American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- The most northerly region of the habitable world to ancient Greek geographers. Posited as an island north of Britain, it has been variously identified with Iceland, Norway, and the Shetland Islands.
- A town of northwest Greenland northwest of Cape York. A U.S. naval base was built here during World War II. Population: 652.
- n. A Native American culture that spread eastward across coastal Arctic regions to eastern Canada and Greenland from its beginnings in the Bering Strait region, flourishing from about 1000 to 1600.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The name given by Pytheas of Marseilles to a region or island north of Great Britain, the position of which has been for more than two thousand years the subject of investigation and a matter of controversy. Of the voyage of Pytheas, who was probably nearly contemporaneous with Alexander the Great, nothing is known with certainty, since none of his writings have been preserved. It is, on the whole, most probable that he followed the east coast of Great Britain (of whose size he got a very much exaggerated idea), and that he obtained information in regard to the groups of islands lying still further north—namely. the Orkneys and Shetland—which he embraced under the general name of Thule. From what he is believed to have said in regard to the length of the day in Thule at the summer solstice, it is evident that, as he is known to have been a skilled astronomer, he thought that this land was situated on or near the arctic circle. The Romans frequently added to Thule the designation of Ultima (the Furthest Thule), and, from classic times down to the present day, Thule, besides remaining a subject for voluminous controversy among geographical critics, has been in constant use by poets and others as designating some unknown, far-distant, northern, or purely mythical region, or even some goal, not necessarily geographical, sought to be attained. This use of Thule and Ultima Thule runs through the literature of all the cultivated languages of Europe.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The name given by ancient geographers to the northernmost part of the habitable world. According to some, this land was Norway, according to others, Iceland, or more probably Mainland, the largest of the Shetland islands; hence, the Latin phrase
ultima Thule, farthest Thule.
- n. the geographical region believed by ancient geographers to be the northernmost land in the inhabited world
- n. a town in northwestern Greenland; during World War II a United States naval base was built there
- From Ancient Greek Θούλη. (Wiktionary)
- After Thule1. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“After six days further sailing, he came to lands which he calls Thule, probably the Jutland or Norway of the present day, beyond which he could not pass, for he says, "there was neither land, sea, nor air there.”
“A missile detection device in Thule Greenland reported some time ago an unknown object in the airspace over the Arctic, on further investigation it was found to be the reflection of the station's radar bounced back from the moon.”
“One should be cautious about the thesis that the name Thule is a serious and conscious reference to a Nordic, Polar connection, in the effort to make a connection with the Hyperborean origins of the Indo-Germans -- since Thule appears in ancient tradition as the sacred center or sacred island in the uttermost North.”
“On this occasion, the vague appellation of Thule is applied to England; and the new Varangians were a colony of English and Danes who fled from the yoke of the Norman conqueror.”
“After wishing for wings to fly over to his dear country, which was in his view, from what he calls Thule, as being the most western isle of Scotland, except St. Kilda; after describing the pleasures of society, and the miseries of solitude, he at last, with becoming propriety, has recourse to the only sure relief of thinking men, ””
“Ancient travellers in Scythia and voyagers to "Thule" -- which in”
“The Inuits living in Greenland today can be traced back to ancestors of the so-called Thule culture, who first arrived around the 13th century and for a time shared the island with the Norsemen, but contacts between the two communities are believed to have been rare or even hostile.”
“In the same years, around 1,000AD, when Vikings settled with their farms in South Greenland, such island was colonised by local people likely the ancestors of Inuit people: the so-called Thule culture.”
“At the farm site, there is no indication that conflict with natives, now called the Thule people, precipitated the Norse departure.”
“Medieval maps used to use the phrase ultima Thule to denote anywhere far enough to lie beyond the "borders of the known world".”
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