Around 330 b.c., a remarkable adventurer named Pytheas set out from the Greek colony of Massalia (now Marseille) on the Mediterranean Sea to explore the fabled, terrifying lands of northern Europe. Renowned archaeologist Barry Cunliffe here re-creates Pytheas's unprecedented journey, which occurred almost 300 years before Julius Caesar landed in Britain. Beginning with an invaluable pocket history of early Mediterranean civilization, Cunliffe illuminates what Pytheas would have seen and experienced—the route he likely took to reach Brittany, then Britain, Iceland, and Denmark; and evidence of the ancient cultures he would have encountered on shore. The discoveries Pytheas made would reverberate throughout the civilized world for years to come, and in recounting his extraordinary voyage, Cunliffe chronicles an essential chapter in the history of civilization.
About the Author
Barry Cunliffe is professor of European archaeology at Oxford University. His books include The Ancient Celts and Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and Its Peoples.