The Trojan War, at first sight, may appear to have little to do with the story of Atlantis except that some recent commentators have endeavoured to claim that the war with Atlantis was just a retelling of the Trojan War. The leading proponent of the idea is Eberhard Zangger in his 1992 book The Flood from Heaven and later in a paper(l) published in Oxford Journal of Archaeology. He also argues that survivors of the War became the Sea Peoples, while Frank Joseph contends that conflict between the Egyptians and the Sea Peoples was part of the Trojan War[108.11]. Steven Sora asserts that the Atlantean war recorded by Plato is a distortion of the Trojan War and he contentiously claims that Troy was located on the Iberian Peninsula rather than the more generally accepted Hissarlik in Turkey. Others have located the War in the North Sea or the Baltic. Of these, Iman Wilkens is arguably the best known advocate of an English location for Troy since 1990. In 2018, Gerard Janssen has added further support for Wilkens theory(k).
However. controversy has surrounded various aspects of the War since earliest times. Strabo(a) tells us that Aristotle dismissed the matter of the Achaean wall as an invention, a matter that is treated at length by Classics Professor Timothy W. Boyd(b). In fact the entire account has been the subject of continual criticism. A more nuanced approach to the reality or otherwise of the ‘War’ is offered by Petros Koutoupis(j).
The reality of the Trojan War as related by Homer has been debated for well over a century. There is a view that much of what he wrote was fictional, but that the ancient Greeks accepted this, but at the same time they possessed an historical account of the war that varied considerably from Homer’s account(f).
Over 130 quotations from the Illiad and Odyssey have been identified in Plato’s writings, suggesting the possibility of him having adopted some of Homer’s nautical data, which may account for Plato’s Atlantean fleet having 1200 ships which might have been a rounding up of Homer’s 1186 ships in the Achaean fleet!
Like so many other early historical events, the Trojan War has also generated its fair share of nutty ideas, such as Hans-Peny Hirmenech’s wild suggestion that the rows of standing stones at Carnac marked the tombs of Atlantean soldiers who fought in the Trojan War! Arthur Louis Joquel II, proposed that the War was fought between two groups of refugees from the Gobi desert, while Jacques de Mahieu maintained that refugees from Troy fled to America after the War where they are now identified as the Olmecs! In November 2017, an Italian naval archaeologist, Francesco Tiboni, claimed(h). that the Trojan Horse was in fact a ship. This is blamed on the mistranslation of one word in Homer.
Various attempts have been made to determine the exact date of the ten-year War, using astronomical dating relating to eclipses noted by Homer. In the 1920’s, astronomers Carl Schoch and Paul Neugebauer put the sack of Troy at close to 1190 BC.*According to Eratosthenes the conflict lasted from 1193 to 1184 BC(m).*
In 2008, Constantino Baikouzis and Marcelo O. Magnasco proposed 1178 BC as the date of the eclipse that coincided with the return Odysseus, ten years after the War(a). Stuart L. Harris published a paper on the Migration & Diffusion website in 2017(g), in which he endorsed the 1190 BC date for the end of the Trojan War.
A new dating of the end of the Trojan War has been presented by Stavros Papamarinopoulos et al. in a paper(c) now available on the Academia.edu website. Working with astronomical data relating to eclipses in the 2nd millennium BC, they have calculated the ending of the War to have taken place in 1218 BC and Odysseus’ return as 1207 BC.
What is noteworthy is that virtually all the recent studies of the eclipse data are in agreement that the Trojan War ended near the end of the 13th century BC, which in turn can be linked to archaeological evidence at the Hissarlik site. Perhaps even more important is the 1218 BC date for the Trojan War recorded on the Parian Marble, reinforcing the Papamarinoupolos date.
Eric Cline has suggested that an earlier date is a possibility, as “scholars are now agreed that even within Homer’s Iliad there are accounts of warriors and events from centuries predating the traditional setting of the Trojan War in 1250 BC” [1005.40].
However, even more radical redating has been strongly advocated by a number of commentators(d)(e) and not without good reason.
