Category Archives: Nautical

Images of Cape Cod Lighthouse, formally known as Highland Light

The Highland Light (previously known as Cape Cod Light), an active lighthouse on the Cape Cod National Seashore in North Truro, Massachusetts, on the Outer Cape Code, is the oldest and tallest lighthouse on Cape Cod, and the 20th lighthouse built in the USA. It is owned by the National Park Service (a Cape Cod National Seashore property) and cared for by the Highland Museum and Lighthouse, Inc., while the United States Coast Guard operates the light itself. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Highland Light Station.

In 1700, the town of Truro, Massachusetts, nine miles east of Race Point at the tip of Cape Cod, began its history under a different name—one it easily earned: “Dangerfield.” Even in calm weather, fishermen could suddenly find upon approaching land such a swell breaking that they dared not attempt to come ashore.

“I found that it would not do to speak of shipwrecks in the area, for almost every family had lost someone at sea,” Henry David Thoreau would later write about Truro in the December 1864 issue of Atlantic Monthly. “‘Who lives in that house?’ I inquired. ‘Three widows,’ was the reply. The stranger and the inhabitant view the shore with very different eyes. The former may have come to see and admire the ocean in a storm; but the latter looks on it as the scene where his nearest relatives were wrecked.”

Blindingly dense summer fogs lasting till midday that turn (in Thoreau’s words) “one’s beard into a wet napkin about the throat” provide conditions that to this day challenge even the most experienced mariner. The letter Reverend James Freemen wrote petitioning for a lighthouse near Truro stated that in 1794 more vessels were wrecked on the east shore of Truro than in all of Cape Cod.

On May 17th 1796, President George Washington signed the bill, along with $8,000 budget, authorizing a wood lighthouse to warn ships about the dangerous coastline between Cape Ann and Nantucket. It was the first light on Cape Cod, situated on ten acres on the Highlands of North Truro, was usually the first light seen when approaching the entrance of Massachusetts Bay from Europe.

The nation’s first eclipser was installed in the lantern room to differentiate Highland Light from others on the way to Boston, but delays in receiving it pushed the inaugural illumination back to January 15, 1798. With a focal plane of 180 feet above the sea, the light, with its array of lamps and reflectors, had the potential to be seen up to twenty-four miles, but the haze that often hung over the cape reduced the light’s visibility. Sperm whale oil was initially used in the light, but the fuel was later changed to lard.

In 1833, the wood structure was replaced by brick and in 1840 a new lantern and lighting apparatus was installed. In 1857 the lighthouse was declared dangerous and demolished, and for a total cost of $17,000, the current 66 foot brick tower was constructed, with a first order Fresnel lens from Paris. Along with the lighthouse, there was a keeper’s building and a generator shed, both of which can still be seen today.

In 1854, $25,000 was budgeted to rebuild Cape Cod Lighthouse on a proper site and to fit it with the “best approved illuminating apparatus to serve as substitution for three lights at Nauset Beach.”

Construction did not begin until 1856 on a new sixty-six-foot tower and a dwelling for the head keeper and a double-dwelling for his two assistants. The lighthouse was completed in October 1857, for $17,000, which included a new first-order Fresnel lens that produced a fixed white light. Before the addition of the first-order lens, the station had employed just one keeper.
The sixty-nine winding steps leading to the lantern room could be quite tricky for man.
In 1873, $5,000 was allocated for the station to receive a first-class Daboll trumpet fog horn that gave blasts of eight seconds, with intervals between them of thirty seconds. A frame engine-house, measuring twelve feet by twenty-four feet, was built for the fog signal along with a fuel shed.

At the turn of the nineteenth century, duplicate four-horsepower oil engines with compressors replaced the old caloric engines, reducing the time needed to produce the first blast of the fog signal from forty-five to ten minutes. In 1929, an electrically operated air oscillator fog signal was installed at the station as mariners complained that the old reed horns could hardly be heard above the heavy surf crashing on the beach below the station. Power for operating the new signal was furnished by a direct-current generator, driven by a four-cycle, internal-combustion engine that ran on kerosene.

On June 6, 1900, Congress appropriated $15,000 for changing the light’s characteristic from fixed to flashing. The new Barbier, Benard & Turenne first-order Fresnel lens had four panels of 0.92 meter focal distance, revolved in mercury, and gave, every five seconds, flashes of about 192,000 candlepower nearly one-half second in duration. While the new lens was being installed, the light from a third-order lens was exhibited atop a temporary tower erected near the lighthouse. After the new light was exhibited on October 10, 1901, the temporary tower was sold at auction.

