The connection with metallurgy and herbal magic is known from the dangerous Telechines to the one-eyed Arimaspeans (which is, as Ruck notes, just another designation for those bemushroomed travelers "of beyond the northern winds," the Hyperboreans
Among scholars of Classics the study of utopian themes in the Greco-Roman world tends to focus on those ideal states imagined by philosophers like Plato or Zeno, utopian novellas such as those of Iambulus and Euhemerus; those near-utopias of the legendary past imaged by Plutarch and Dio of Prusa, the primitive or mythical paradise appearing in Hesiod's Golden Age and among Homer's Ethiopians and Pindar's Hyperboreans
, plus the comic utopias of Aristophanes and other satirists.
Of great interest and value too is the supplement entitled "Utopian Prototypes, Developments, and Variations." Collected here are excerpts from works describing the Elysian Fields, the Isles of the Blessed, and the distant habitats of the Hyperboreans
, the Ethiopians, and the Amazons.
When in book 2 Green describes the "wolf-light" at Thynias, he captures, in English verse, some of the marvel and awe induced in the exhausted heroes by the appearance of dawntime Apollo, and produces one of the translation's finer passages: At that moment when darkness is ebbing, yet light's divine brightness has not yet come, when an impalpable glimmer suffuses the night, what waking men call wolf-light, they entered the harbor of Thynias, barren island, and stumbled ashore, exhausted by their grievous labors; and here there appeared before them Apollo, Leto's son, on his way back from Lykia to the swarming Hyperboreans
; and golden, framing either cheek, the clustering curls outfloated as he strode.
They were said to live among the Hyperboreans
. The golden apples were also guarded by the dragon Ladon, the offspring of Phorcys and Ceto.
Heracles uses the word to mean "complete" or "accomplish," but it also suggests the completion of one's life.(13) In any case, we are far from the Heracles of Pindar's Olympian 3, who returns triumphantly from the land of the Hyperboreans
with an olive shoot for Zeus' Olympian grove (11-19).
(10.) The conventional boundaries of mortal achievement include the Hyperboreans
Aldhelm and Bede, Cuthbert and Dunstan, Willibrord and Boniface - so many hyperboreans
who wrote so much and so well of pride as the root of license and licentiousness, grace as the source of freedom of the will.