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She Swam For Greece


Courtesy: Kaitlyn Waters

Members of the Underwater Surveying Staff replicate the primary, historic swim marathon precisely 2,500 years afterwards. The 13 kilometer swim was accomplished by Hydna and her father Scyllis in 480 B.C. on the eve of the Battle of Artemisium fought between the Greek and Persian naval forces.

The Battle of Marathon is without end evoked in humanity’s collective reminiscence from the achievement of 1 decided soldier; Philippides who was despatched from Marathon to Athens to share the information of the Persian defeat within the battle within the yr 490 B.C. and instantly after doing so misplaced his life to exhaustion. The jaunting size he lined, in his cumbersome uniform no much less, is replicated by members of the working group all over the world all year long as a marathon or final runner’s achievement. Within the growth of the persistent preventing between Greece and the Persian Empire, what occurred precisely 10 years later throughout late August or early September of 480 B.C., without end modified the course of worldwide historical past as we all know it. This time, the credit score goes in direction of a lady by the identify of Hydna of Scione and her father Scyllis of Scione. Collectively they accomplished a once-in-a-lifetime swim from the Pelion Peninsula to Evia Island, a 13 kilometers (or 7 nautical miles) distance that had not been replicated in 2,500 years. That’s, till final weekend on Monday, August 31st when three members of the Underwater Survey Staff, representing the Faculty of Rural and Surveying Engineering at Aristotle College of Thessaloniki, Dr. Kimon Papadimitriou, Dimitris Giouzepas and the writer had the honour to retrace this eventful however lesser recognized marathon swim.

Hydna had been skilled to dive to spectacular depths and turn into a assured swimmer by her father Scyllis. In reality, their expertise had been acknowledged by so many who it was what attracted King Xerxes I to seize the duo and pressure them to get well treasure from shipwrecks for him. 10 years after the Persian forces’ defeat on the Battle of Marathon, King Xerxes I used to be actively pursuing a decisive probability to say his military over Greece. On the time of the legendary Battle of Thermopylae, the warfare at sea had additionally resurged. In line with Herodotus, King Xerxes I moored a fleet of 1207 ships and the Greek fleet had 271. On the eve of the Battle of Artemisium, the Persian navy was compelled to moor their fleet straight off the coast of Mount Pelion in direction of Evia Island. This stroke of luck allowed Hydna and her father an opportunity to slide away into the darkish waters of the Aegean. It was then, because the Greek geographer Pausanias (110 A.D.-180 A.D.) wrote his accounts through the 2nd century A.D., that Hydna and her father’s open-water crossing over a distance of 10 miles would result in a change within the tide of historical past.

“When the fleet of Xerxes was attacked by a violent storm off Mount Pelion, father and daughter accomplished its destruction by dragging away below the ocean the anchors and some other safety the triremes had.” (Pausanias, 10.19.2). Having used knives to chop the ropes of the anchors to destroy the ships and in addition having the ability to take action undetected by the multitude of troopers from each nook is a powerful feat in and of itself. What Hydna and Scyllis did subsequent -swimming, aspect by aspect, 10 miles to Evia Island to reunite with the Greeks and inform them of the Persian’s battle plans- was in a position to give the Greek forces an enormous benefit within the battle.

For the truth that this occasion occurred in late August to early September of the yr 480 B.C., there’s little remaining details about what occurred subsequent to Hydna or her father. What does stay is Pausanias’ personal account that the Amphictyons, which was a non secular council representing the Greek city-states, had statues made from Hydna and Scyllis at Delphi, the sacred non secular sanctuary. Tragically, the statues have been misplaced within the sands of time. Pausanias recounted that Nero took at the least 500 statues from Delphi again to Rome and that they had been statues of each gods and males (Smethzy) and that the statues of Hydna was one in every of these (Pausanias). It’s value noting that Nero’s want for gathering artwork all through his empire and his many expeditions of plunder have been well-documented by different historians and archaeologists.

This weekend, the 1st open-water marathon, retracing historical past’s first recorded marathon, The Genuine Marathon Swim will happen this weekend from September 4th-6th in honor of the brave and grueling swim made by Hydna and Scyllis. The marathon-swimming occasion will enable swimmers to cowl 10 km, Three km and 1.5 km distances, in addition to an 800 m occasion for all. Swimmers are travelling above a whole bunch of meters of historic historical past throughout this occasion. Maintaining true to historical past, simply as the primary marathon run was accomplished by a single particular person, this occasion relives the sense of togetherness that may have been felt between a daughter and her father. Upon Hydna and Scyllis’ profitable return to the Greek military, the reduction and sense of accomplishment they felt can be recreated within the setting of this open-water marathon. As a feminine, it’s also an necessary step in bringing extra heroines within the historic legacy which helps create extra alternatives for everybody at present.

1.) Pausanias. Pausanias Description of Greece with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A., in Four Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard College Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1918.
2.) Fantham, E., Foley, H. P., Kampen, N., Pomeroy, S. B., & Shapiro, H. A. (1994). Girls within the classical world: Picture and textual content. New York: Oxford College Press.
3.) https://ancientherstories.com/swimming-for-victory-hydna-of-scione-greek-war-hero-c-480-bce-unknown/
Mark, Joshua J. “Ten Noble and Infamous Girls of Historical Greece.” Historical Historical past Encyclopedia, Historical Historical past Encyclopedia, 20 Aug. 2014, www.historic.eu/article/737/ten-noble-and-notorious-women-of-ancient-greece/.

5.) “Hydna of Scione (c. 480 BCE – Unknown).” Historical Herstories, 22 Sept. 2019, ancientherstories.com/swimming-for-victory-hydna-of-scione-greek-war-hero-c-480-bce-unknown/.
Haskew, Michael. “Greco-Persian Wars: Xerxes’ Invasion.” HistoryNet, HistoryNet, Four Aug. 2016, www.historynet.com/greco-persian-wars-xerxes-invasion.htm.
6.) : H.D. Szemethy, Patterns of Artwork Theft, Looting and Plundering of Cultural Property, Discussion board Archaeologiae 55/VI/2010 (http://farch.web).


Photograph: Saverio Mandarano.

Kaitlyn Waters is at present a member of the Underwater Surveying Staff from the Faculty of Rural and Surveying Engineering, School of Engineering at Aristotle College of Thessaloniki. Kaitlyn is the Public Relations Consultant for an ongoing mission from the European Union known as ScienceDIVER which fosters collaborations and buildings between academia and trade so as to provide standardized coaching and clear profession pathways to the diving scientists. She loves the ocean as a lot as she loves sharing this ardour with others. Kaitlyn graduated from the Faculty of Journalism at Aristotle College with an M.A. in Threat Communication & Disaster Journalism in Thessaloniki, Greece and has a B.A. in Sociology & Anthropology and Spanish from Warren Wilson Faculty in Asheville, N.C., U.S.A.