In 1946, the Fresnel lens was replaced with a Crouse-Hinds, double-drum, rotating DCB-36 aerobeacon, which was in turn replaced during the automation process in 1987 with a Crouse-Hinds DCB-224 rotating beacon. The Fresnel lens was mostly destroyed during its removal, but a piece is on display at the lighthouse.

By the 1960s, the assistant keeper’s double-dwelling and fog horn building had been removed, and Keeper Isaac Small’s original ten acres had shrunk to little more than two. In the early 1990s, erosion seriously threatened the light. While in 1806, the tower had stood 510 feet from the cliff, by 1989, that distance had shrunk to just 128 feet.

Highland Lighthouse attracted visitors even when it was staffed by resident keepers. In 1922, 7,300 people registered at the lighthouse. Highland Museum and Lighthouse, Inc. was formed in 1998 as a non-profit to partner with the National Park Service in running a gift shop in the keeper’s dwelling and in offering tours of the lighthouse. After fifteen years in this role, the non-profit lost its contract due to operational issues, and on January 1, 2014, Eastern National was awarded the contract for operating the lighthouse.
The present location of the lighthouse is not the original site as beach erosion had rendered the original location dangerous. The structure was moved 450 feet (140 m) to the west from the cliff’s edge. The move was undertaken in 1996 at a cost of $1.5 million. The 430-ton structure was successfully moved intact on I-beams greased with Ivory soap.

Formerly a location associated with notable danger, the lighthouse presently is surrounded by an oceanfront golf course, the Highland Golf Course. After an errant golf ball broke a window, they were replaced with unbreakable material. The lighthouse grounds are open year-round on Highland Light Road in Truro, with tours and the museum available by the National Park Service during the summer months.

Highland Light Station is located on Highland Rd. in North Truro. Traveling north on Rte. 6, take the “Cape Cod/Highland Rd.” exit; turn right onto Highland Rd. and follow to the Highland Lighthouse area. Highland Light Station is situated on grounds owned by the National Park Service as part of the Cape Cod National Seashore and is managed by the Truro Historical Society. The grounds are open all year and the lighthouse is open May-October. A trip to the light station allows the visitor to enjoy the Interpretive Center, watch a 10-minute video and climb the lighthouse tower for a small fee. For further information, visit the Truro Historical Society‘s website or call 508-487-1121.

Sources:

Previously posted pictures by Karatzas Images of Lighthouse ‘Highland Light’ from 2014 can be seen here.

Cape Cod (Highland), MA, LighhouseFriends.com

Maritime History of Massachusetts 


 

Highland Light (Cape Cod Light) at dawn. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Image of Highland Light (Cape Cod Light) at dawn. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Image of Highland Light (Cape Cod Light) at dawn. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Image of Highland Light (Cape Cod Light) at dawn. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Image of Highland Light (Cape Cod Light) at dawn. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Image of Highland Light (Cape Cod Light) at dawn. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Image of Highland Light (Cape Cod Light) at dawn. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Visual depiction of the Highland Light (Cape Cod Light) with original and present location of the lighthouse indicated; cliff erosion is clearly visible. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Landmarks of the Highland Light (Cape Cod Light). Image credit: Karatzas Images   

Image of Highland Light (Cape Cod Light) at dawn. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Image of Highland Light (Cape Cod Light) at dawn. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Image of Highland Light (Cape Cod Light) at dawn. Image credit: Karatzas Images

© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Images. All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS: The purpose of this blog is for entertainment and information purposes. Vessel description(s), if any, is/are provided in good faith and believed to be correct and accurate but no assurances, warranties or representations are made herewith. Any vessel description(s) is/are provided for entertainment purposes only. We assume no responsibility whatsoever for any errors / omissions in vessel description.

Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. To purchase rights or merchandise of high resolutions images and art presented here, please visit www.karatzas.nyc or email < info [at] BMKaratzas.com >. Thank you for the consideration.

