& REALITY !
- Part 6 -
Chalcarodon - Tektite and orichalcum
Charcarodon: Gargoyle's airship
|In the omake 6, Gargoyle talks about his
airship, the Charcarodon (or Chalcardon),
a word of Latin origin that refers to...guess what?
Watching the external shape of the airship -on the left-
it's not difficult to understand how it's nothing more
than a...fish! J The great
white shark to be exact, aka "Carcharodon
It's a fusiform, heavy-bodied shark with a crescentic caudal fin and large, triangular, coarsely serrated teeth. The colour of the body varies from black to grey, with the ventral surfaces predominantly white and it can attain 7-8 metres of size.
|White sharks occupy a cosmopolitan distribution
throughout temperate seas and oceans and occasionally
penetrate tropical zones. They prey marine vertebrates,
bony fishes, cartilaginous fishes and marine mammals.
[More info about Carcharodon carcharias? Click here]
Tektite & orichalcum
|Is tektite an invention
by Anno? No, it's not J It
really exists and it's a kind of natural glass, rich of
silicon and alluminium, probably of cosmic origin. As in
"Nadia", it's damned strong (on the left, the
huge teckite cube which protected Gargoyle's garden) as
well as the orichalcum (component of Blue Water).
Just about this...
The orichalcum...The story of this material often crosses the Atlantean tradition, even if this word originally refers to another kind of material compared to the one in "Nadia". You probably all know the wonderful PC videogame called "Indiana Jones and the fate of Atlantis" (LucasArts Entertainment Company © 1992), don't you? Anyway, the manual (in Italy, at least) says...
(orikal'kum) [in latin: orichalcum,
mountain bronze; in greek: oros, mountain and chalkos, copper]: 1. golden metal, maybe a kind of brass used in ancient Greece; 2. mythical substance with unknown properties; 3. material described by Plato that "shines as fire"
Here are a few extracts from Plato's "Critias" dialogue (entirely dedicated to the myth of Atlantis):
"In the first place, they dug out of the earth whatever was to be found there, solid as well as fusile, and that which is now only a name and was then something more than a name, orichalcum, was dug out of the earth in many parts of the island, being more precious in those days than anything except gold"
[about the circuit of the wall]
"The entire circuit of the wall, which went round the outermost zone, they covered with a coating of brass, and the circuit of the next wall they coated with tin, and the third, which encompassed the citadel, flashed with the red light of orichalcum. "
"Here was Poseidon's own temple which was a stadium in length, and half a stadium in width, and of a proportionate height, having a strange barbaric appearance. All the outside of the temple, with the exception of the pinnacles, they covered with silver, and the pinnacles with gold. In the interior of the temple the roof was of ivory, curiously wrought everywhere with gold and silver and orichalcum; and all the other parts, the walls and pillars and floor, they coated with orichalcum."
[extracts from the "Critias" dialogue of Plato translated by Benjamin Jowett - Full text here]
Mesopotamia e Babylon:
|Mesopotamia? Why? Simple! J Just get a look to the statue on the left and compare it to those which appears in "Nadia", especially inside Gargoyle's castle on Marie's island, for example when he shows to Nadia all those Atlantean works of art or before the demonstration of the power of the Tower of Babel. They're almost the same: a winged sphinx with a long beard and a strange hat, typical of Mesopotamic art.|
|The symbol of NeoAtlantis recalls the typical representetion of sun, star and emblem of that power often declaimed by Gargoyle. Then, what about the garden of beautiful artificial flowers, which reminds the hanging gardens of Babylon, the huge and wonderful terraces belonged to king Nabucodonosor? Also, please note that, in the Bible, Babylon is described as a beautiful (as flowers) but, at the same time, diabolic (as Gargoyle) city, used by God to torment all his faithful.|
|As for Mesopotamian references,
"Nadia" features a few allusion to Egyptian
culture. For example, all the Atlantean symbols recalls Râ's
eye, often featured in Egyptian simbology to
mean truth and wisdom.
Atlantean alphabet is pretty similar to egyptian hieroglyphics. Do you remember the back of Gargoyle's throne, shown for example inside the Red Noah, in the final episodes? Well, that recalls the representetion of a god called Aton. We can't forget that Neo looks like a Pharaoh, with that particular crown, the necklace, the eyes... Even Nemo's clothes as king of Atlantis are similar to ancient Egyptian clothes.
|Then, when Electra tells the story of the coup d'état in Thartesos, here is Queen's sarcophagus, comprehensive of sceptre and scourge...But there's also another hidden element: the scarab, symbol of courage in ancient Egypt. You can find it as a pendant at Nemo's (?) neck and as a earring on the lobe of a woman in a wonderful picture by Maeda in Portraits (see below).|
More references...Half of the temples in Thartesos are identical to the ones built in ancient Greece. Even Nemo and Gargoyle's real names are Greek-Latin of origin. Elisis (Erushis) calls up Eleusis, a town, while Nemesis has the same name of the goddess of revenge and divine justice who used to punish arrogant people, especially those who tried to reach the rank of God (= Gargoyle...funny he's called this way). It's also pretty funny how "Nemesis" derives from the Greek word "nèmo" (!!!), "distribute". N.B. In Greek, "nèmo" has a different meaning compared to the same word in Latin (which means "nobody", as Jean remembers in episode 4). "Electra" has Greek origin too, being the same name of Agamennon's daughter. There's also a meaning behind Neo's real name, Vinusis, and Ilion (the whale). Vinusis (Vénusis) refers to Vénus, the goddess of beauty while Ilion recalls another name of Troy.
African and Incas cultures:
Even if they're ispired at 99% by Moai (get a look to "King on Easter island?"), NeoAtlantean masks may be connected to African model (Thartesos, in fact, is in Afric...at least in the series). Anyway, they could also get the same meaning of Incas tradition: the mourtuary mask worn by Gargoyle could mean that his human side (as first minister) is dead.
Central american cultures:
|If half of the buildings in Thartesos has an ancient Greek style, the remaining ones recall SO much those pyramids found in Mexico, especially the Chicén Itzà one. Just about this, Plato talks about an "opposite continent" on the other side of Atlantis. A possible references to America is incredible, as well as similirities between Mesopotamic, Egyptian and American pyramides.|
Indian and North American traditions:
|There could be connections even with Indian (get a look to Jean's nightmare) and North American cultures for a lot of other things, such as Gargoyle's kind-of space suit that seems referring to "Cheyenne's turtle" (a symbol indicating a new world). Even the huge room where the Nautilus lands, once reached Atlantis, features lots of drawings pretty similar to Cheyenne's ones.|
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