The Voyage of Leucippe and Clitophon: a New Interpretation
As told in a novel of the second century ad, the couple Leucippe and Clitophon boarded a ship sailing from Beirut to Alexandria. The ship, apparently a 20-metre-long coaster, set out on a SW course, driven by an easterly wind. On the third day the wind shifted abruptly to the south-west, and the sea rose. Despite the efforts to tack, balance the ship and make way to windward, she was wrecked near Pelusium in Egypt. The weather phenomenon described is explained by a change of synoptic conditions, typical to the region, most probably in a transitional season, spring or autumn. The suggested course and distances made by the ship differ from a previous analysis of this voyage by Jean Rougé in 1978.