ocean, this would have made his aquatic adventure truly mythical at 1,772 km.
Map above shows some of the locations of Atlantis where some scholars believed Odysseus may have swum.
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