(d) http://www.mikamar.biz/rainbow11/mikamar/articles/troy.htm (offline) see Archive 2401
Late Bronze Age Collapse of civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the second half of the 2nd millennium BC has been variously attributed to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and severe climate change. It is extremely unlikely that all these occurred around the same time through coincidence. Unfortunately, it is not clear to what extent these events were interrelated. As I see it, political upheavals do not lead to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or drought and so can be safely viewed as an effect rather than a cause. Similarly, climate change is just as unlikely to have caused eruptions or seismic activity and so can also be classified as an effect. Consequently, we are left with earthquakes and volcanoes as the prime suspects for the catastrophic turmoil that took place in the Middle East between the 15th and 12th centuries BC. Nevertheless, August 2013 saw further evidence published which blamed climate change for demise of civilisations in the region.
Robert Drews dismisses any suggestion that Greece suffered a critical drought around 1200 BC, citing the absence of any supporting reference by Homer or Hesiod as evidence. He proposes that “the transition from chariot to infantry warfare as the primary cause of the Great Kingdoms’ downfall.”
This extended period of chaos began around 1450 BC when the eruptions on Thera took place. These caused the well-documented devastation in the region including the ending of the Minoan civilisation and probably the Exodus of the Bible and the Plagues of Egypt as well. According to the Parian Marble, the Flood of Deucalion probably took place around the same time.
Professor Stavros Papamarinopoulos has written of the ‘seismic storm’ that beset the Eastern Mediterranean between 1225 and 1175 BC(a). Similar ideas have been expressed by Amos Nur & Eric H.Cline(b)(c). The invasion of the Sea Peoples recorded by the Egyptians, and parts of Plato’s Atlantis story all appear to have taken place around this period. Plato refers to a spring on the Athenian acropolis (Crit.112d) that was destroyed during an earthquake. Rainer Kühne notes that this spring only existed for about 25 years but was rediscovered by the Swedish archaeologist, Oscar Broneer, who excavated there from 1959 to 1967. The destruction of the spring and barracks, by an earthquake, was confirmed as having occurring at the end of the 12th century BC.
(this is a shorter version of (c) below)
Seasons are sub-divisions of the year usually based on changes in ecology, weather or hours of daylight. The number of seasons varies between two (Polar) and six (India). My native Ireland has been described by cynics as now having only three seasons, as recent weather changes seem to have removed summer from our calendar.
The Egyptian year is divided into three seasons as they also did in the Indus civilisation. In an effort to make Plato’s 9,000 years more credible, commentators as early Giovanni Carli in the 18th century and Rafinesque in the 19th have suggested that Plato’s years were in fact ‘seasons’. The idea has gained further traction in more recent years with support from Axel Hausmann and Radek Brychta and most recently Rosario Vieni. Both Hausmann and Vieni presented papers to the 2005 Atlantis Conference, where Hausmann proposed that the ‘years’ be treated as seasons and so concluded that the demise of Atlantis took place in 3522 BC[629.359]. However, at the same conference Vieni presented his paper entitled “11,500 years ago…..” [629.337], obviously at that stage accepting Plato’s 9,000 years at face value. Three years later, he presented a paper to the 2008 Atlantis Conference which he entitled “About 5600 years ago….” [750.347], in which he had changed his understanding of Plato’s ‘years’ to be now seasons. While his intellectual honesty is to be applauded, I must point out that because a person changes their opinion, there is no guarantee that their second choice is any more correct than the first.
I am not convinced by the ‘seasons’ explanation, as it just seems to be a rather feeble attempt to explain away Plato’s 9,000 being a reference to solar years. Supporters of this ‘seasons’ explanation appear to be forced to look for an alternative to a literal 9,000 years as that figure conflicts dramatically with the Bronze Age setting of the Atlantis narrative and runs counter to the archaeological evidence for dating the foundation of both Athens and the Egyptian civilisation.
The more popular alternative suggestion of treating the ‘years’ as lunar cycles makes much more sense, as it brings the Atlantis story into the end of the Greek Bronze Age. It also matches the time of the destruction of the spring on the Acropolis (Crit.112d) and conforms to details on the Parian Marble. But perhaps most important of all is that the use of lunar cycles by the Egyptians for calculating time was noted by Eudoxus of Cnidos (410-355 BC) and also by Plutarch, Manetho, Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus.
Attica is an ancient region of Greece which includes Athens. Its early kings are mentioned by Plato (Critias 110 a-b)
“the Egyptian priests, in describing the war of that period, mentioned most of those names – such as those of Cecrops and Erechtheus and Erichthonius and Erisichthon and most of the other names which are recorded of the various heroes before Theseus.”
