In about 325 BCE, Pytheas of Missalia conducted one of the first great voyages of discovery when he sets out into the land of the Celts to find the legendary island of Britain. In the process, he would circumnavigate the island – and even (according to some) – discover Iceland.
Below is a map showing the route of Pytheas on his journey. This does not show the overland route – which would have bypassed the Pillars of Hercules. It also shows some speculative routes to Iceland and into the Baltic Sea. The map may not be perfect, but it gives a decent look at Pytheas’ probably travel route.
While there is not a lot of information about Pytheas available, here’s a list of a few of the better resources that I found.
- The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek by Barry Cunliffe is the most complete and in-depth look at Pytheas.
- Pytheas’ Wikipedia page was a great help for researching this podcast.
- This article on Pytheas by Thomas S. Garlinghouse was one of the most complete online biographies of Pytheas.
- Guillaume Lamothe has a two part podcast on Pytheas at his excellent History of Exploration site.
Statue of Pytheas outside the Palais de la Bourse, Marseilles.
All image courtesy of Wikipedia.