The Strait of Messina

"The Strait of Messina is a place across the border, that "originates infinite." And it is there where the border becomes less clear that creeps the myth, destabilizing the man's eyes and pushing beyond reality, in the domain of the imagination."

The myth that most characterizes the Strait is that of "Scylla and Charybdis", a metaphor of the drifts, the vortices, of the landing at the bottom of that now send the traveler, now bring him back to the surface, grip him always in the grip of uncertainty.

The first description of the myth of terrible monsters Scylla and Charybdis is found in Homer's Odyssey: Scylla is a monster terrible and dreadful, barking and growling horribly, located on a rock cliff of a hundred meters high in the tip of Calabria. She is equipped with twelve feet and six immense hills, each carrying a monstrous head topped by a triple round of sharp teeth. This man-eating monster lives in a dark cave from which sticks his head eagerly looking for prey. Among the clutches of Scylla die six companions of Ulysses. Charybdis is the other horrible monster, under the Cape Pelorus, three times that swallows the waters of the sea, and three times the rejects creating huge whirlpools.

The legend tells that Scylla was a beautiful nymph who moved to the beaches of the Strait. She falled in love with Glaucus, a sea-god, half man and half fish. Scilla, however, the court refused to Glaucus and so they sought help from Circe, not knowing that she too was in turn in love with him. Following the refusal of Glaucus, the sorceress decided to take revenge of Scilla preparing a potion that turned her into a hideous monster. After the transformation, Scilla hid in a cave at the Calabrian coast of the Strait of Messina throwing ships at the coast during storms and devouring sailors. Who could escape its clutches was taken by the monster Charybdis swallowed ships and sailors and then vomit with hideous bellowing.

According to Greek legend, Charybdis, daughter of Gaia and Neptune, had a markedly extremely voracious and he ate everything that came within range. So, having stolen and swallowed the oxen of Hercules, as punishment was burnt out by Jupiter and transformed into the dangerous vortex of the Straits of Messina, which opened as a result of the thunderbolt hurled by the father of the gods.

Photo credits: Michele Mondello.

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June 25, 2013


Enjoyed reading, interesting myth. Thanks for sharing.

June 24, 2013


Great images, thabks for sharing.

June 23, 2013


Congratulations for the photos and the excellent explanation!

June 23, 2013


I've never been in those places, but I think it's a very striking place!!

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