(ORDO NEWS) — The word “eldorado” comes from the Spanish El Hombre Dorado – “gilded man.” This happened, probably in connection with a ritual practiced by the Muisca, a small tribe of South American Indians. During the ceremony, the body of one of the participants in the action was covered with gilding, which he then had to wash off himself in the waters of the lake, while the rest threw their offerings there – gold and jewelry.
“Gold Lot Country”
This ritual caused the spread of rumors among the Spanish colonialists about the unprecedented wealth of the Indians.
However, later it turned out that gold for ritual purposes was not mined on the land of the Masks, but was obtained by them from trade with the Peruvians. And yet the legend of the “golden country” lived on for many years.
Attempts to find Eldorado have been made several times. The first to go in search of her in 1535 was Sebastian de Belalcazar, the last expedition was led in 1775-1780 by Nicolo Rodriguez. Perhaps the most fortunate was the conquistador Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada, who seized a considerable amount of gold and precious stones from the Muisca living in Colombia. The Spanish king even appointed de Quesada “governor of El Dorado.” However, the amount of these treasures was incomparable with that which was mentioned in the myths.
The ancestor was delusional
Nicolo Zeno, a member of the Council of Ten that ruled the Republic of Venice, published an essay in 1558 in which he spoke about the island of Friesland, located southwest of Iceland. Zeno took this information from the family archives, in which he discovered documents that allegedly testify to the discovery of Friesland in the XIV century by the ancestor Nicolo. Meanwhile, the ancestor actually just visited the Faroe Islands, in the Middle Ages called North Friesland and discovered long before him.
Saint Brandan lived in the Canaries?
In medieval Ireland, two legends arose about fabulous islands in the Atlantic Ocean. One of them is about the island of St. Brandan. According to her, this saint went with several companions in search of the Promised Land. After five years, they reached a certain sacred island, where angels allegedly lived.
Some took this story as genuine, others as a religious allegory. But on the globe of the 15th century German cartographer Martin Beheim, the island of St. Brandan is nestled west of the Cape Verde Islands. This land can be found on other maps as well – up to the middle of the 17th century. Later, a hypothesis arose that the island of St. Brandan is the eighth of the Canary Islands. Some modern historians also believe that Brandan found his sacred land in Madeira or among the Azores.
The best island of Brazil
Another Irish myth is about the island of Brazil, which translates from Celtic as “excellent”, “magnificent or” the greatest. ” In ancient chronicles, this is the name of a pagan god, in addition, the word “brazil” is similar to the Mediterranean designations of coal, which at that time was the main raw material for the manufacture of dyes. Thus, “brazil” can be deciphered as “the island of dyes”.
Probably, all this, combined with the Irish belief in the unknown “best” land, led to the idea of the existence of a particular island of Brazil. In 1325, it first appeared at the latitude of southern Ireland on Angelino Dulcert’s map. Since then, up to the 19th century, the Atlantic was not without Brazil. But when, by 1873, the alleged island was not found on this section of the ocean, its designation was removed from the maps.
From hell to the golden fleece
In the past, myths about mysterious islands where all sorts of miracles are performed have become widespread. So, according to the legend of the ancient Chinese, the elixir of immortality was hidden on the Peng-Lai island in the Pacific Ocean, and on a certain Wakwak island only women lived and trees grew with fruits similar to women’s heads. According to legend, there was also a country of headless people.
There are interesting legends about the “devil’s islands”. Some believed that the Atlantic islands are a place of “hell on earth”, a refuge of evil spirits. In 1436, the island of Satanaxio, which means “the hand of Satan”, appeared on the map of Andrei Bianko. The presence of “devil’s islands” was also assumed in the Newfoundland-Labrador region. According to the myth, devils lived on them.
From the VIII century and throughout the Middle Ages, there was a legend about the Seven Cities, founded on an island in the Atlantic Ocean by seven Portuguese bishops who fled from the Moors. The land of the Seven Cities received the name Sivola in the legends. Similar to this legend is the myth of Kivir – a country in the northeast, where fish the size of horses were found in the river, and the inhabitants ate from golden dishes.
Subsequently, it turned out that this story was invented by the Indians seeking to get rid of the Spanish conquistadors, sending them on the wrong track.
From the ancient Greek myth about Jason’s wanderings in search of the golden fleece, a legend was born about the Riphean mountains located somewhere in Northern Europe and possibly in Russia. There is even a hypothesis that the Riphean Mountains are the Urals. But it is unlikely that the author of “Argonautica” Apollonius was interested in geography, rather, his goal was to describe a fantastic place of events, convenient for the course of action. Despite this, the Riphean Mountains were listed on some maps until the early 1700s.
Atlantis, Maida, South Land
There are often legends about disappeared continents and islands, that is, areas of land that have gone under water. The most famous myth of Atlantis. But it is extremely difficult to find convincing evidence of its existence, which cannot be said about the island of Maida, which until recently was considered mythical.
The island was marked on maps even before 1906, and it did not change its location – in the Atlantic to the west of the southern part of Brittany and south-west of Ireland. Over the centuries, geographers renamed the island several times, this may indirectly indicate that Maida is not an invention. Finally, in 1948, it was discovered that in the Atlantic Ocean under the southern tip of Greenland and west of South Brittany, the sea is only 36 meters deep, instead of the four kilometers indicated on the maps. Here, sheltered by the waters of the Atlantic, was a height of about 28 miles in diameter. Outside of it, the bottom dropped sharply. It is possible that this is the “drowned” island of Maida.
In medieval Europe, many travelers were busy looking for the Northwest Passage – the legendary waterway from West to East, not controlled by the Turks, Spaniards or Portuguese, in contrast to the three “legal” routes. In the 16th century, it was assumed that North America was connected to Asia in the North Pacific Ocean and could even be part of Asia. But these were only guesses, and numerous searches for the “fourth way” did not yield any results.
The myth of the so-called Southern Land also existed for a long time. It lasted more than two millennia, that is, it was born before our era. In the early 16th century, South Earth was depicted on maps near the South Pole. Some later explorers gave detailed theoretical descriptions of this continent. But such theories have never been confirmed.
So, our Earth, it seems, has already been studied up and down. But it is possible that even now there are still opportunities for discoveries – at least those countries and continents that were considered mythical.
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