The Legend of the Bosphorus

The Bosphorus, which divides the city in two, is without a doubt one of the unique features that makes Istanbul so special. With a strategic importance that goes back millennia, there are also many mythological stories corning its formation.

The Legend of the Bosphorus

The Bosphorus, which divides the city in two, is without a  doubt one of the unique features that makes Istanbul so special. With a strategic importance that goes back millennia, there are also many mythological stories concerning its creation.

One of these – the legend of Io – comes from Greek Mythology. According to the legend, Hera, the wife of Zeus, suspected her husband of having a relationship with a women named Io. Zeus, in order to protect Io from the rage of Hera, turned her into a cow. Hera, who was aware of the situation, began to torment Io with flies. While trying to flee from the flies, Io crossed the Bosphorus and therefore the word Bosphorus in Ancient Greek – βοῦς ‘ox’ + πόρος ‘passing a river, ford, ferry’ – means the place where the cow crosses.

 

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