Frisland is the name given to one of the legendary islands of the North Atlantic, ‘located’ just south of Iceland. The story goes that it was discovered around 1380 by the Venetian, Nicolo Zeno (1326-1402) and that a record of his adventures there, together with a now famous map (see below), were published in 1558 by a descendant. A decade later the celebrated Flemish cartographer, Geradus Mercator (1512-1594), published a comparable map, which also showed Frisland at much the same location and with a similar outline. Cornelius Wytfliet produced a map of the North Atlantic in 1597 depicting Frisland at the same location(c). It did not take long for doubts to be expressed about both the map and its accompanying narrative. Donald S. Johnson in his excellent Phantom Islands of the Atlantic concluded that Frisland was probably a case of ‘mistaken identity’, incorporating “the geography of the Faroe Islands and the contour of Iceland.”
A January 2018 National Geographic article(e) also discusses the story of non-existent islands, including Frisland, which are the subject of a new book, The Un-Discovered Islands, by Malachy Tallack.
Riaan Booysen who controversially locates Atlantis on a large landmass of which Australia is a ‘remnant’(a) has also written about Frisland(b). He concluded that Frisland along with many other ‘mythical’ North Atlantic can be matched with present-day underwater features in ‘relatively’ shallow waters suggesting that they were dry land during the last Ice Age when sea levels were considerably lower. He believes that their inclusion on extant maps is the result of copying much earlier charts that recorded those exposed landmasses.
D.S. Allan & J.B. Delair in their acclaimed book Cataclysm discuss the Zeno map at some length and concluded that its depiction of Greenland is based on earlier maps, “which apparently antedate Greenland’s present glacial regime” and “there are, apparently no genuine arguments for regarding the Zeno map – curious though it may seem to modern eyes – as portraying anything but that which actually once existed on Greenland in the not so very remote past.” (p.249)
Jason Colavito has highlighted the controversy surrounding the Zeno Map (see below)(d).
At the end of September 2018, the UK’s Daily Star, a well-known comic for adults, tried to revive the idea of Atlantis in Frisland(f). They based their brief article on the speculations of Matt Sibson, presented as an ‘expert’, who admits that “there are still some questions that need clearing up.” I would like to know why Frislanders in the middle of the last Ice Age would want to attack a non-existent Athens 4,000 km away? If Sibson is considered to be an expert historian, my cat is a brain surgeon. Colavito had a few words to add regarding Sibson’s pathetic claims(g).
Incredibly, a week later the same ‘newspaper’ cited Sibson again, this time claiming that Rockall was the remains of Atlantis(h), an equally silly idea that is not new.
Alewyn J. Raubenheimer is a retired South African engineer and a member of the South African Archaeological Society. In 2010 he published Survivors of the Great Tsunami, in which he links Noah’s Deluge with the flood, dated at 2193 BC, which is referred to in the controversial Oera Linda Book. He suggests that this flood was caused by the impact of the asteroid which created the submarine Burkle Crater in the Indian Ocean.
Raubenheimer touches on the subject of Atlantis, but is reluctant to identify it with the Atland destroyed in the Oera Linda Book.
Raubenheimer’s defence of the OLB has generated considerable support(a)(b).
On the other hand while there is little doubt that the OLB is also widely believed to be a hoax or a forgery, a contribution to Wikipedia on the subject notes that “The current article mentions several times that the book is a hoax/parody/forgery. The sources (from the article) which I have been able to check do not go in to detail about why the book is a hoax.”(c)
*(a) http://www.merkuriusz.wieczorna.pl/historia-starozytna/pseudohistoria-czy-autentyczna-relacja-ksiega-oera-linda (Polish) (offline Jan. 2018)*
(b) http://home.nordnet.fr/~jacfermaut/pointdevueheemstra02.html (offline Dec. 2017)(French)
Micropatrology or the study of small countries is quite peripheral to the subject of Atlantis, but it is a curious fact that a number of the attempts to establish new independent states have their titles inspired by the name of Plato’s lost island. They include Atland, Atlantis, and the Principality of Atlantis & Lemuria. There was even an attempt by Leicester Hemingway, the younger brother of the famous author, to have New Atlantis established and recognised internationally(a). Its ‘territory’ just consisted of a thirty-foot barge off the coast of Jamaica and had as its primary objective the generation of revenue through the issuing of postage stamps.