Building on that and the writings of Pausanias (Graeciae Descriptio 1,2,6) and Apollodorus (Bibliotheca 3.14.1)(b), Stavros Marinopoulos has constructed an Attica king-list – Actaeus, Cecrops, Erysichthon, Cranaus (3.14.5), Erichthonius, Pandion, Erechtheus, Cecrops II, Pandion II, Aegeus and Theseus(a) . Although some disagree with the details of this list claiming, for example, that Cecrops and Pandion I and II are duplications, that Erysichthon died before Cecrops died and that Amphictyon succeeded Cranaus, his reconstruction is probably largely correct.
From this, Papamarinopoulos concluded that the kings who opposed the Atlanteans lived in the 16th century BC. Other sources(c) put their reign from the 15th to the 13th centuries BC, so although there are relatively minor differences between commentators, there is a consensus that the 2nd millennium BC was the time of these early kings, but very definitely not the 10th millennium BC. As you will see elsewhere, the Parian Marble substantially supports many elements of Papamarinopoulos’ analysis.
John Francis Arundell of Wardour (1831-1906) published The Secret of Plato’s Atlantis in 1885 as a rebuttal of Ignatius Donnelly’s groundbreaking book of three years earlier. The content of Arundell’s volume is now as dated as Donnelly’s and freely available on the Internet(a).
The ‘secret’ referred to in the title is revealed by Arundell to be that Plato’s Atlantis story is based on the account that we have of the Voyage of Hanno. He devote the second chapter to a discussion of a number of details in both accounts that suggest more than coincidence. I am not aware of any subsequent support for this novel idea.
*Thomas Arundell (1586-1643), 2nd Baron Arundell of Wardour*was apparently responsible for bringing the first two pieces of the Parian Marble to Britain from Paros in 1627 and presented one of them to the University of Oxford forty years later. The second piece was initially used to repair a fireplace in the Arundell home.
Floods on a catastrophic scale have been recorded in the mythologies and histories of all ancient civilisations. There are various possible causes for such devastating floods. Undoubtedly, many of these legends originated with the raising of sea levels that followed the de-glaciation at the end of the last Ice Age.
Other floods may have been caused by tsunamis resulting from underwater earthquakes or storegga. Quite recently it was discovered(a) that around 6000 BC a calamitous tsunami was generated in the Mediterranean when Mt. Etna in Sicily sent approximately 6 cubic miles of rock and rubble crashing into the sea. One could be forgiven for speculating that this event may have triggered the flooding of the Black Sea, which is dated to this same period.
Since writing, as we know it, did not develop until long after de-glaciation, it is virtually impossible to precisely identify the date, location or extent of any of the early myths relating to these possible de-glaciation inundations.
Flood Myths are found throughout the world and for centuries were seen as confirmation of the reality and universality of the Biblical Flood of Noah. However, when it was discovered that the Earth had endured a series of Ice Ages and that following each of these, the melting ice caps led to worldwide inundations with a consequent immortalisation of these events through locally developed myths, it led to speculation that Noah’s Flood may have been just a regional but nonetheless a catastrophic event. It is also probable that separate regional inundations would have occurred as deglaciation continued at the end of the last ice age, so when recounted through mythology many centuries later they may appear to refer to a single global event. It is also probable that separate regional inundations would have occurred as deglaciation continued at the end of the last ice age, so when recounted through mythology many centuries later they may appear to refer to a single global event.
Nevertheless, megafloods are not necessarily only caused by tsunamis and melting glaciers. “A 43-day storm that began in December 1861 put central and southern California underwater for up to six months” a catastrophic event that is now generally forgotten. An extensive 2013 article(f) in Scientific American has full details.
China has its own ‘Great Flood’ tradition, which in the August 2016 edition of Science journal had its reality given strong support in a paper(e) by a mainly Chinese team of researchers. They date the event to 1920 BC.
Recent years have seen the above-mentioned flooding of the Black Sea or even more controversially, the flooding of the Mediterranean basins, following the breaching of a suggested landbridge at Gibraltar, proposed as possible sources of the story of Noah in the Bible. These inundations are dated at around 5600 BC and their memory should have survived in the traditions and mythologies of the region. In addition to that, the Persian Gulf is also accepted by many to have been dry during the last Ice Age but also began to flood around 5000 BC. In Northern Europe, the Baltic Sea and the Celtic Shelf both suffered post-glacial inundations, while around the same time in the South China Sea the enormous Sunda Shelf suffered extensive flooding.
