Definitions for pytheas

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  1. Pytheas

    Pytheas of Massalia, or Latin Massilia, was a Greek geographer and explorer from the Greek colony, Massalia. He made a voyage of exploration to northwestern Europe at about 325 BC. In this voyage he travelled around and visited a considerable part of Great Britain. He is the first person on record to describe the Midnight Sun. The theoretical existence of a Frigid Zone where the nights are very short in summer and the sun does not set at the summer solstice was already known. Similarly reports of a country of perpetual snows and darkness, the country of the Hyperboreans, had been reaching the Mediterranean for some centuries. Pytheas is the first known scientific visitor and reporter of the arctic, polar ice, and the Germanic tribes. He is the one who introduced the idea of distant Thule to the geographic imagination. His account of the tides is the earliest to state that they are caused by the moon.

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  1. Pytheas

    a celebrated Greek navigator of Massilia, in Gaul, probably lived in the time of Alexander the Great; in his first voyage visited Britain and Thule, and in his second coasted along the western shore of Europe from Cadiz to the Elbe.


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