The Madeira archipelago (a minor Atlantis candidate) in the Atlantic includes the tiny independent Principality of Pontinha(e), which today has bitcoin as its official currency!
*Arguably one of the most attractive micronations is the Republic of Uzupis, which occupies less than a sq.km of Vilnius the capital of lithuanian(f) .*
One of the more ambitious creations is the Empire of Atlantium(b)(c), established in 1981 by three Australians when they declared their independence from the Commonwealth of Australia and proclaimed George Francis Cruickshank as ruler with the title of His Imperial Majesty George II. Understandably, I worry about the fate of George I! Australia has a number of other micronations as recently reported by the BBC(d).
This strange subject is discussed in a book by Erwin S. Strauss and additional information can be obtained from the International Micropatrological Society, 4554 McPherson Ave., Saint Louis, Missouri, 63108.
(b) http://www.atlantium.org/ (offline Jan. 2016)
(e) http://www.principality-pontinha.com/contact.html (offline April 2018)
Atland is a place name mentioned in the Oera Linda Book that has been equated by some with Atlantis, thus placing Plato’s story somewhere in the region of the North Sea. Robert Scrutton wrote two books devoted to the Oera Linda Book and its connection with Atlantis. Jürgen Spanuth observes that Atland, Adalland and Oatland are common place names around the North Sea and notes that Atland has been interpreted as ‘sea king’!
In his eBook(a) on the Oera Linda Book, Anthony Radford suggests that Atland is a corruption of Aldland meaning ‘old land’ or ‘home country.
*Guy Gervis offered a paper entitled Atland and After, in which he supports the veracity of the OLB and a North Sea Atlantis, the destruction of which he accepts to have occurred to 2193 BC(b).*
The Hyperboreans in Greek mythology lived to the far north of Greece in a land called Hyperborea, which means beyond the North Wind or Boreas, have been linked by a number of writers with the Atlanteans.
Researchers have variously identified this land of Hyperborea with Iceland, the British Isles and the North Sea. Like many classical references and later commentators there is no clear consensus on a precise location.
Diodorus Siculus described Hyperborea as a northern island with a temple to which the god returns every nineteen years. This was initially thought by many to be a reference to England’s Stonehenge, but the renowned Aubrey Burl considered Stonehenge to be 500 miles too far south and instead proposed the Hebridean island of Lewis home to the famous Callanish megalithic site, which includes the ability to record the return of the stars to the same position every nineteen years(c).
Olof Rudbeck‘s over-enthusiastic nationalism not only brought him to associate Atlantis with Sweden, but also linked the writings of Homer and other classical writers with the prehistory of his homeland. This inevitably led hime to declare ancient Sweden as Hyperborea. David King outlines how Rudbeck came to this conclusion [530.71].
Jürgen Spanuth based his Atlantis theory on an unambiguous identification of the Atlanteans with the Hyperboreans of the Baltic region, specifically nominating Jutland, part of today’s Denmark, as the land of the Hyperboreans [p.88].
The renowned Flemish cartographer, Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594), showed a large archipelago near the North Pole on one of his charts. This inclusion by him and other cartographers of the period stemmed from a now lost book by an English Franciscan friar entitled Inventio Fortunatae (The Discovery of the Fortunate Isle).
