This initiates a series of books about the Great Explorers, a project conceived by the late Arctic explorer Vilhajamur...

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BEYOND THE PILLARS OF HERACLES

This initiates a series of books about the Great Explorers, a project conceived by the late Arctic explorer Vilhajamur Stefansson and edited by his wife, Evelyn Stefansson Nef. Rhys Carpenter, a classicist emeritus at Bryn Mawr, writes of the greatest Greek explorers, such as Eudoxus and particularly Pytheas. The latter, the most adventurous of them all, moved beyond the Gibraltar Strait (then known as the Pillars of Heracles) to probe the Atlantic and also made scientific observations valid to this day. By necessity, Carpenter's task involves much retelling of material conveniently available in standard classical sources, such as Herodotus; but still he realizes that the records are not complete enough to document the trips of some explorers or even to ascertain whether they deserve the rank of ""Great Explorer"" at all. Perhaps the prose is too perfunctory, and Carpenter avoids certain interpretative questions that might interest more probing students. Perhaps too the entire conception of the series goes against the grain of current thinking on exploration, which we view less as efforts of heroic individuals than as a collective endeavor.

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1966