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Images of Explorer Ship MS ‘Nordstjernen’ in Hamburg

Explorer Ship MS ‘Nordstjernen’ pictured upstream and downstream Elbe River, Hamburg Vessel is designated national heritage by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage (Riksantikvaren)

MS Nordstjernen
History
Name: MS Nordstjernen
Owner: 1956–1979: Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskap
1979-2006 Troms Fylkes Dampskibsselskap
2006–2012: Hurtigruten
2012–2013: Vestland Rederi
2013–2014: M/S Nordstjernen AS c/o RS Platou Finans
Operator: Vestland Marine
Port of registry: Bergen
Route: Norway and Spitsbergen
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Steinwerder
Yard number: 787
Launched: 26 October 1955
Completed: 24 February 1956
Identification:
Call sign: LATU3
IMO number: 5255777
MMSI number: 257276000
Status: In service

General characteristics
Tonnage: 2,191 GT
Length: 88.78 m (291 ft 3 in)
Beam: 12.64 m (41 ft 6 in)
Decks: 4 passenger
Speed: 15 knots (27.78 km/h; 17.26 mph)
Capacity:
400 passengers
149 berths

MS Nordstjernen (Norwegian: “The North Star“) is a vessel constructed in Hamburg, Germany in 1956, and used on the Hurtigruten coastal service until 2012. It was the oldest operational ship in the Hurtigruten fleet at the time of its withdrawal, and is the ship with the longest history of Hurtigruten service. In 2012, she was protected as a national heritage in Norway.

History

Nordstjernen was mainly used for the Hurtigruten coastal service and for cruises to the Svalbard archipelago. She was extensively refitted in 1980. From 2010 to 2012 she operated continuously on the Hurtigruten coastal service. In March 2012, she was withdrawn from the coastal service, and was replaced by MS Finnmarken, which came back in Hurtigruten service after it was in Australia. Hurtigruten was using her for Svalbard cruises in the summer of 2012. In November 2012, the ship was bought by Vestland Rederi AS. In connection with the sale, she was protected as a national heritage by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage (Riksantikvaren). Nordstjernen’s new home port is Bergen, as it was with her original owner Bergen Steamship Company (Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, BDS). From the end of 2012 to July 2013, she underwent an extensive restoration in Gdańsk, Poland, which was subsidized with 2.5 million Norwegian krones by Riksantikvaren. After coming back to Norway and taking part in the Fjordsteam festival in Bergen in the first days of August 2013, the new owner market her as a hotel ship and for charter cruises. Finally she left Gdańsk on 9 November 2013. On her way back to Norway, she ran aground in the Karmsund strait on 11 November 2013. There was damage to the ship which was repaired at a dockyard in Ølensvåg, and at the end of January 2014, Nordstjernen left the dockyard. Since 2015, Hurtigruten has chartered  the ship they formerly owned and they deploy it under their own cruiseship fleet.


Information on the cruises ship MS ‘Nordstjernen’ has been reproduced from Wiki Commons under the entry SS Stettin, as accessed last on May 27th, 2017. Wiki Commons is the Copyright owner for the text hereabove, and the information is hereby reproduced solely for education purposes. However, copyright for the images published here belong exclusively to Karatzas Images.


A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images


© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS:  Vessel description is provided in good faith and is believed to be correct and accurate but no assurances, warranties or representations are made herewith. Vessel description is provided for entertainment  purposes only. We have no responsibility whatsoever for any errors / omissions in vessel description.

Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information herewithin has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

Images posted on this blog are typically minimally processed gpeg images of lower resolution. Original images are typically shot in RAW format, which can be provided upon special request.

Images of Museum Ship SS ‘Stettin’ in the Port of Hamburg

Images of Museum Ship SS ‘Stettin’, an ice breaker, in the Port of Hamburg

SS Stettin
Status: Museum ship
Owner: Association Dampf-Eisbrecher Stettin e.V.,Hamburg
Builder: Stettiner Oderwerke
Yard number: 769
Launched: 7 September 1933
Christened: 16 November 1933
Out of service: 1981

General characteristics
Class and Notation: Germanischer Lloyd 100 A5 K E
Tonnage: 783 tons
Displacement: 1,138 tons
Length: 51.75 m
Beam: 13.43 m
Height: 6.45 m
Draught: 5.40 m
Installed power: Steam, 2,200 hp at 115 rpm
Propulsion: 3-cylinder-expansion steam-piston engine with Stephenson ex-center-control
Crew: 22


Stettin is a steam icebreaker built by the shipyard Stettiner Oderwerke in 1933. She was ordered by the Chamber of Commerce of Stettin (until 1945 Germany, since 1945 Szczecin, Poland). The economy of the city of Stettin strongly depended on the free access of ships to and from the Baltic Sea. Therefore, icebreakers were used to keep the shipping channels free from ice during the winter.

