Everyone knows about sailing off for adventure on the ‘Seven Seas’ but did you know that there are actually lots of different versions? There’s the Roman Seven Seas, the Persian Seven Seas, the Medieval Seven Seas, lots of other small ones in between and now we have some new ones too!
The original context seems to have been the ancient Roman version, which related to the seven lagoons around Venice and was known as the ‘Septum Maria’ - the seven seas. So far, understandable but not that exciting…
The next mention is from Persian author Ya’qubi in the 9th century, “Whoever wants to go to China must cross seven seas, each one with its own colour and wind and fish and breeze, completely unlike the sea that lies beside it.” These were known as the Seas of Fars, Harkand, Kalah, Kardanj, Larwi, Salahit and Sanji respectively.
Now, these sound like very exciting seas to be sailing on, but they’re only found in the Eastern half of the world. Sailing the ‘Seven Seas’ sounds like an adventure around the globe, no?
That brings us nicely to the medieval version, which encompasses the Aegean, the Adriatic, the Arabian, the Black, the Caspian, the Persian Gulf and the Red, including the famous Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee.
That’s much more like it! We can see Sinbad sailing the Arabian, Jason and the Argonauts traversing the Aegean, pirates walking the plank over the Black and Davy Jones’ Locker at the bottom of the Dead.
The only problem with these swashbuckling seas is none of them include the ones we all know today. After the discovery of America, the ‘Seven Seas’ of the modern age were finally decided as the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, The Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, The Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean. You’ll notice most of them aren’t technically seas and our poor North and Irish ones didn’t even get a look in!
Whichever ‘Seven Seas’ you prefer, we think you can all agree that it’s still quite an exciting idea to batten down the hatches, hoist the main sail and set off for an adventure and hopefully very soon we all can.