*Based on ancient maps and the work of other researchers such as Emilio Spedicato, Stuart L. Harris has proposed(e) that Hyperborea was also known as Atland to the Frisians. He further suggests that this land disappeared in 2194 BC as noted in the controversial Oera Linda Book, and that today’s Faroe Islands are its remnants.*
It also appears that in the 18th century the Russian Empress Catherine II organised an expedition in an attempt to find Hyperborea in the vicinity of the North Pole, in a pathetic attempt to discover ‘the elixir of eternal youth” allegedly invented by the Hyperboreans. She was apparently captivated by the descriptions of the classical writers who related that the Hyperboreans lived in total happiness for a thousand years.
It was reported in 2006(a) that a Russian scientist, Valery Dyemin, inspired by the work of Jean-Sylvain Bailly and William Fairfield Warren was attempting to prove the reality of Hyperborea in the Arctic region. Another Russian, Sergey Teleguin has also attributed a North Pole origin for both the Maya and the Indo-Europeans(b).
An extensive internet article outlines the mythology associated with Hyperborea and recent efforts to determine its location(d).
The Oera Linda Book, sometimes referred as the Ura-Linda Chronicle, is a highly controversial book from Holland that occasionally is referred to in books and articles relating to Atlantis. It is claimed to be one of the oldest books ever discovered. While a Dutch translation appeared in 1871, it was not until 1876 that the first English translation of the Oera Linda Book by William R. Sandbach was published by Trubner & Co(k). This was allegedly a translation of a 13th century Frisian manuscript based on much earlier traditions.
The book tells the story of the destruction of a large landmass in the North Sea known as ‘Atland’ following earthquakes and tidal waves. Atland mean Old Land in Frisian. It dates this catastrophe to 2193 BC. However, the current consensus is that the landbridge between the Shetlands Isles and Norway was submerged around 5500 BC and not the date given in the Oera Linda Book.
Nearly seventy years were to pass before the book came under scrutiny again in Britain, when Harold T. Wilkins wrote an article in Egerton Sykes’ first issue of Atlantis magazine, supporting its authenticity. Thirty years later another English writer, Robert Scrutton, wrote two books on the Oera Linda Book. These again opened up the controversy regarding the authenticity of the book.
Andrew Collins has written a short paper(g) casting doubt on the authenticity of the book.
Now Anthony Radford presents a new review of the Book and offers the first edition of his book free on line(f).
Andi Zeneli, the Albanian researcher, has used the text of the Oera Linda Book in an attempt to support his claim for an Albanian connection with Atlantis. Georg Lohle also follows the Oera Linda Book in suggesting a North Sea location for Atlantis.
The English text of the book is available on the internet(b)(c) with the original 212 Frisian language pages, which is accessible on a Dutch site(d). A recent (2012) vindication of the OLB is now available online(h).
It is reported(p) that when Heinrich Himmler was given a translation of the OLB by his friend Hermann Wirth he was totally besotted with its contents and it became known as ‘Himmler’s Bible’. However, even within the Nazi party there were many sceptical voices, which led to much dispute. Finally, “The two opposing camps officially “squared off” during a panel discussion centered on The Oera Linda Book that took place on May 4th 1934 at the aforementioned University of Berlin. The discussion turned into a heated debate, but in the end, The Oera Linda Book was officially declared “a hoax” by the NSDAP, and “Himmler’s Bible” receded once again into obscurity.”
I must mention that the American neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement has taken an interest in the Oera Linda Book(e), promoting it as ‘positive’ reading material!
*The late Antonis Kontaratos was favourably disposed to quote the OLB in support of Atlantis, in a paper delivered to the 2005 Atlantis Conference [629.435], although he also noted that “the authenticity of the Oera Linda Book still awaits official approval or disapproval”.*
Alewyn J. Raubenheimer has theorised that an asteroid impact created the Burckle Crater in the Indian Ocean which in turn generated a megatsunami recorded in the bible as Noah’s Flood and in the Oera Linda Book as the flooding of Atland in 2193 BC. With regard to Atlantis he states categorically (p.49)“that no attempt is made here to equate Atland with Atlantis although there may be a connection.” His defence of the Oera Linda Book has been hailed by some as an important scholarly contribution(i) while others have endeavoured to discredit the book’s authenticity(j).
