2020-12-19 16:25:06 UTC
I first read about the Brendan Voyage in the March and April 1978 issues of Cricket - the story was written by the National Humanities Medalist, Jean Fritz, and was titled "Did the Irish Beat Columbus?"
He recreated the voyages of Sinbad, Jason, Ulysses, the Crusaders, and the Mongols. He also wrote novels.
By Barry Roche.
First paragraphs (it's long):
The explorer, writer and film maker, Tim Severin, best known for the Brendan Voyage where he sailed from Ireland to Newfoundland to prove that the 6th century Irish saint could have reached the Americas 900 years before Columbus, has died at his home in West Cork at the age of 80.
Severin was born in Assam in India, the son of an English tea planter but he was keen to dispel any notions of privilege when he spoke to The Irish Times in 1999. “We were very poor. The tea planters were not rich. The people who owned the plantations were rich but they were back in Scotland and England. My parents were poor.”
He was sent to boarding school in England at the age of seven and he later read History and Geography at Oxford and it was while he was still an undergraduate there at Keble College in 1961 that he sought to recreate his first ancient journey, retracing on motorbike, Marco Polo’s 13th century journey into Asia.
He followed that adventure six years later by following in the footsteps of Spanish conquistadors and others sailing down the Mississippi river but it was his decision to try and follow in the footsteps of St Brendan and cross the Atlantic in a leather-bound boat in 1976 that caught the public imagination.
Studying the Latin texts of the Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis (The Voyage of St Brendan the Abbot) which date back to at least 800 AD and tells the story of Brendan’s (circa 489-583), Severin sought to see if he could follow in the Irish saint’s steps and find a new land to the west.
“I recreated the boat of St Brendan and set out to see what would happen and it was in that way that I discovered for me, the fascination of travel wasn’t just space but being able to go back in time and it was here that that new dimension opened for me here on the Atlantic,” he later said....