Yuri Knorosov (1922-1999) was a Russian linguist and epigrapher, who is best known for his work on the decipherment of the Mayan script. In the 1960’s he ventured outside his comfort zone when he offered his views on Atlantis in a review of Zhirov’s book, Atlantida. Knorosov concluded that Atlantis was located it in Spain(a). He repeated his comments in another article a few years later, while Zhirov responded by accusing Knorosov of lacking scientific objectivity[458.11].
(a) Sovetskya etnografia No4, 1961, pp 213-218.
I. A. Yefremov (1908-1972) was a well-known Russian scientist and science-fiction writer. Nikolai Zhirov quotes[458.83] Yefremov, who saw the Mediterranean as the “cradle of all the great civilisations of antiquity such as those of Egypt and Atlantis” and believed that “it is not at all necessary to consider that the existence of an island in the Atlantic explains the continuity between the Mediterranean and American cultures.”
Valery Bryusov (1873-1924) was a Russian poet, dramatist and historian. In
1917 he wrote a paper on Atlantis in which he reviewed all the theories of the day. He believed that Atlantis had flourished at the end of the last Ice Age. Bryusov speculated that Plato’s orichalcum was in fact aluminium-bronze, an unlikely possibility considering the high temperatures needed to produce such an alloy. He also expressed a very sceptical view of the occult theories relating to Atlantis.
Bryusov was of the opinion that “Underlying all ancient cultures there must be a single influence”, which he believed to be Atlantis.
Theopompus of Chios (c. 4th Cent. BC.) is quoted by Aelian (i) where he seems to describe a continent on the far side of the Atlantic in terms similar to Plato’s account of Atlantis. This excerpt is reputed to be from a play of Thespis, a contemporary of Solon, who is believed to have parodied Solon’s Atlantis poem, which, if true, adds credence to the view that Atlantis was not just an invention of Plato’s.
However, N. Zhirov urges caution as ‘Theopompus was considered a writer of fables even in antiquity’. *Stephen P. Kershaw notes that Aelian “exposes how Theopompus quite flagrantly ripped off the Timaeus and the Critias.” [1585.109]*
Ignatius Donnelly points out that Theopompus referred to Atlanteans as Meropes. In spite of any misgivings about reliability of Theopompus it would appear that he personally accepted the existence of Atlantis.
(i) Variae Historiae (III, 18)
Sicily was first inhabited by modern humans during the last Ice Age(h) when lower sea levels exposed a land bridge between it and what is now mainland Italy.
Plato was quite familiar with Sicily having paid a number of visits there(i) and on one occasion was sold as a slave having offended King Dionysius with his criticism of tyrannical rulers. Many think that his time in the capital, Syracuse, inspired elements of his description of the capital of Atlantis!
The island was probably first suggested as having a link with Atlantis by Mário Saa in a 1936 book in which he has Atlantis stretching from and including Sicily and the Maltese archipelago all the way to Tunisia. It was then more than four decades before Phyllis Young Forsyth wrote her book, Atlantis: The Making of Myth , in which she expressed her belief that Plato wrote the Atlantis story as an anti-war allegory partly based on his own experiences with the king of Syracuse.
More recently a number of other writers have also put Sicily forward as a location for Atlantis. In the main, it has been European investigators who have advocated such a Sicilian connection and some have gone further and proposed a land bridge with Tunisia within the memory of man.
Dr. Peter Jakubowski also offers(a) Sicily and the Malta Plateau as the location of Atlantis. He proposes a cosmic impact in the Atlantic which closed the Strait of Gibraltar around 4800 BC. When the dam eventually broke, the Mediterranean to the west of Sicily began to fill. This was then followed by the breaching of the land bridge between Sicily and Africa and finally the dam in the Bosporus broke, flooding what was a much smaller Black Sea than we have today. Jakubowski’s site is apparently a reworking of Axel Hausmann’s book.*A few years ago he revamped his website, but removed all the Atlantis material.*
Patrick Archer has also adopted the concept of a Sicilian land bridge and promotes the idea that the breaching of it and its consequences were the inspiration for the biblical Deluge(e).