James Nienhuis also accepts the historicity of the OLB(n), but today’s leading proponent of its authenticity is arguably Jan Ott, a Dutch researcher, born in West Friesland, who has released video and audio interviews on YouTube(l)(m) in support of his views. A list of all translations of the OLB can be accessed on his website(o) as well many other aspects of Oera Linda studies. Ott has been interviewed on Red Ice Radio, a Swedish right-wing broadcaster.
Olof (Olaus) Rudbeck, (1630-1702), was a 17th century nationalistic writer from Uppsala, Sweden (a very powerful nation at that time). He was a professor of botany and anatomy, and was one of two discoverers of the lymphatic vessels. He also had an interest in astronomy, taught mining and fortification theory and was Sweden’s first field archaeologist.
Olaf published, Atlantica between 1679 and 1702, in Latin and Swedish , , which placed Atlantis, not altogether surprisingly, in Sweden. This was a massive 2500 page work(b), published with the financial help of the Swedish King Carl XI, in which he offered 102 ‘proofs’ to support his thesis. Atlantica included a map showing Uppsala as Atlantis(a). He also contended that Swedish was the root tongue of all languages!
Rudbeck built his Atlantis theory on a number of details, including references to the Icelandic Eddas.
- He assumed that the mythical Swedish king Atle was the original Atlas,
- He linked the Swedish Atlefjell (Atle’s Mountain) with the Atlas Mountains and an old name for Sweden was Atland, which crops up in the Oera Linda Book,
- He cited Sweden’s large copper deposits as one of his proofs of his country’s identity with Plato’s Atlantis.
It is also of interest that Rudbeck was an early proponent of the idea that the ‘years’ referred to by Plato were in fact originally Egyptian ‘lunar cycles’ and concluded that Atlantis was destroyed circa 1500 BC.
Rudbeck also noted that the Greek word ‘nesos’ could mean ‘island’ OR ‘peninsula’, the latter being applicable to Sweden. He argued that the ‘Pillars of Heracles’ was a designation formerly used to refer to a number of locations. Rudbeck claimed that the Øresund strait between Sweden and Denmark was the site of the Atlantis ‘Pillars’.
It should be noted that Rudbeck’s theory was a development of the earlier ideas of another Swede, Johannes Bureus (1568-1652), a runic scholar, also born near Uppsala.
Half a century after Rudbeck’s death, a fellow Swede, Johannes Jacobi Eurenius, wrote Atlantica Orientalis, published in 1751, in which he placed Atlantis in the Holy Land and argued forcefully against Rudbeck’s Swedish location.
*However, another two centuries were ro pass before a comparably comprehensive study of the Atlantis question was undertaken by Ignatius Donnelly. The passage of time has demonstrated both to be heavily flawed.*
In recent years, Gunnar Eriksson, professor emeritus of the History of Science and Ideas at Uppsala University, published the first Swedish biography of Rudbeck. He also compiled a shorter version, in English, that looked at Rudbeck’s 17th century ‘proofs’ that Sweden was Plato’s Atlantis. David King of the University of Kentucky has published a further look at this remarkable, if eccentric, individual.
Stephen P. Kershaw has commented[1410.193] that Rudbeck’s Atlantica ”was written while Lutheran Sweden was still coming to terms with the abdication in July 1654 of ‘Queen of the Swedes, Goths and Vandals’, and her conversion to Roman Catholicism. For the Protestant Rudbeck, the Atlantis project was part of an attempt to champion Swedish nationalism, both politically and religiously; annexing Atlantis, which the Catholic/Mediterranean world had so often used to assert its own supremacy, and moving it to Protestant Sweden was an ingenious move.”
Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite and after whom the annual Nobel Prizes are named, was a direct descendant of Rudbeck.