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Yanartas, the flaming pits of the Chimaera

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posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 04:35 PM
Continuing on my list of interesting places; of archaeological or mythological interest that I visited I next go to:


The flames burning since classical times, a methane flame from a natural source in the mountain

One of the great myths of Greeks, of a monster they called the Chimaera (Khimaira) was a fire breathing monsters part lion, goat and snake. Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. Like many Greek legends this has an earlier history. The pre-Hittite Chimera from Carchemish, dated to circa 800 BC, perhaps provided the basis for the Greek legend. It differs from the Greek version in that while there are three heads, none of them is that of a goat, only a main human head, a lion's head facing forward and placed on the chest of the lion's body, and a snake's head placed at the end of the tail.

The ancients placed the chimaera near a mountian in what is now southern Turkey.

Strabo noted it

Then, next, one comes to Anticragus, a steep mountain, where is Carmylessus, an inhabited place situated in a ravine; and, after this, to Cragus, which has eight promontories and a city of the same name. The scene of the myth of Chimaera is laid in the neighborhood of these mountains. Chimaera, a ravine extending up from the shore, is not far from them. At the foot of Cragus, in the interior, lies Pinara, one of the largest cities in Lycia. Here Pandarus is held in honor, who may, perhaps, be identical with the Trojan hero, as when the poet says,“The daughter of Pandareus, the nightingale of the greenwood,


The location was rediscovered by the work of Captain Beaufort (of the wind 'Scale') in 1811. It was then called by the name in the OP, Yanartas or place of flames

Servius (Isidore of Seville) goes so far as to arrange these with the lions on the peak of the mountain, pastures full of goats in the middle, and serpents all about the base, thus imitating Homer's description of the monster.

So perhaps a place thought to have serpents, goats and lions - and associated with flames gave rise to it legend

posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 04:48 PM
It's truly beautiful. I can see how ancient man would attribute mysterious legends to the place.

Thanks for posting....


posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 12:44 PM
There was of course a temple to the fire god there during classical times

One of the better known - in classical times- temple of Hephaistos

I stopped there where doing the tourist thing on a Turkish gulet. You could see the flames from off shore


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