Hyperborea, also known as Land of Never-Ending Snow, formerly known as the Boreas and Borea is a world featured in Greek Mythology. It first appears in around 700 BCE and ends around 9th Century.
Hyperborea is based on the location of the same name from Greek Mythology.
Hyperborea, in Greek mythology the Hyperboreans were mythical people who lived "beyond the North Wind". The Greeks thought that Boreas, the god of the North Wind (one of the Anemoi, or "Winds") lived in Thrace, and therefore Hyperborea indicates a region that lay far to the north of Thrace.
This land was supposed to be perfect, with the sun shining twenty-four hours a day, which to modern ears suggests a possible location within the Arctic Circle. However, it is also possible that Hyperborea had no real physical location at all, for according to the classical Greek poet Pindar,
neither by ship nor on foot would you find the marvellous road to the assembly of the Hyperboreans. Pindar also described the otherworldly perfection of the Hyperboreans:
Never the Muse is absent from their ways: lyres clash and flutes cry and everywhere maiden choruses whirling. Neither disease nor bitter old age is mixed in their sacred blood; far from labor and battle they live.
According to Sir William Jones, "Meros is said by the Greeks to have been a mountain in India, on which their Dionysos was born, and that Meru, though it generally means the north pole in Indian geography, is also a mountain near the city of Naishada or Nysa, called by the Greek geographers Dionysopolis, and universally celebrated in the Sanskrit poems".
Alone among the Twelve Olympians, Apollo was venerated among the Hyperboreans, the Hellenes thought: he spent his winter amongst them. For their part the Hyperboreans sent mysterious gifts, packed in straw, which came first to Dodona and then were passed from tribe to tribe until they came to Apollo's temple on Delos (Pausanias). Abaris, Hyperborean priest of Apollo, was a legendary wandering healer and seer. Theseus visited the Hyperboreans, and Pindar transferred Perseus's encounter with Medusa there from its traditional site in Libya, to the dissatisfaction of his Alexandrian editors.
Along with Thule, Hyperborea was one of several terrae incognitae to the Greeks and Romans, where Pliny, Pindar and Herodotus, as well as Virgil and Cicero, reported that people lived to the age of one thousand and enjoyed lives of complete happiness. Hecataeus of Abdera collated all the stories about the Hyperboreans current in the fourth century BC and published a lengthy treatise on them, lost to us, but noted by Diodorus Siculus (ii.47.1–2). Also, the sun was supposed to rise and set only once a year in Hyperborea; which would place it above or upon the Arctic Circle, or, more generally, in the arctic polar regions.
The ancient Greek writer Theopompus in his work Philippica claimed Hyperborea was once planned to be conquered by a large race of soldiers from another island (some have claimed this was Atlantis), the plan though was abandoned because the soldiers from Meropis realized the Hyperboreans were too strong for them and the most blessed of people; this unusual tale, which some believe was satire or comedy, was preserved by Aelian (Varia Historia, 3. 18).
Apollonius wrote that the Argonauts sighted Hyperborea, when they sailed through Eridanos.
- † denotes the deceased.
- The Hyperboreans were mythical people who lived "Beyond the North Wind."
- The Greeks thought that Boreas, the god of the North Wind lived in Thrace, therefore Hyperborea indicates a region that lay far to the north of Thrace.
- At Hyperborea, it would always snow.
- The snow was endless and would never end.