Zhirov noted that “the Mediterranean is fairly shallow between Sicily and Tunisia. There are vast sandbanks and shoals. It may be considered as beyond all doubt that this region subsided recently and that there was a broad isthmus between Sicily and Tunisia.”
Alberto Arecchi(b) has added his voice in support of this Sicilian land bridge linking Italy with Africa and places Atlantis off the coast of modern Tunisia.
Further support has come from Thomas J. Krupa in his 2014 book, in which proposes that the land bridge was composed of limestone which over time had been partially dissolved by rainwater and was under stress from the rising sea levels on its western side. He considers the land bridge the most likely location for Atlantis, which was destroyed when the isthmus was sundered by an earthquake.
Thorwald C. Franke has a well-balanced website(c), in German and English, supporting the idea of a Bronze Age Sicilian Atlantis. For topographical reasons he places the city on the Plains of Catania on the east coast of the island. He sees that the importance of Atlantis within his hypothesis “is the transfer of culture from the eastern to the Western Mediterranean, e.g. there can be found parallels between the culture of the Etruscans, whose role in bringing eastern culture to the west is widely acknowledged.”
Sicily is also home to a number of step pyramids similar to the Canarian examples(d). Antoine Gigal, the French explorer and writer, offers on her website(f) an extensively illustrated article about 23 previously unrecorded Sicilian pyramids as well as seven pyramids on Mauritius(g).
*A 2020 article on the Ancient Origins website by Daniela Giordano reviews the subject of Italian pyramids and more particularly the Sicilian pyramids and their possible connection with the Shekelesh one of the Sea Peoples, an idea also advocated by Nancy K. Sanders, the British archaeologist. The article goes on to suggest some linkage with the more than controversial Bosnian pyramids, which I find overly speculative(k).*
Quite recently a bronze object with a 13th century BC Sicilian connection was found off the coast of Devon in the UK, suggesting ancient trade between the Central Mediterranean and Britain(j).
(d) See: Archive 2006
Also See: Pantelleria
Russian Atlantology was quite unknown to the general reader in the West until the fall of communism. This was mainly due to a combination of the strictures of the communist regime and the language barrier. A recent submission to Wikipedia on the subject of Russian Atlantology was rejected but can be read here(i).
It is accepted that Russian Atlantology began in the 18th century with brief references in a number of technical and poetic works. However it was not until the 19th century that Avraam Norov attempted the first serious scientific attempt to locate Atlantis. Following a study of Greek and Arabic sources, Norov was convinced that Plato’s lost civilisation had been situated in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Later in the same century a new element was introduced to the subject with the ‘revelations’ of Elena Blavatsky and the creation of Theosophy. To this day her esoteric waffle is quoted and accepted unthinkingly by many otherwise rational beings. The renowned Russian novelist Alexei Tolstoy devoted an episode in his novel Aelita to the subject of Atlantis.
In 1912, Vladimir Bogachev, a noted geologist published a short work on the geology of Atlantis entitled Atlantida. Bogachev lectured at the University of Dorpat in Estonia and is often labelled ‘the father of Russian Atlantology’. A few years later, the poet and historian, Valery Bryusov, wrote of Atlantis flourishing at the end of the last Ice Age. In 1923 the geographer, Boris Bobrynin, identified the Guanches of the Canaries as the descendants of the Atlanteans.
The doyen of Russian atlantologists in the latter half of the 20th century was undoubtedly Nikolai Zhirov whose studies over many years were published in English in 1970 and again in 2001. It is a work of great erudition although it is a little dated as most of the material was originally published in Russian in the 1950’s. Zhirov uncompromisingly determined to promote the Atlantic as the original location of Atlantis.>He wrote a short overview of Russian Atlantology for Egerton Sykes‘ Atlantis journal in 1959(j).<
More recently Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev published his thesis regarding the location of Atlantis on the Internet(a). He is convinced that it was located on the Celtic Shelf near the Scilly Isles. Vladimir Pakhomov is another supporter of the ‘Atlantis in the Atlantic’ school of thought and also promotes his views on the Internet(b).
In 1994 Vlaceslav Jurikov proposed that Atlantis had been located near the Lipari Islands and its refugees fled to the Ukraine resulting in the modern symbol of the Ukraine being the trident of Poseidon. Coincidentally, the Ukrainian connection has also received support from non-Russians, the exotic sounding Flying Eagle and Whispering Wind(c) and the Schoppes(d).
