Hanno the Navigator

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Hanno the Navigator was a Carthaginian explorer, sent out with a fleet and many thousands of colonists, who founded or repopulated seven Carthaginian cities on the Atlantic shore of Morocco and explored the Atlantic coast of Africa, apparently deep into the Gulf of Guinea. He lived perhaps about 570 BC, though some classicists say his dates cannot be fixed any closer than between 633 and 530 BC.

Hanno the Navigator (Annôn, meaning "merciful" or "mild" in Punic) is called so in order to distinguish him from the more famous but later Carthaginian, Hanno the Great. Hanno the Navigator is said to have inscribed his account of the voyage on a tablet that was hung up in the temple of Ba‘al Hammon (whom Greek writers identified with Cronus) on his return to Carthage. What is generally supposed to be a Greek translation of this is still extant, in a single manuscript, under the title of Periplus, although its factual dependability has been both questioned and ably defended (see link).

Some interpreters judge Hanno to have advanced beyond present-day Sierra Leone as far as Cape Palmas, partly because of his description of the sun rising and setting in the northern part of the sky— a detail Greek geographers found ludicrously impossible. On the island which formed the terminus of his voyage the explorer found a number of hairy women, whom the interpreters called Gorillas.

The full Greek title is The Voyage of Hanno, commander of the Carthaginians, round the parts of Libya beyond the Pillars of Heracles, which he deposited in the temple of Cronus. It was known to Arrian, who mentions it at the end of his Anabasis of Alexander VIII (Indica):

"Moreover, Hanno the Libyan started out from Carthage and passed the pillars of Heracles and sailed into the outer Ocean, with Libya on his port side, and he sailed on towards the east, five-and-thirty days all told. But when at last he turned southward, he fell in with every sort of difficulty, want of water, blazing heat, and fiery streams running into the sea"

External links

fr:Périple de Hannon nl:Hanno (ontdekkingsreiziger) pt:Hanno sk:Hanno zh:航海家汉诺