Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Adventurer crosses sands that conquered a king
The Times Online ^ | Jan 28, 2006 | Martin Penner

Posted on 01/27/2006 11:33:56 PM PST by Tyche

INSPIRED by the legend of a Persian king and his lost army, Stefano Miglietti, an Italian adventurer, completed a 340-mile hike through the most isolated and arid part of the western Sahara yesterday.

The route that Signor Miglietti followed through the so-called Great Sand Sea — from the Farafra oasis in southern Egypt to the Siwa oasis in the north — has always been considered impossible for a man carrying his own food and water.

According to legend, Cambyses II, the Persian king, foolishly tried to take the same route in 523 BC, setting off with a 50,000-strong army.

Herodotus, the Greek author, writes that Cambyses and his men were swallowed up in sandstorms and never seen again.

Signor Miglietti, 38, who runs an electrical components business, was so fascinated by the king’s ill-fated journey that he decided to try it.

Before setting off a week ago, pulling a 200lb cart loaded with supplies, he was warned by Tuareg desert nomads that his plan was madness.

Five days, 23 hours later, with blistered feet and severe stomach cramps, he arrived at Siwa.

A man of few words, he said simply: “I’m satisfied. I’m quite well and I went faster than I expected.”

Needless to say, he found no trace of Cambyses’s army.

The legend, as well as inspiring archaeologists to mount many fruitless searches in the desert, has come to symbolise the perils of the Great Sand Sea.

The region in the western Sahara is a massive expanse of dunes, continually beaten by wind and sand storms.

Even the Tuaregs avoid it because of the lack of water and its utter isolation.

Temperatures at this time of year vary between 0C (32F) during the night and 35C (95F) in the day.

Signor Miglietti, who covered between 50 and 56 miles a day, kept up his energy with dates, condensed milk and Parmesan cheese.

Marco Rosa, the doctor who prepared him for the adventure, said that the Brescia-based adventurer was in good shape considering what he had just been through. “Sure, he’s a bit tired. He’s had serious problems with blisters on his feet and his abdomen is scarred by the belt he used to pull the cart,” he said.

Signor Miglietti’s exploit was sponsored by Brescia businesses and had no goal other than to prove that it could be done.

The former skier and mountaineer is no stranger to adventures of this kind.

In 2003 he became the first man to cross the Murzuq desert in Libya alone and in 2005 he set a record for the Yukon Arctic Ultra, a 330-mile race across Canadian icefields.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: africa; cambyses; egypt; elkhargeh; godsgravesglyphs; greatsandsea; herodotus; lostarmy; pereset; persianempire; sahara
Sometimes their is a thin line from being a bada$$ and pushing yourself to the limits and just plain dumb.

Anyway, Who Dares Wins

1 posted on 01/27/2006 11:33:58 PM PST by Tyche
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Tyche

Not to detract from his feat, which is remarkable, and well beyond anything I could do, but he had a GPS so he took the shortest & best route.

I bet those boys back in 523 B.C. wandered around for a while before they gave up & died.


2 posted on 01/27/2006 11:45:42 PM PST by CurlyDave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CurlyDave

No doubt. Walking in a mall sucks. Walking, lost in a desert as you slowly die, sucks too.


3 posted on 01/27/2006 11:47:40 PM PST by Tyche (It is easier to take life than to give it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Tyche

4 posted on 01/27/2006 11:48:38 PM PST by AntiGuv ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CurlyDave
Yep ....GPS definitely made a ton of difference. However, this man is still bad@$$. It requires intense condition to even THINK of attempting what this hombre did.

I shudder to think of the last moments those guys back in 523BC had before they succumbed to the desert.

5 posted on 01/28/2006 12:02:44 AM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz

intense condition = intense conditioning


6 posted on 01/28/2006 12:03:14 AM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz

intense condition = intense conditioning == air conditioning


7 posted on 01/28/2006 12:10:03 AM PST by ckilmer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: spetznaz

agree with you, there is nothing anyone can say that can take anything away from this mans accomplishment. people familiar with a dessert environment know what i mean. this dude is tough.


8 posted on 01/28/2006 12:50:46 AM PST by son of caesar (son of caesar)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: son of caesar

Agree - this dude is definitely tough as an old boot. He is also as crazy as a s**thouse rat.


9 posted on 01/28/2006 1:18:06 AM PST by Jack Hammer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Tyche
Signor Miglietti, who covered between 50 and 56 miles a day, kept up his energy with dates, condensed milk and Parmesan cheese.

The power of high fat content and potassium and water wins the day, yet again.

10 posted on 01/28/2006 2:15:16 AM PST by MillerCreek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tyche
'Course, your activity level has to need all that high fat and potassium and water for it to win the day!
11 posted on 01/28/2006 2:16:11 AM PST by MillerCreek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tyche

Wop-ping

Wop = guappo(handsome and/or intelligent.) Sicilian derivative from spanish guapo
Italians emigrated to US legally not W/O Papers.

