Also called the Symplegades or the Clashing Rocks. Two easily movable rocks at the narrow entrance to the Axeinos Pontos ('stranger-less sea'), the place where the Bosporus and the Black Sea meet and where, according to legends, all Greeks were killed on sight.

The Symplagades were said to crush together when a ship tried to sail between them, thus destroying both the vessel and its unfortunate crew.

The Cyanean Rocks feature prominently in the Greek legend of Jason and Argonauts. According to the legend, Jason took the advice of Phineas to first let a dove fly through the rocks. Noticing that only the dove's tail feathers were clipped by the rocks, Jason ordered his men to row furiously and only the Argo's tail ornament was clipped off.

Euripides starts his tragedy 'Medea' by having the nurse lament that the Symplegades didn't crush Argo when it sailed between the two stones, thus eventually bringing doom to both Jason's family and Medea herself (for details, see Medea).

'Cyanean' means bluish green, and 'symplegades' means 'dashes together' in Greek.


Translations provided by
The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

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