In this chapter, Ishmael continues the project begun in the “Etymologies” and “Extracts” sections that precede the first chapter of creating a cultural genealogy of whaling that stretches back to time immemorial. The “Extracts” are squarely Biblical in orientation, however, the first three entries coming from Genesis, Job, and Jonah.

Here Ishmael recruits a more global crew to his cause, adding Perseus, Hercules, and Vishnoo to the Old Testament figure Jonah and the Christian St. George.

You’ll remember that Ishmael has already connected both Perseus and Vishnu to whaling in the chapter “Of Monstrous Pictures of Whales” and even earlier (in “The Advocate“) reminded us that Cetus, the sea monster from whom Perseus