May 13, 2014

The Cyclopes

So, there are what are called “cyclopean walls” that are evident on the north shore of the island, so I’m told.  I did see such walls when we went to Mycenae where the large stones that formed the fortress were believed to have been placed by the Cyclopes people because no single human could possibly lift them.  The stones looked to me to be about six or eight man stones.  Because of their presence here on Serifos, it is believed that the Cyclopes were present on this island.

The cyclop Polyphemus
The Cyclopes were the mythical one-eyed giants who were the builders and craftsmen and were said to have been the blacksmiths who provided Zeus with his thunderbolts, fashioned the helmet of invisibility for Hades and gave Poseidon his trident.  The Cyclopes have been written into various poetic texts such as Homer, Euripides, Virgil, Theocritus and Hesiod.  Some scholars suggest that because the Cyclopes were blacksmiths, typically very strong men, they wore an eye patch over one eye to prevent sparks from injuring them in both their eyes.  This gave rise to the myth of the one-eyed being.  Another suggestion is that the myth rose out of the use of an herbal medicine that contains a poisonous substance that can cause birth defects such as a fetus being born with only one eye.  Such an event may have been the cause of the development of the myth.

How the massive walls of the structures were built is still unknown and it was assumed that only herculean or cyclopean creatures could have lifted such stones.  We don’t know how the ancient monuments were set in place, how the pyramids were built, how Stonehenge was managed, but the Greek myth developed around the cyclopean walls.

Further to this, I’ve been in touch with a former colleague Jim, a geology teacher, who very coincidentally got in touch with me via email about a week ago.  As I answered a question about Buddhism, I asked him questions about geology, a subject I sorely wish I had studied for my science requirement because of its practicality instead of paleontology.  So, I learn that Jim suggests that Serifos looks like a seamount, an undersea mountain, but may very well be a caldera that formed suddenly from an underground volcanic event.  He mentions that an explosive geological event created the mountain of Santorini around the year 1600 BC.  I have yet to discover whether such an event also occurred on Serifos.

Some myths say the Cyclopes were killed by Apollo and sent to Hades, the land of the dead.  Zeus could not bear this and he negotiated for their release from Hades even though they were dead.  In some myths, the ghosts of the Cyclopes are living in Mt. Aetna where they are believed to be causing all the noise in the volcanoes.  So far as Serifos is concerned, don’t forget that it was the Cyclopes who created the tools and the helmet of Hades to allow Perseus to be invisible in his quest to overcome Medusa.  If Serifos is indeed a caldera, then the Cyclopes may be trapped beneath Serifos in Hades as they are in some myths because in a caldera, the mouth of the volcano is sealed by the collapse of the land above and around it.  Also, calderas are known to have rich ore deposits which Serifos has, which the Cyclopes needed for their inventions.  Did I already mention that I wondered if the ore was of a magnetic kind because I’ve been feeling so good and I’ve wondered about the healing nature of magnetism on the body.  Jim also thinks that there is a strong possibility of high magnetic ore or magnetite, in areas that have major geologic shifts such as we find in Greece which is on a plate between the Eurasian, the African and the Aegean plates where we find high earthquake activity.  Who ever thought that myth and science would be so closely related.

Got all of that?  See how it all connects?