In antiquity, Ukrainian Snake island had colossal statue of Apollo on it taken to Rome’s Capitolium 1st century BC. Island of Achilles was not far away.


The authors of a recent article in The Daily Beast shared an opinion that according to the legends, Achilles supposedly went mad and killed the Amazons on the currently famous Zmiiny or Snake island. Unfortunately, they missed the target by a hundred miles and missed no less powerful story. The real one. Pliny the Elder wrote in his Natural History: “On this side of the Danube there is one of the islands called Apollonia, 80 miles from the Thracian Bosporus; from this island Marcus Lucullus brought the statue of Apollo on the Capitolium.” (4.92) According to Pliny, the statue was a masterpiece and it was 13 meters in height: “Of boldness of design the examples are innumerable. We see enormously huge statues devised, what are called Colossi, as large as towers. Such is the Apollo on the Capitol, brought over by Marcus Lucullus {73 BC} from Apollonia, a city of Pontus, 45 feet high, which cost 500 talents to make.” (Natural History, 34.39) The colossal statue stood on the Snake Island for almost four centuries before stolen to Rome.

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Strabo wrote that the statue stood in the Temple of Apollo and that the whole area around the delta of the Ister (Danube) River was sacred at the time: “So, then, if one begins at the Sacred Mouth of the Ister [Danube] and keeps the continuous seaboard on the right… The greater part of Apollonia was founded on a certain isle, where there is a temple of Apollo, from which Marcus Lucullus carried off the colossal statue of Apollo, a work of Calamis,​ which he set up in the Capitolium.” (Geography, 7.6.1.)

The author of this article expressed his view multiple times that the war Russia wages on Ukraine (or better say, has been waging for centuries) is about the history. One of the major ideologists of Russian war, A. Dugin, claimed in his popular tweet that Snake Island is sacral just because of that history quoted above. “Whoever controls that island, controls the way world history goes”, he added.

“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” movie comes to mind in this aspect and especially the scene with the Holy Grail.

Ukrainians wish what happened to Donovan, would happen to Putin and his accomplices of course.

By this time, Ukraine regained the controll over the Island of Apollon and the Ukrainians using Dugin’s claim, half-jokingly warn Russians to clear the rest of Ukraine from their presence, because the control over the worl’s destiny is back in the hands of Kyiv.

As for the Island of Achilles, it was situated opposite the delta of the Dnieper River: “Off the mouth of the Borysthenes [Dnieper] is the Island of Achilles mentioned above, which also has the Greek names of Leuke Island and Island of the Blest.” (Natual History, 4.92)

For more details on why Achilles is so strongly associated with territory of present-day Ukraine, see the “Royal Scythia, Greece, Kyiv Rus“. For the reason why the statue of Apollo was on the Snake Island – the “Craddle of Civilizations“.

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