“In a single day and night of misfortune…the island of Atlantis disappeared into the depths of the sea.” It is perhaps one of the most famous lines of dialogue attributed to a lost treasure, but the stories behind the Lost City of Atlantis are as vast as the ocean where it presumably lies. In celebration of Relic’s 50th episode, Part 1 of 2 in our deep dive into the Antlantean legacy. First, what basis is there to the legend, if any?
Kate from Ignorance Was Bliss joins the Relic dinnertable for a six-course-meal of mystery! In this episode we dig into a few unsolved topics concerning food, such as:
– Did bad bread lead to the Salem Witch Trials?
– Does artificial banana flavoring taste like how real bananas used to taste like?
– What the heck is a sugarplum anyway?
– What was the ancient seasoning and herb Silphium, and what happened to it?
– What are the origins of red velvet cake?
– Does a legendary fruit resembling women grow in the jungles of Thailand?
The ancient chronicles of Japan speak of a sword called Kusanagi, an enchanted blade wielded by the gods and handed down to their descendants. Allegedly hidden in a shrine and only called upon during the Emperor’s coronation, its authenticity remains a topic of debate. Joining it in legendary status is the Honjo Masamune, often called the finest samurai sword ever crafted; current whereabouts unknown. In this lost artifact double feature, I try to figure out where the truth lies in legend.
There were several holy sites in ancient Greece where one could receive prophecies, the most famous of these oracles being the Pythia at Delphi. Not as widely known is the Oracle of Trophonius, a daemon or god said to dwell within a dark cavern. The rituals and encounters involving this oracle were said to be horrific, and the location was often referred to as the Cave of Nightmares. What was this frightening place, and is it still out there somewhere, waiting for someone courageous enough to uncover it?
For all of the lore surrounding history’s legendary pirates, not much is known about their lives on land. According to the same book that first introduced the world to pirate mythology, a chance encounter at sea led to the establishment of a democratic pirate republic in a hidden cove off the Madagascar coast. When a team of pirate captains pulled off the biggest heist in the golden age of piracy, it was said that they took refuge here. To this day, the treasure of the Gunsway Heist and the pirate hideaway of Libertalia has never been found.
Music by Derek Fiechter. Sample from Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.”
Research shout-out to Henry Louis Gates Jr.