Crossing the Line


Almost everyone of us has undergone the trials of the 'Crossing the Line Ceremony', but have you wondered why those figures, the players of the rights, are who they are?
Have you considered why the ceremony exists or where it came from?
Did you know the Royal Navy's version is unique and the Navy issued an internal pamphlet prescribing the ceremonies form?
'Neptune & the Pollywogs' examines the origins and history of this most traditional of seafaring rituals and gives an insight into its evolution.
But don't be fooled, 'Neptune & the Pollywogs' is not just a bland academic study, but an informative and entertaining insight into the Royal Navy and has been produced in association with the Royal Navy Research Archives.
Here is a small excerpt from the beginning of the book.

When Greek civilization was in its prime, way before Romulus and Remus were even twinkle in their father’s eyes, there was Poseidon. History recalls, ‘His domain was of Hercules and he had some authority’. He was the god of the seas to whom the ancient matelots burned incense and sang his praises.
Poseidon, who would whip-up the odd storm, throw a crash of thunder and a few bursts of lightning into the mix, just to scare the living daylights out of those poor ancient Greek sailors, was doing rather well for himself. In fact, he had done so for several hundred years and was living happily ever after… Until those pesky Romans turned up.

After a lot of argy-bargy the Romans eventually beat the Greeks and took over the seas. However, the god Poseidon continued to make a fair old bit of roughers, which pissed the Romans off no-end.
The Romans answer was to obtain the services of one of their own gods, one who could stuff it to old Poseidon and, in effect, put the old giffer out of business.

The problem was, the Romans did not have a spare god hanging around Olympus at the time, they were all far too busy killing humans, eating, drinking and fornicating; so, the canny Roman sods borrowed a god from the Etruscans. (They never returned him either.)
This god's name was Nethuns or Nethunus, depending on which part of Etruscia you came from. But what was a little miss pronunciation to a Roman? So, instead of getting all tongue-tied, the Romans called him Neptunus.
This left poor old Poseidon in deep do dos and needing his welly boots.

Now, this is where it gets complicated but very interesting, so grab a tot and pull up a bollard…

Poseidon was chatting up some bird called Amphitrite. She was the daughter of Oceanus, himself a very big cheese in the Greeks system of gods and all that stuff. Oceanus was the primordial Titan god of the great, earth-encircling River Okeanos, the font of all the earth's fresh water, rivers, wells, springs, rain clouds and so on.
Anyway… Poseidon had gone to some amazing lengths to trap this Amphitrite woman, (supposedly still a virgin at the time, but this is challenged, so who knows the truth?) Many of those lengths Poseidon took to attract Amphitrite did not particularly please the ungrateful bitch, so she legged it, running off to a place called Mount Atlas.

When Poseidon heard about his girlfriend absconding, he got a bit miffed and sent one of his dolphin gods, 'Delphines', to convince her he was really husband material; but by the time the dolphin found Amphitrite she had been adopted by a new bloke who had recently moved into the neighbourhood. He was called Neptunus and this adoption now made him Poseidon’s father-in-law. (Sort of, but this is ancient Rome/Greek, so it's all twisted anyway.)

Obviously, old Poseidon was gutted by this news, but he married the ungrateful bitch anyway.
Not that he remained faithful for more than the first five minutes of their relationship, preferring to get jiggy with just about anyone, anything and everything that moved.
Eventually, though, old Poseidon got so pissed off with Neptune stealing his position as God of the seas he ended up committing suicide by drowning himself in his own ocean…

Grab your copy of Neptune & the Pollywogs from Amazon,
or from Gizzits, Slops & Pussers Stuff @open24,

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