For the first time in Germany, the construction was characterized by a new bow design called Runeberg-bow. This new bow design broke the ice using a novel method. It was not broken by the weight of the ship but by a sharp cutting edge. Future development of icebreakers was influenced by this bow form.

Although diesel-engines were already in wide use by 1933, Stettin was equipped with a steam piston engine. Unlike diesel engines, steam piston engines can be reversed within a very short period of approximately 3 to 4 seconds. This was important during manoeuvres of the ship under icey conditions in order to liberate the ship if it were to get stuck. The icebreakers of Stettin were handled by the shipping company Braeunlich, which ran a seaside resort ferry service along the coast during the summer. Its other ships had similar engines, so a single technical staff could be employed year round. Stettin was run by a crew of 22 men. This system was in place until the end of World War II.

With the special hull design and an engine power with a maximum horsepower of 2200, measured at the cylinders, Stettin was able to break ice up to a thickness of half a meter, at a constant speed of one to two knots. Thicker ice could only be broken by boxing. Boxing was a process in which the ship ran several attacks until the ice gave way.

From 1933 to 1945, Stettin was used on the Oder River between Stettin and Swinemünde (Świnoujście), as well as on the Baltic Sea, in German Navy (Kriegsmarine) service. On the night of 8 April 1940, Stettin participated in the capture of Copenhagen by participating in a surprise landing of German troops in Copenhagen together with the railway ferry/minelayer Hansestadt Danzig. Stettin is also one of two or three surviving vessels of the east Prussia evacuation fleet. From 1945 on, she was used by the waterway and navigation authorities in Hamburg on the river Elbe.

In 1981, Stettin was slated to be scrapped due to uneconomic costs. With the establishment of a development association, thousands of working hours, and support by generous sponsors, the ship was saved. Today, she is a technical culture monument. Her homeport is the museum port of Oevelgoenne in Hamburg, Germany. During summertime, Stettin cruises with guests on occasions like “Hamburg port birthday,” “Hansesail Rostock,” and “Kieler Woche,” and is also used as a charter vessel.


Information on the ice breaker SS ‘Stettin’ has been reproduced from Wiki Commons under the entry SS Stettin, as accessed last on May 25th, 2017. Wiki Commons is the only and absolute holder of the Copyright, and the information is hereby reproduced solely for education purposes. However, copyright for the images published here belong exclusively to Karatzas Images.


Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening. Detail of the innovative bow design at the time, Runeberg-bow, for breaking ice not by the weight of the ship but by a sharp cutting edge. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening. Detail of the innovative bow design at the time, Runeberg-bow, for breaking ice not by the weight of the ship but by a sharp cutting edge. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Only ice concerns now are for the ice used for cocktails served onboard! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS:  Vessel description is provided in good faith and is believed to be correct and accurate but no assurances, warranties or representations are made herewith. Vessel description is provided for entertainment  purposes only. We have no responsibility whatsoever for any errors / omissions in vessel description.

Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information herewithin has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

Images posted on this blog are typically minimally processed gpeg images of lower resolution. Original images are typically shot in RAW format, which can be provided upon special request.

Poseidon – The Olympian God of the Sea

According to Greek mythology and the story of the genesis of the gods of Olympus (Olympian Gods), Poseidon was the god of the sea and protector of all aquatic features. He spent most of his time in his watery domain, although he was officially one of the supreme gods of Mount Olympus. Also, while there were various rivers personified as gods, these would have been technically under Poseidon’s sway. Similarly, Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea, wasn’t really considered on a par with Poseidon, who was known to drive his chariot through the waves in unquestioned dominance. Poseidon had married Titan Oceanus‘ daughter, and sea-nymph Amphitrite.

Poseidon was a son of Cronus (the youngest of the 12 Titans) and of Cronus’s sister and consort Rhea, a fertility goddess. Poseidon was a brother of Zeus, the sky god and chief deity of ancient Greece, and of Hades, god of the underworld. When the three brothers deposed their father, the kingdom of the sea fell by lot to Poseidon. Zeus became ruler of the sky, Hades got dominion of the Underworld and Poseidon was given all water, both fresh and salt. Poseidon was widely worshipped by seamen.

His weapon and main symbol was the trident, perhaps once a fish spear, with which he could make the earth shake, causing earthquakes, and shatter any object. According to the Greek poet Hesiod, Poseidon’s trident, like Zeus’s thunderbolt and Hades’ helmet, was fashioned by the three Cyclopes. He was second to Zeus in power amongst the gods. He was considered by Greeks to have a difficult quarrelsome personality. Combined with his greed, he had a series of disputes with other gods during his various attempts to take over the cities they were patrons of.

