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Adamastor, The Mythological Giant of Cape of Good Hope

A giant representing the forces of nature against the Portuguese sailors in the XV th century.

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Adamastor is a mythical giant created by Luis de Camões in his masterpiece epic poem, the Lusiads, where he describes the Portuguese Discoveries.

The giant represents the forces of nature against the Portuguese sailors when they tried to reach the Indian Ocean sailing around the Cape of Good Hope, in South Africa. This cape was known until than by the Cape of Storms and it was believed that no one could cross it ever.

With this episode of the Adamastor, Luís de Camões, values the fact that the portuguese sailors even without knowing what was behind those troubled waters that so many times sinked ships and despite all the fears about monsters and legends, could overcome the obstacles and show new worlds to the World.

    “Even as I spoke, an immense shape
    Materialised in the night air,
    Grotesque and enormous stature
    With heavy jowls, and an unkempt beard
    Scowling from shrunken, hollow eyes
    Its complexion earthy and pale,
    Its hair grizzled and matted with clay,
    Its mouth coal black, teeth yellow with decay. —Camões, The Lusiads Canto V.

photos from wikipedia

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