HIGH POINT, N.C., July 12, 2010 – Dr. Clint Corcoran, chair of the Religion and Philosophy Department, recently published an article in “The Nautilus,” a nautical journal for the humanities.
The article, “The Slow Boat from Delos, or Socrates’ Ship Comes In?” concerns Plato’s account of the voyage of the ship the ancient Athenians used in their annual reenactment of Theseus’ heroic journey to Crete to slay the monstrous man-bull of Greek myth, the Minotaur.
“Many scholars now believe the ship was the “Delias,” an ancient 30-oared war galley (Triaconter) that was held by the Greeks to be the sacred ship that Theseus himself had originally sailed,” Corcoran explains. “Research for the article involved reconstructing the voyage of the “Delias” and determining the factors affecting the speed of the galley under sail and oar. The timing of the voyage recounted by Plato is important because it has to do with a dream Socrates has predicting the exact day of the return of the ship and because no executions could take place until the ship has returned from its sacred mission.”
Corcoran says because of the ship’s historical significance in the founding of Athens, it was preserved and maintained by the Athenians for hundreds of years, not unlike our contemporary efforts to preserve historically the frigate, the “Constitution,” in Boston harbor.
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