In dividing heaven, the watery realm and the subterranean land of the dead, the Olympians agreed that the earth itself would be ruled jointly, with Zeus as king. This led to a number of territorial disputes among the gods. Poseidon vied with Athena to be patron deity of Athens. The god demonstrated his power and benevolence by striking the Acropolis with his three-pronged spear, which caused a spring of salt water to emerge. Athena, however, planted an olive tree, which was seen as a more useful favor. Her paramount importance to the Athenians is seen in her magnificent temple, the Parthenon, which still crowns the Acropolis. The people of Athens were careful, all the same, to honor Poseidon as well.

At one point , Poseidon desired Demeter. To deter him, Demeter asked him to make the most beautiful animal that the world had ever seen. So, in an effort to impress her, Poseidon created the first horse. In some accounts, his first attempts were unsuccessful and created a variety of other animals in his quest; thus, by the time the horse was created, his passion for Demeter had diminished. Poseidon himself fathered many horses, best known of which was the winged horse Pegasus by the Gorgon Medusa.

The Romans’ name for Poseidon was Neptune.


On a recent summer visit at the National Archeological Museum in Athens, we have had the opportunity to take several pictures of the statue of Poseidon of Melos. According to Wiki Commons:

The Poseidon of Melos is a statue of Poseidon in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens (NAMA), with the inventory number 235, which is dated to the last quarter of the second century BC.

The statue was found in 1877 on the island of Melos. It is made of Parian marble and has a height of 2.35 metres, which makes it more than lifesize. The statue was found in several pieces, which have been reattached to one another. Portions of the left foot and of the himation are modern recreations. Parts of the nose, beard and hair are missing.

The sea god is depicted naked to the waist in an awe-inspiring pose, with his muscular right arm raised, probably in order to hold a trident (now lost). His himation hangs around his hips, covering his legs and genitals; he holds it in place at his side with his left hand. His back is also partially covered; a bit of cloth lies, mysteriously suspended, on his left shoulder. His weight rests on his right leg, his left leg is left free. The musculature of his arms and his body generally are very finely worked. The head is slightly tilted to the left and his gaze is directed into the distance. There is a dolphin behind the statue to the right, which serves as an additional support for the weight of the statue. The pose is a standard one for Poseidon, Zeus and Hades.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 1_en face left BMK_2610 @

Image of Olympian god Poseidon: larger-than-life statue made of Parian marble, known as ‘Poseidon of Melos’. Discovered in shipwreck in 1877. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 2_plaque BMK_2586 @

Plaque at the base of statue ‘Poseidon of Melos’. Discovered in shipwreck in 1877. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 3_whole body left BMK_2604 @

Image of Olympian god Poseidon: larger-than-life statue made of Parian marble, known as ‘Poseidon of Melos’. Discovered in shipwreck in 1877. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 4_whole body right BMK_2595 @

Image of Olympian god Poseidon: larger-than-life statue made of Parian marble, known as ‘Poseidon of Melos’. Discovered in shipwreck in 1877. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 5_torso and head BMK_2616 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Throwing his trident. Upper torso detail. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 6_torso and head BMK_2622 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Upper torso detail. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 7_torso and head BMK_2635 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Upper torso detail. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEISON OF MILOS 7A_torso and head BMK_2672 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Upper torso detail. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 8_head BMK_2627 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Detail of the head. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 9_dolphin BMK_2664 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Detail of the dolphin by the right foot of the statue. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 10_LEFT HAND BMK_2683 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Detail of left hand supported at the waist, counter-balancing the right hand’s cast of the trident. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 11-back BMK_2702 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. View from the back. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 12_whole body_right_BMK_2687 @

Image of Olympian god Poseidon: larger-than-life statue made of Parian marble, known as ‘Poseidon of Melos’. Discovered in shipwreck in 1877. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 13_whole body lef BMK_2696 @

Image of Olympian god Poseidon: larger-than-life statue made of Parian marble, known as ‘Poseidon of Melos’. Discovered in shipwreck in 1877. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

CAPE SOUNION 1_windy BMK_8951 @

Temple of the god of the sea Poseidon propitiously situated at Cape Sounion, a sharp promontory ca 65 km south of Athens. Image credit: Karatzas Images.


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