is a latin phrase.
But is it a place
or an idea
pronounced thoo lee
was the name used by the
ancient explorer Pytheas
(in the 4th century BC) for a remote
island to the north of Orkney
. It might have been
or perhaps Iceland
, we don't know.
is the almost mythical
land farthest north
. Literally we could
say that it is the North Pole
but it is more interesting
as a symbol;
something that we strive for but never quite reach.
Here is an 1880
poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
With favoring winds, o'er sunlit seas,
We sailed for the Hesperides,
The land where golden apples grow;
But that, ah! that was long ago.
How far, since then, the ocean streams
Have swept us from that land of dreams,
That land of fiction and of truth,
The lost Atlantis of our youth!
Whither, ah, whither? Are not these
The tempest-haunted Orcades,
Where sea-gulls scream, and breakers roar,
And wreck and sea-weed line the shore?
Ultima Thule! Utmost Isle!
Here in thy harbors for a while
We lower our sails; a while we rest
From the unending, endless quest.
After I wrote this I discovered (thanks to a /msg from bigmouth_strikes) that Ultima Thule is also
a symbol for some neo-nazi groups. In particular there is a extremist
right wing Swedish rock band with this name. My first thought was to
nuke this node as I have no wish to be associated with such
people. But after speaking to people on #everything I decided
to leave it with this note. The poem is beautiful and we shouldn't let
nazis take words from the language! Yes, and I will do a web search next time!