In 320BC an expedition set out from what is now southern France on an unprecedented journey: to find out what lay beyond the pillars of Hercules (the mouth of the Mediterranean) in the mythological northern lands. Pythias' great journey was both the first and last Greek attempt to explore northern Europe. Cunliffe has used this journey to recreate the world through which the Greek ship sailed with its bustling trade, ferocious wars and complex, pre-literate societies. As Pythias sails up the English Channel and becomes the first literate man to visit Britain we learn about the world view of classical Greece and about our own ancestors at the furthest limit of written experience.
Unfortunately, the author devoted too much detail on tangential matters such as the geologic history of areas visited, the formation of tin and amber, etc.
Far more interesting was the analysis of later writers' recapitulation of
Although far from a great work, the book is still recommended for anyone interested in this explorer.