The late Alexander Voronin was the president of the Russian Society ror Studying the Problem of Atlantis [ROIPA], which has held three congresses on the subject. At the last congress, Alexander Gorodnitsky, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, spoke controversially of the existence of highly advanced civilisations in the distant past. Voronin was also the chief editor of Atlantis: Problems, Searches, Hypotheses.
Konstantin Dukarev has written a review of scientific Atlantology with particular reference to Russian studies(e). Although the paper is in Russian it translates well, but without paragraphs, making it more difficult to read.
A hyperdiffusionist view of Russia as the world’s mother culture, employing a level of hyperbole not endured since the days of Stalin, can be now read(f) online for your added enjoyment.
There are aspects of modern Russian nationalism that seem to employ some of the rhetoric of the Nazi regime as well as their ideas of an Arctic homeland and even more worryingly, anti-Semitism(g). The linkage of Atlantis with this Arctic homeland was highlighted a few years ago on the Pravda website(h).
(g) See: Archive 2415
(i) See: Archive 3918
>(j) Atlantis Vol.13 No.1 Dec 1959<
Poseidia was the name given to largest island of the Atlantis archipelago by Edgar Cayce and his followers. It is not a name mentioned by Plato or, as far as I’m aware, any other ancient writer.
The Population of Atlantis has been estimated by a number of Atlantologists, based on the data provided by Plato.
Otto Muck considered the population of Atlantis to have been at least 20 million.
“Let us begin with the allegedly excessive numbers of inhabitants. This can be roughly calculated from the details Plato gives of the organisation of the Atlantean armed forces: 480,000 foot soldiers, 120,000 horsemen, 160,000 manning the 10,000 heavy chariots and 60,000 light chariots, and 240,000 sailors. These add up to approximately one million men under arms.” From this, Muck extrapolated a total population of between twenty and forty millions for Atlantis.
Wolter Smit estimates(a) the Atlantean population figure to be between 28 and 155 millions. Constantin Benetatos suggests(b) a lower figure of between 6 and 10 millions but also considers Plato’s data to be exaggerated.
The total population of the entire world in 10,000 BC has been estimated at somewhere between one and ten millions(c)(d)(e)(f). Even if we accept the somewhat questionable higher figure, we can see that this is only a half or a quarter of the population of Atlantis on its own. Consequently, we are forced to conclude that either Plato’s dating is wrong or the Atlantean military manpower is exaggerated or, as I suspect, both are incorrect. Therefore, once again we are forced to view Plato’s numbers with some suspicion.
Recently, P.P. Flambas in his oversized Plato’s Caribbean Atlantis has suggested that the world population at 11,000 BC was stable at around three million people, although there is a greater consensus that the figure was one million. However, Plato’s total for the Atlantean military alone is one million, which forces us to either consider that his date for the Atlantean War and/or the size of the Atlantean army seriously wrong.I consider both to be exaggerated by a similar factor. The fact that the Athenians defeated the Atlanteans suggests much smaller armies and a lack of any archaeological evidence on Greek territory of more than a handful of troglodytes in the 10th millenium BC contradicts the date.
(b) http://www.atlantishistory.net/page8.htm (Offline March 2015)
Ethiopia as a geographical area had very different meanings depending on the period in which it was used. Frank Joseph stated that until the 1st century BC. Ethiopia referred to the Atlantic coast of North Africa.*[Zhirov claimed that ‘Ethiopia’ simply meant a land inhabited by dark-skinned people[0458.98].]*
Pliny the Elder stated that Aethiopia was formerly called Atlantia (p. 116). Proclus, the Greek philosopher, was convinced that Atlantis existed and was connected with ancient Ethiopia, quoting The Ethiopian History of Marcellus.
Col. Alexander Braghine believed in a connection between the ancient Ethiopians and Atlantis. The map above dating from 1650 and published in a book by J.A. Rogers shows the South Atlantic as ‘The Ethiopic Ocean’, while the entire central Africa is named Ethiopia. We can only conclude that the location of the original Ethiopia is nearly as difficult to pinpoint as the location of Atlantis itself.