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Theocles, the Greek hero in Sicily

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Statue of Theocles

The founder of Naxos: Theocles

According to an ancient legend, during a trip to the sea, the Greek Theocles, a citizen of Chalcis Euboea, offered the liver of a sacrificial victim to Neptune. About the god of the sea, did you know he was a brother of Zeus? I will tell you a short story.

God Neptune

The parents of Neptune and Zeus were Kronos and Rhea, but a prophecy made Kronos the most cruel father of Olympus. It said that his heirs would oust him. To prevent this from happening, he decided to devour all his newborn children. But Rhea could no longer bear this situation, and when Zeus was born, she carried out a plan. She replaced the child with a stone, which she wrapped in bands to prevent Kronos from noticing the deception. The ploy worked, and when Zeus was an adult, he was able to face the evil father and force him to reject all the children he had devoured from his womb. Finally together, the brothers divided the kingdoms, and Neptune thus became the god of the sea.

Statue of Neptune
Neptune, photo by Daniels Joffe on Unsplash

Let’s go back to Theocles…

But let’s go back to our story about Theocles. I was telling you that he thought it was a good idea to offer a liver to the god, but something did not work. The boatswain had not cooked that liver well, and the sea god did not like it. Neptune was so enraged that, stirring the waters, he destroyed the boat of the poor wretches. All the sailors died, except for Theocles, who managed to cling to a wreck and land on a beach. He was so fascinated by the beauty of the place that he decided to move there. Moreover, he convinced his fellow citizens and the inhabitants of the Greek island of Naxos in the Aegean Sea to join him.

It was 735 BC., and Naxos, the first Greek colony in Sicily, had just been founded. Nowadays, it is known as Giardini Naxos, and it has dedicated to Theocles the statue you see in the picture.

If you have already read the article on Giardini Naxos, then you know my connection with this city. If you haven’t done it yet, click here and enjoy!

Bye, see you soon!

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