Ischia and Tifeo legend

Ischia and Tifeo legend

According to an ancient Roman legend, behind the surface of Ischia island, in the Gulf of Naples, should still lying the giant Tifeo, or Thypoon if you prefer.

Tifeo according to Greek mythology was the younger son of Gea and Tartaro. According to other sources, Tifeo would have actually been confined into Etna: whether it is Ischia (of whose mysteries already spoken) or Etna, the legend of the giant was used in ancient times to explain the cause of some natural phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes or fumaroles.

Tifeo, the giant shot down by Zeus

According to the leggend Tifeo rebelled against Zeus and for this, after a hard struggle with the king of the gods, was thrown into the sea from Olympus. Zeus at that point he threw a mountain against Tifeo who, fallen near the beach of strong>Miseno, formed a new island on his stomach, Ischia, then he was condemned to support her for eternity, on his shoulders. In the alternative version Tifeo tried to hurl Sicily against Zeus, but he repulsed the blow and poor Tifeo was crushed under the weight of the island.

piede tifeo

Mutilated and crushed by an island

What does not vary between the two versions is the sad end of Tifeo: “tamed, broken by the blows, he fell down mutilated” wrote Esiodo. This horrible end marked the beginning of a series of natural phenomena: according to the ancients, in fact, giant's contortions caused the earthquakes, while his tears and his warm breath would have given rise to the thermal waters and fumaroles typical of Ischia.

Tifeo in Ischia gives its name to various locations

Tifeo's myth in Ischia also explains the origin of the names of some fractions of the island, such as Panza (i.e. belly), Ciglio (eyelash), Bocca (mouth), Testaccio (head) and Piedimonte (foot), that would be found near the corresponding parts of the giant's body, while near Punta Imperatore here is a rock from the shape to say the least particular known as “Tifeo's foot”.

If this legend intrigued you, what are you waiting to come to Ischia yourself to discover the beauties and the mysteries of the pearl of the Gulf of Naples?

Tags: Myths