I also read, in recent times, Tim Severin‘s The Jason Voyage, his attempt at following the mythical story of Jason and the Argonauts. He had a Bronze Age Aegean galley built using archeological evidence and historical texts. This was the real deal – it would have banks of rowers toiling away and the characteristic “ram” bow. He set off from Greece and headed for the Dardanelles, following the legend’s trail and, once again, finding evidence that the myth may have been based on reality. Among the most fascinating aspects of the voyage was that it debunked the longstanding reason for it being myth: a vessel of that era could not have transited to notorious currents of the Dardanelles and Bosporus. Severin, though, figured out how to use back-eddies and other local nuances of the waterway to successfully complete the trip from the Aegean into the Black Sea. Once there, the voyage continued to current-day Georgia, wherein Severin and crew “seal the deal” by identifying the likely source for the golden fleece as well as numerous other facts that match the stories.
I was almost tempted to make this book second to The Brendan Voyage, if only because the myth-to-facts aspect of the book are so compelling. In the end, I gave The Sinbad Voyage the honor, but this is a close third. The year after he completed this voyage, Severin took the same boat on another voyage to trace Ulysses’s voyage in “The Odyssey”. That book is in the on-deck-circle on my bed-side table and I look forward to sharing a review with you all soon.