Freepers are now enlightened as to the real meaning of WOP


12 posted on 01/28/2006 2:28:56 AM PST by RexFamilia
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RexFamilia
Wop-ping

mayonaisse couldnt do it bump

13 posted on 01/28/2006 3:22:25 AM PST by Revelation 911 (God is love, Love endures forever, Love God, Love your neighbor, Vengeance is mine)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Tyche

Did he run across Moses out there ?


14 posted on 01/28/2006 6:09:01 PM PST by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
This is a Old Time topic, it is just now being added to the catalog and pinged.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
Gods, Graves, Glyphs PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

15 posted on 07/22/2006 9:23:37 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

From the title, I thought this thread might have been about Alexander the Great.


16 posted on 07/22/2006 9:27:57 PM PDT by Ciexyz (Leaning on the everlasting arms.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Tyche
Five days, 23 hours later, with blistered feet and severe stomach cramps, he arrived at Siwa.

Signor Miglietti, who covered between 50 and 56 miles a day, kept up his energy with dates, condensed milk and Parmesan cheese.

I'm just saying, put 2 and 2 together.

17 posted on 07/22/2006 10:03:27 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ciexyz

Except that Alexander the Great was never conquered by "sands."


18 posted on 07/23/2006 10:34:37 AM PDT by eleni121 (General Draza Mihailovich: We will never forget you - the hero of World War Two)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Ciexyz

But the Siwa reference is absolutely connected to Alexander's exploits. The oasis at Siwa was home to the world renowned Oracle of the god Amun (Ammon) described in Herodotus' Histories.

At the beginning of his campaigns Alexander took a side trip there and legend (Herodotus) says was saved by a rare thunderstorm.


19 posted on 07/23/2006 10:53:31 AM PDT by eleni121 (General Draza Mihailovich: We will never forget you - the hero of World War Two)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: eleni121
I'm reading an informative book about Alexander's techniques of strategy applied to modern situations: "Alexander the Great's Art of Strategy" by Partha Bose, Penguin Books, copyright 2003. Here's a snippet from p. 125-126:

Two years after the incident at Gordium, Alexander would head south into the Saharan desert in today's Egypt and Libya in search of the oracle of Zeus-Ammon at Siwah. Greeks and Egyptians both venerated the temple of Zeus-Ammon, and Siwah, an oasis surrounded by the Libyan Desert, was believed to be the abode of the Egyptian gods....

....it was an arduous, two-hundred-mile journey from the vast tract of sand where Alexander would soon found Alexandria-in-Egypt through the inhospitable desert. By day four of their eight-day journey they had run out of water, only to be saved by a sudden rainstorm. They lost their way, only to be saved by the flight of two crows that had been spotted. When they reached Siwah...Alexander...was taken directly to visit with the oracle. The high priest...is alleged to have greeted him as the "son of Zeus-Ammon." Historians have again debated whether the priest said "my son," or "son of Zeus-Ammon," or "son of God," or if it was just a slip in translation. We shall never know. Suffice it to say, Alexander used it to full effect, and from that day on Macedonian spinmeisters stressed his divine roots.

20 posted on 07/23/2006 11:15:40 AM PDT by Ciexyz (Leaning on the everlasting arms.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Ciexyz

May I recommend to you "In the Footsteps of Alex. the Great" - an excellent visual journey in DVD format now. It traces his campaigns throughout Africa and Asia...includes the Siwah journey.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002V7OGA/ref=imdbpov_dvd_0/102-7988042-3278508?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=130


21 posted on 07/23/2006 11:48:25 AM PDT by eleni121 (General Draza Mihailovich: We will never forget you - the hero of World War Two)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: eleni121

According to legend, wasn't Alexander's body supposed to have been buried in Siwa after his death in Persia?

I think some Italian archeologists are looking for his tomb somewhere out there in the desert.


22 posted on 07/23/2006 8:25:15 PM PDT by wildbill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: eleni121

I enjoyed the PBS series "In the Footsteps of Alexander" (when it was on TV) and the companion book. I'm off to check off the link you provided. Thanks for posting.


23 posted on 07/23/2006 8:31:18 PM PDT by Ciexyz (Leaning on the everlasting arms.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Tyche
Signor Miglietti, who covered between 50 and 56 miles a day, kept up his
energy with dates, condensed milk and Parmesan cheese.


I think I've just found the real "trail-mix" diet.
24 posted on 07/23/2006 8:31:48 PM PDT by VOA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wildbill

In response to your question about Alexander's burial site, there's a new book out concerning that issue. I saw it at Border's; the author takes you to various sites where it's alleged that Alexander's remains mny be hidden.


25 posted on 07/23/2006 8:35:16 PM PDT by Ciexyz (Leaning on the everlasting arms.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]


· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


26 posted on 09/15/2008 9:48:24 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson