An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

NEWS


Joining The Dots


Joining The Dots

I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato's own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.


Learn More


Search

Recent Updates

Angelos Galanopoulos

Tschoegl, Nicholas William

Nicholas William Tschoegl (1918-2011) was born in what is now an eastern TschoeNpart of the Czech Republic. He was educated in Europe and after the Second World War his family fled to Australia and later to USA where he became a Professor of Chemical Engineering, although pursuing additional interests in ancient civilisation and the development of writing. He has also lectured on Atlantis supporting the idea of Minoan Crete and Thera as its possible location(a).*He follows Galanopoulos & Bacon in subscribing to the ‘factor ten’ hypothesis to reconcile Plato’s apparent date for the Atlantean war with the eruption of Thera.*

(a) http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/307/1/atlantis.pdf

Melos or Milos

Milos mapMelos or Milos is the most westerly of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. Dr. Galanopoulos was of the opinion that Melos was named after Eumelos the brother of Atlas, the King of Atlantis.

This view led Galanopoulos to conclude that the Pillars of Heracles were therefore located at the western entrance to the Aegean.

Obsidian, a volcanic glass, principally native to Melos, has been found all over the Aegean as well as mainland Greece and has been dated to 13,000 BC implying that that extensive seafaring was possible at that time(a). However, during that period, sea levels were much lower than at present, as the Ice Age glaciations were still in place. This would have led to greater land exposure in the Aegean with shorter distances between islands, which were easily crossed with relatively primitive boats.

A major conference on Atlantis was held on the island in July 2005, entitled The Atlantis Hypothesis: Searching for a Lost Land. At the conclusion of the conference a majority of the attendees supported a 24-point list of criteria that any candidate for the location of Atlantis must satisfy. These are listed under The Atlantis Conference 2005 entry.

(a) http://www.sott.net/articles/show/234192-New-Evidence-Hints-at-Ice-Age-Mariners-in-Ancient-Greece

Kings of Atlantis

The Kings of Atlantis were, according to Plato, originally the sons of Poseidon and Cleito. They were ten in number and consisted of five sets of male twins. The first-born was Atlas who was given authority over the others, each of whom controlled their own territory. Some commentators reacted with such incredulity to this story, that they have either dismissed this detail or in some cases the entire Atlantis tale as pure fantasy. Of course, it is highly improbable, if not virtually impossible to accept that Clieto had five sets of all male twins. However, we are dealing here with a myth that is an echo of the legends of many other cultures describing their antediluvian origins. Lenormant & Chevallier wrote[424] of this over a hundred years ago:

“…The ten kingdoms of Atlantis are perpetuated in all the ancient traditions. ‘In the number given by the Bible for the Antediluvian patriarchs we have the first instance of a striking agreement with the traditions of various nations. Other nations, to whatever epoch they carry back their ancestors…are constant to the sacred number of ten… In Chaldea (Babylon), Berosus, writing in the third century BC, numerates ten Antediluvian kings whose fabulous reign extended to thousands of years. The legends of the Iranian race commence with the reign of ten Peisdadien (Poseidon?) kings…. In India we meet with the nine Brahmadikas, who, with Brahma, their founder, make ten, and who are called the Ten Petris, or Fathers. The Chinese count ten emperors, partaking of the divine nature, before the dawn of historical time. The Germans believed in the ten ancestors of Odin, and the Arabs in the ten mythical kings of the Adites”.

Cosmas Indicopleustes, in the 6th century AD, contended[1245] that Atlantis was the Garden of Eden and that Plato’s 10 kings of Atlantis were the 10 generations between Adam and Noah!

It may be just coincidence, but Plato tells us that the domain of Atlantis extended as far as Tyrrhenia (modern Tuscany), just south of which was Rome, a city, which according to legend was founded by twin brothers, Romulus and Remus. It has been claimed that the story of their origins are a variation of the story in the Hindu epic Ramayana concerning the twin sons of king Sri Rama, Luva and Kusha(c). 

In the same region, Sicily has the legend of the divine Palici twins (Palikoi in Greek).

Although Babylon is supposed to have had ten kings before the Flood, it must be noted that they reigned successively rather than concurrently, as was the case in Atlantis.

Attention has been drawn to the fact that Manetho (c. 300 BC), the Egyptian historian called the first sequence of Egyptian god-kingsAuriteans’, which has been seen as suspiciously like a corruption of ‘Atlanteans‘.

Plato gives the names of the first ten kings as; Atlas, Gadeiros (Eumolos), Ampheres, Euaimon, Mneseos, Autochthon, Elasippos, Mestor, Azaes, Diaprepres (Critias 114b).

Some writers have attempted to link these names with specific regions; such as Atlas with Morocco, Eumelos (Gadeiros) with Gades (Cadiz) and Elasippos with Lisbon. Beyond these three there is very little agreement. Lewis Spence correctly points out “Plato expressly states that these names had been Egyptianised from the Atlantean language by the priest of Sais, and subsequently Hellenised in Critias, so that there is little hope that they were transmitted in anything like their original form.” Spence also commented on the similarity of the Phoenician gods and the early kings of Atlantis, an idea suggested earlier by Ignatius Donnelly.

Even more distant locations were proposed by the French cartographer Guillaume Sanson (1633-1703), who generously distributed the Americas among the ten brothers, allocating Mexico to Atlas.

R. Cedric Leonard is convinced that Manetho’s list of Egyptian god-kings is in fact a list of the first kings of Atlantis and expands on this idea on his website(a). However, in his 1979 book, Quest for Atlantis[0130], Leonard has suggested that the kings of Atlantis were human-alien hybrids and that humans are the result of alien genetic experiments!!

Another site(b) identifies the kings of Atlantis with the pantheon of Phoenician gods, an idea first mooted by Ignatius Donnelly(part IV. chap.III). But Donnelly, also suggested, unconvincingly, that the gods of the Greeks were just the deified kings of Atlantis (part IV, chap. II), while it is also possible that they were just personifications of natural phenomena.

An unusual feature of the Atlantean kings is the meeting every fifth and sixth year. Plato explains this as a way of honouring odd and even numbers. However, Bacon & Galanopoulos suggest[263.152] that in fact this may have been the result of an awareness of the eleven-year cycles of rains.  I believe that this explanation is equally weak and the subject requires further investigation.

*(a) http://www.atlantisquest.com/Hiero.html  (offline March 2018)

(b) http://phoenicia.org/godidea.html#Atlantis

(c) http://vediccafe.blogspot.ie/2014/05/the-ramayana-in-roots-of-pre-christian.html

Crete

Crete was until recently thought to have been first settled around 7000 BC. However, excavations at nine sites in 2008 and 2009 have revealed double-edged hand axes dated to “at least” 130,000 years ago. This discovery has suggested(a) that Stone Age man had developed seafaring abilities.

There is a general consensus Crete was known as Keftiu by the ancient Egyptians.

Sir Arthur Evans, knighted for his archaeological finds on Crete, excavated at Knossos from 1900-1905 leading to the discovery of the famous ‘palace’ there. Evans saw Knossos as an administrative centre although it had no defensive features, which might be expected. In the 1970’s Hans Georg Wunderlich (1928-1974) following the views of Oswald Spengler, proposed in The Secret of Crete[826] , that the ‘palace’ was in fact a mortuary temple. This idea has more recently been considered by the late Philip Coppens(c).

As early as 1910 the Rev. James Baikie suggested Crete as the location of Atlantis. A year earlier K.T. Frost outlined parallels between Atlantis and the Minoan empire. In the 1920’s Joseph McCabe a former Catholic priest was also convinced that Crete was the location of Atlantis. More decades were to pass before Dr Angelos Galanopoulos developed the idea further[0263][0264]. There has been doubt that the decline of the Minoan civilisation in the 2nd millennium BC was linked with Theran explosion. Nevertheless, Bacon and Galanopoulos admit that a Minoan explanation for the Atlantis story ‘is correct in all points’ except date, dimensions and location of ‘Pillars’! Many commentators have added reasons to support the Minoan Hypothesis.

 

Crete3James Mavor records[265] how a stone was discovered on Thera with the name Eumelos inscribed on it in archaic Greek. However, it would be unwise to read too much into a single isolated object.

J. V. Luce lists a number of interesting similarities between Crete and Plato’s description of Atlantis[120].

*Atlantis was the way to other islands. This is an accurate description of Crete as the gateway to the Cyclades and Greece.

*The palace of the Atlanteans is on a low hill 50 stadia inland and near to a fertile plain is a good description of Knossos.

*The description of the land fits perfectly with the southern coast of Crete.

*There were bulls hunted without weapons, which is characteristic of Minoan Crete.

*The construction of the buildings matches Knossos.

Rodney Castleden[0225] uses statistics to demonstrate that Minoan Crete was closer to Plato’s description of Atlantis than previously thought.

Marjorie Braymer[198] highlights the fact that the Cretan Mesara Plain is oblong in shape and one tenth of the dimensions of the plain mentioned by Plato. A fact that gains in importance if a tenfold exaggeration of the dimensions by Plato is accepted.

J. G. Bennett has gone further and argued strongly for a linkage of the destruction of Minoan civilisation, with the Flood of Deucalion, the Biblical Exodus and the obliteration of Plato’s Atlantis. Bennett quotes Plato’s Laws (705.15), which speaks of a significant migration from Crete, as evidence for a major catastrophe on the island.

In April 2004, a BBC Timewatch programme looked at a possible link between Crete and Atlantis focussing on evidence of ancient tsunami damage on the island that they linked to the eruption of Thera. This idea has been refuted by W. Shepard Baird who offers a pyroclastic surge as a more credible explanation(b). In 2010, the BBC broadcast another documentary supporting the Minoan Hypothesis, although not very convincingly in the opinion of this compiler.

On the other hand, Peter James points out that there is no connection in Greek mythology between Crete and Atlas. Further objections include the fact that no ancient canals have been found on Crete, the island did not sink and the failure of Plato to simply name Crete as the location of his Atlantis.

Recently Gavin Menzies has, unsuccessfully, in my view, attempted to breathe new life into the Minoan Hypothesis in The Lost Empire of Atlantis.

An even less impressive effort to support a Minoan Atlantis is a slender work  by Lee R. Kerr entitled Griffin Quest – Investigating Atlantis [807], who also published an equally useless sequel, Atlantis of the Minoans and Celts[1104].

(a)  http://www.stonepages.com/news/archives/003678.html

(b) http://www.minoanatlantis.com/Sinking_Atlantis_Myth.php

(c) http://www.philipcoppens.com/crete_dead.html (offline Mar. 2018 see Archive 2133)

(d) http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/204059231?searchTerm=Atlantis discovered&searchLimits=

Bartoli, Giuseppe

Giuseppe Bartoli (1717-1788) was a professor of Greek at the University of Turin and ‘antiquarian’ to the King of Sardinia.

In 1780 he published a work in French[1456], half of which was devoted to a study of Atlantis. Galanopoulos & Bacon claim[263.93] that he was the first to locate Atlantis in the Eastern Mediterranean. They also claim that he was the first to claim that Plato’s Atlantis story was a retelling of the Persian War with Athens. *However, Stephen P. Kershaw is of the opinion[1410]  that Bartoli believed the Atlantean War represented both the Peloponnesian War, between Athens and Sparta, and also the internal conflicts within Athens!*

 

Bacon, Edward

Edward Bacon (1906-1981) was the archaeological editor of the Illustrated London News for many years, who also wrote a number of books of his own[139] and edited others, on the subject of archaeology.

In 1961 he published Digging for History which is a review of important archaeological excavations worldwide from 1945 to 1959.

He was the co-author with Angelos Georgiou Galanopoulos of Atlantis, The Truth Behind the Legend[263] which generated renewed interest in the Minoan Hypothesis after its publication in 1969. The basis for their theory is a belief that Plato’s 9,000 years for the time elapsed since the Atlantean War is overstated by a factor of 10. If this were correct, 900 years would bring the date of its demise in line with the date of the massive eruption of Thera. However, there are a number of weaknesses with this association that are discussed elsewhere.

Atlantis: The Truth behind the Legend (L)

Atlantis: The Truth behind the Legend [263] by Angelos Georgiou Galanopoulos and Edward Bacon supports Thera, modern Santorini, as the location of Atlantis. Their starting point was a re-appraisal of Plato’s date of 9,000 years from the time of the attack on Athens & Egypt to the time of Solon. They proposed that there had been a mistranslation from the Egyptian records and that this should in fact have read nine hundred years (see Date of Atlantis Collapse). This would place the demise of Atlantis around 1500 BC. They then linked the cataclysmic eruption of Thera with this date and proceeded to build a case for identifying this event with the destruction of Atlantis. A number of inconsistencies between their theory and the details of Plato’s narrative have been pointed out; Thera was never large enough to accommodate the extensive plain of Atlantis, the location of the Pillars of Heracles, the original island was too small to support a viable population of elephants, the size of the Atlantean army and navy at around one million men, not to mention an even greater civilian population could not have been housed on tiny Thera, etc, etc. When these difficulties are added to the authors’ arbitrary re-dating of the sinking of Atlantis, a Theran solution is untenable, unless the detailed descriptions given by Plato can be set aside as just a fictional overlay. However, the idea of Atlantis being connected with the 2nd millennium BC eruption of Thera is widely accepted and has done no harm to the tourist industry of Santorini.

The authors also introduce the idea of two islands, each with its own adjacent plain, one of which is quite small and the other quite extensive, supposedly Thera and Crete. However, if Plato was speaking of Thera and Crete, why did he not say so? Any serious reading of Plato’s text shows that he was not exactly sure where Atlantis had been.

Atlantis Conference – 2005

The Atlantis Conference  2005 was addressed by a wide range of speakers who hold many conflicting theories regarding the truth behind Plato’s story. It was held on the Aegean island of Melos, which Dr. Galanopoulos suggested had been named after Eumelos, the brother of Atlas, king of Atlantis.

The conference concluded with agreement on a list of 24 criteria, which any proposed site must meet to qualify as a site where Atlantis could have existed:

1. The Metropolis of Atlantis should have been located where an island used to be and where parts of it may still exist.
2. The Metropolis of Atlantis should have had a most distinct geomorphology composed of alternating concentric rings of land and water.
3. The Atlantis should have been located outside the Pillars of Hercules.
4. The Metropolis of Atlantis was greater than Libya and Anatolia and Middle East and Sinai (combined).
5. Atlantis must have sheltered a literate population with metallurgical and navigational skills.
6. The Metropolis of Atlantis should have been routinely reachable from Athens by sea.
7. At the time, Atlantis should have been at war with Athens.
8. The Metropolis of Athens must have suffered a devastating physical destruction of unprecedented proportions.
9. The Metropolis of Atlantis should have sunk entirely or partly below the water.
10. The Metropolis of Atlantis was destroyed 9000 Egyptian years before the 6th century B.C.
11. The part of Atlantis was 50 stadia (7.5 km) from the city.
12. Atlantis had a high population density, enough to support a large army (10,000 chariots, 1,200 ships, 1,200,000 hoplites)
13. The region of Atlantis involved the sacrifice of bulls.
14. The destruction of Atlantis was accompanied by an earthquake.
15. After the destruction of Atlantis, the passage of ships was blocked.
16. Elephants were present in Atlantis.
17. No physically or geologically impossible processes were involved in the destruction of Atlantis.
18. Hot and cold springs, with mineral deposits, were present in Atlantis.
19. Atlantis lay on a coastal plain 2000 x 3000 stadia surrounded by mountains falling into the sea.
20. Atlantis controlled other states of the period.
21. Winds in Atlantis came from the north (only in Northern hemisphere)
22. The rocks in Atlantis were of various colours: black, white, and red.
23. There were canals for irrigation in Atlantis.
24. Every 5th and 6th year, they sacrificed bulls.

While it is interesting that a majority of the gathering supported a list of this nature, many of the individual points will be considered highly contentious by a number of investigators. For my part I see the principal flaw with the list is that it is built on the assumption that all of what Plato wrote is factual and not mythological and does not contain any errors or embellishments.

Jim Allen is also unhappy with aspects of this list and has expanded it by a further 26 criteria giving us a round 50 identification elements(a). Allen then applies this list to 24 Atlantis theories and surprise, surprise, all theories fail except his Andean theory. This expanded list includes all the original flaws plus new ones introduced to bolster Allen’s Bolivian theory.

*This 2005 Conference is also notable for the contribution of Antonis Kontaratos, who used the occasion to list the twenty-two instances, both directly and indirectly, where Plato points to the Atlantis story as true.*

The proceedings of the conference were subsequently published, in English, in a substantial and valuable volume, edited by Stavros Papamarinopoulos, entitled The Atlantis Hypothesis: Searching for a Lost Land[0629].

(a) http://www.atlantisbolivia.org/beyond24points.htm

 

 

Geography of Atlantis (t)

The Geography of Atlantis is discussed in detail by Plato who, according to Bacon and Galanopoulos, seemed to imply[263.39] that it consisted of two principal islands that were located beyond the Pillars of Heracles.

How they arrived at this conclusion is difficult to understand when you read Timaeus 25a-b

“Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvellous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent; and, moreover, of the lands here within the Straits they ruled over Libya as far as Egypt, and over Europe as far as Tuscany.”  (Bury)

To me it seems clear from this that the ‘confederation’ ruled over a number of islands as well as portions of nearby continental mainlands.

Galanopoulos, Angelos

Angelos Georgiou Galanopoulos (1910- 2001) was a Greek seismologist with the Athens Seismological Institute. To a great extent his views on Atlantis are based on the work of Spyridon Marinatos. Dr. Galanopoulos’ best known work on Atlantis [263] was co-authored with the British archaeologist Edward Bacon. This book offers probably the best argument in support of the Minoan Hypothesis. In 1960 he listed 19 of Plato’s statements that could be related to Minoan Crete or Thera[264]. The geologist Dorothy Vitaliano considered this list in her book[306] and thought that up to 14 of them ‘could be made to fit’ Plato’s description. Francis Hitching also refers to this list in the work he edited on world mysteries[307.137], while personally supporting a Minoan influence on Plato’s account[578.166].

Dr. Galanopoulos was a supporter of the idea that the Egyptian hieroglyphic for 100 was misread as 1000 and so decreased all numbers in Plato’s text by factor of ten. This explanation does not stand up to scrutiny, as the Egyptian hieroglyphics are distinctly different and in any case the Egyptian priests who presumably would have a clear understanding of their own inscriptions would have carried out the interpretation.

Immanuel Velikovsky also proposed a factor ten reduction of Plato’s 9,000 years in 1950[037.152], although he was not certain regarding the specific source of the error. My own study of Plato’s large numbers in the Atlantis narrative led me to also conclude that all of them made more sense is reduced by a factor of ten, but a definitive explanation of how this may have occurred has so far eluded me (see: Factor Ten).

In December 1969, the classical scholar, Moses I. Finley (1912-1986), wrote a critical review of ‘Atlantis’ for The New York Review of Books(a), to which Galanopoulos responded(b).

Henry Eichner noted[287.129] that Galanopoulos referred to the Pillars of Heracles in 1967 as a Platonic invention.

(a) http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1969/12/04/back-to-atlantis/

(b)  http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1970/03/12/the-end-of-atlantis/