Whoosh! Issue 40 - January 2000


If It's Tuesday Then This Must Be Attica:
Xena's Travels in Greece




Conclusion

[164] Much of the above is conjectural, some of it to the degree that it borders on fan fiction. Studying geography can be a fascinating occupation if you do not let the YAXIs get to you. YAXIs are something like the dryads in GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN (28/204): scrawny, awkward, spiky creatures that will drag you down into the earth and smother you with contradictions if you give them a chance.

[165] If you have spotted some place name that I have missed, or would like to try out your (much better) theories on me, I would be happy to hear from you. If you are a real archaeologist and know the answers to all the puzzling bits and guesswork above, please write an article for Whoosh!


Notes

Note 01:
Steve Richey (who wrote the excellent article "The Horse Nomads of Asia, the Real Amazons, and THE DEBT" - Whoosh! #23, kindly provided some detailed information on marching distances for armies, both on foot and horseback. I have concluded that Xena, being extremely fit, and when not in a great hurry, would cover 25 miles per day (equivalent to a 'forced march' for Napoleon's army); and on Argo, 30 to 40 miles per day for a day or two only. (Speed decreases rapidly for longer durations). With Gabrielle in tow, it would be nearer 20 miles per day. (Well, they are sure to be slower carrying all those scrolls and things). This would be over good ground.

Where mountains have to be crossed, which is frequently, progress is much slower. For example, the kaldherimi (footpath) from the Evrotas valley across the Taigetos range to Kardhamili on the coast was one of the principal ancient connections between Sparta and Messene, and much of it still survives, little changed. The 10 miles (in a straight line) from Krioneri to Kardhamili is a 12-hour hike according to the Lonely Planet Guide - one very long day or two short ones.

Progress along valleys would be faster unless they turn into gorges, which is not uncommon. For example, from Agrafa up the valley to Trovato, in the Pindus, six miles in a straight line, takes 7 1/2 hours - a good days' walk. So, in hilly country, an average of ten miles a day would be good progress. However, this being the Xenaverse we probably have to stretch that a little on demand.
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Note 02:
YAXI is an acronym for "Yet Another Xena Inconsistency".
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Note 03:
Case in point: Vidalis' comments to Gabrielle in BLIND FAITH (42/218): "And that dialect. Thrace? Macedonia? Oh, what does it matter? Backwoods is backwards, as they say".
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Note 04:
Location of Cirra. There was a 'Cirrha' or 'Kirrha' in ancient Greece, a substantial town, on the north shore of the Gulf of Corinth close to the modern town of Itea (see map 5). Itcontrolled the shrine at Delphi, but was sacked by Anthelaand Athens c. 590 BC (thanks to AdoresXena@aol.com for thisinformation - see Letters, Whoosh 31). However, this is 250miles from Amphipolis.

Also, the transcripts have probably spelt it wrong, since it is always pronounced 'Sirra'. I would identify Cirra as Seres or Serrai, in the Strymon valley about 25 miles inland from Amphipolis. According to the Serres city guide, Herodotus mentioned the town as Siris in the 5th century BCE, though it was founded around the 12-13th century BCE. The guide makes no mention of Xena or Callisto in its history, however.
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Acknowledgments

The picture of the waterfall at Edessa is from Hypertravel (site now closed).
The other pictures of Greece are by kind permission of Democritus University of Thrace.

New Zealand views from author's photos (and an old calendar).

Maps produced from base map outlines from Mapit CD-ROM by Allison Software. The map text and colors are my fault.


References

Serres city guide
Includes history

The Prefecture of Serres Today
Describes the surrounding region

Democritus University of Thrace
An extensive collection of photos of scenery from all regions of Greece, including:

Amphipolis

Kato Nevrokopi valley and mountains east of Serres

The Perseus Project at Tufts
Aerial views of Amphipolis

Last Days of Socrates at Clarke College
Aerial views of Amphipolis.

For a good area-by-area description of Greek mountains and countryside see the Lonely Planet Walking Guide, 'Trekking in Greece', 1993 (ISBN 0 86442 159 1).

Sources of place names:

Maps at Plato and his Dialogues
Good maps, but take some time to download

GeoCenter EuroMap: Greece and the Islands 1:300,000
R V Verlag
Fairly detailed, shows many ancient sites

Penguin Historical Atlas Of Ancient Greece, Robert Morkot, 1996



Biography

cr@clear.net.nz cr@clear.net.nz
CR is an engineer living in Auckland, New Xenaland. His interests include cars, trains (especially steam), and maps (which is why the map in THE DEBT had an irresistible attraction for him). He likes playing 'spot-the- scenery' in HTLJ and XWP, with moderate success. He was a casual viewer of HTLJ and XWP until GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN and the Callisto episodes got him hooked. He can now confirm having met just one cast member (other than Bret), who is identified only as 'Low Life' in the credits.
Favorite episode: MATERNAL INSTINCTS (57/311), SIN TRADE (69-70/401-402)
Favorite villain: Callisto
Favorite line: Callisto: "Here comes trouble!" A NECESSARY EVIL (38/214); Xena: "I've learned to clean up after myself". THE DEBT II (53/307)
First episode seen: SINS OF THE PAST (01/101)
Least favorite episode: GIANT KILLER (27/203), ONE AGAINST AN ARMY (59/313)


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