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Strange Mythological Blue Men of the Hebrides



Strange Mythological Blue Men of the Hebrides  Shemaron: A Beautiful Endeavour Fiona Malkin @ringnetter


From - Shemaron: A Beautiful Endeavour

Mythological Blue Men of the Hebrides


"The “charmed Islands” of the Hebrides that lie off Scotland’s west coast have their share of myth and legend; the myth of the Blue Men evolved from ancient Greek mythology. They are the sons of Glaukos Pontius, Blue Man of the sea, and are collectively known as Glaukidai.

The Scottish Blue Men migrated to Ireland from the Mediterranean and are said to live in caves under the Minch. If a sailor saw a Blue Man he could be sure that a storm was to follow. They are reputed to have attacked ships or sailors who had been unkind to Selkies (seal people) or other sea folk. Engaging the chieftain in rhyme could avert their anger; if the wit and rhyme was deemed impressive enough, the boat and its crew would be left alone.

Boats often sailed round the Shiant Isles, which lie to the east of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, to avoid the “stream of the Blue Men” or “the current of destruction”.

Seeing these words on the page, the Glaukidai seem mysterious and fantastical and a long way off, but out on the sea where all our rules change, I wonder if they have a stronger reality.

Further Mythology

It is interesting to note that a mention of “Pontus” in the epic poem, Argonautica, by Apollonius Rhodius, may be the same Glaukos Pontius mentioned in reference to the Blue Men above. I have read that Pontius is sometimes portrayed as a member of the Argon’s crew, who helped her through many fearful predicaments. In this version of the poem however Pontus is seen in the volatile sea, perhaps stirring up the waves, as more recent legend suggests."

“And now to right and left broad Pontus was seen, when suddenly a
huge wave rose up before them, arched, like a steep rock; and
at the sight they bowed with bended heads. For it seemed
about to leap down upon the ship’s whole length and to overwhelm
them.”

Argonautica 3rd century BC

More Mythological tales of the sea


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