Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Jason Voyage

The ancient Greeks told the story of a man named Jason sailing on the ship Argo with a band of friends (the Argonauts), eventually arriving in the land of Colchis, where he seized the Golden Fleece and ran off with the king's daughter, Medea.
For years many scholars claimed the journey could not be made in the boats of Jason's time.

So Tim Severin (pictured) set out to prove them wrong. Constructing a boat along the lines of an early Greek ship, he and a group of men recreated the legendary voyage of Jason, sailing from Greece to modern Georgia, at that time a part of the Soviet Union. Upon his arrival Severin was greeted by Georgian hospitality and treated to the supra. He went on to write a book about his adventures, The Jason Voyage.

Born in India in 1940, Severin began his life of exploration while still studying geography and history at Oxford. He has gone on to recreate a number of legendary journeys in order to determine how much of the legends are based on history. His books have won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, The Book Of The Sea Award, a Christopher Prize and the literary medal of the Academie de la Marine. He is a regular contributor to the National Geographic Magazine. Tim Severin also holds the Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society and the Livingstone Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

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