Plato’s Atlantis story contains a curious reference in Timaeus (23a-c) to a series of floods having apparently occurred in the Eastern Mediterranean. If based on historical fact, on its own, the Biblical Flood or the breach of a land bridge cannot explain this succession of inundations, but suggests that there could be a much more complex story, still to be revealed, that was spread over millennia.
Anastasios Stamou presented a paper[0750.183]to the 2008 Atlantis Conference in which he reviewed the evidence relating to three floods that befell ancient Greece and alluded to by Plato. Drawing on ancient Greek texts including the Parian Marble, he places these events in chronological order beginning with the flood of Ogyges, then Deucalion’s and finally that of Dardanos.
Stamou accepts that convention wisdom has it that these flood events occurred in the 2nd millennium BC and based his paper on that assumption. However he expressed serious doubts about this dating suggesting a much earlier date for some inundations and promising a future paper dealing with this revision.
*In an August 2017 paper, on the Migration & Diffusion website(g), Stuart L. Harris has put forward his reasons for dating the Flood of Noah to 3161 BC and the Exodus Flood to 1445 BC.*
An extensive and more general collection of Flood myths can be found on the internet(b). A USGS list of the world’s greatest floods, ancient and recent, is available as a pdf file(c). Similarly, a website by Mark Isaak offers an extensive overview of flood myths around the world, although the site does not appear to have been updated for some years(d).
Erechtheus and Erichthonius are two of the early kings of Athens referred to by Plato (Crit. 110a). Both are recorded in the Parian Marble as being real kings who ruled over Athens in the 15th century BC adding to the credibility of Plato’s narrative as having an historical foundation.
Flood of Deucalion is recorded in Greek mythology in terms that are reminiscent of the biblical Deluge. Prometheus the brother of Atlas the Titan, warned his own son Deucalion to build an ark and fill it with all he needed. Rain fell ceaselessly, flooding valleys, submerging cities, destroying all people and leaving just some mountain peaks to be seen above the sea. After nine days the rain stopped and Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha emerged and produced the ancestors of the Greeks.
Ogyges was the founder and king of Thebes whose reign was ended by a flood that covered the whole world and so devastated Thebes that it remained without a king until the reign of Cecrops. It is an open question whether the Flood of Deucalion and the Flood of Ogyges are identical or not.
J. G. Bennett has pointed out(a) that a fractured marble pillar, discovered on the Greek island of Paros and known as the Parian Marble, records important events in early Greek history including lists of the early kings, including Deucalion who is noted to have reigned at the same time as the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III (1504-1450 BC). It records his reign as having been 700 years before the first Olympiad, which itself is dated to 778 BC, thus giving a date for the flood named after him to around 1478 BC, This period coincides with the biblical Exodus and the eruption of Santorini. Orosius, a 5thcentury AD writer, placed the Flood of Deucalion 810 years before the foundation of Rome giving it a date broadly around 1500 BC. This is suspiciously close to the date accepted by most archaeologists for the great eruption of Thera. James Mavor supported a date between 1529 and 1382 BC.
Giovanni Rinaldo Carli quotes from Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD) who notes that Stenelas (Sthenelus), father of Cydas (Cycnus) the king of the Ligurians, lived at the same time as the fire of Phaëton and the Flood of Deucalion. This is probably one of the earliest references suggesting a linkage between these two catastrophic 2nd millennium BC events.
Emilio Spedicato has also linked the Flood of Deucalion with the Exodus and dates them to 1447 BC. However, he believes that these events followed the explosion of a comet or asteroid over southern Denmark. He presented three papers to the 2005 Atlantis Conference on the subject of Deucalion’s Flood and Phaeton[629.115].
The work of Finkelstein and Silberman has recently cast doubts over the historical reality of the Exodus, but of course this does not affect the reality of the Flood of Deucalion.*[It is odd that with such a sceptical view of Bible history that it was announced in February 2017(b) that Finkelstein is to start a search for the Ark of the Covenant.]*
David Rohl, a leading advocate for a drastic revision downwards of the dates of many events in ancient Egyptian history by at least three hundred years, has concluded that Deucalion’s Flood occurred during the reign of Thutmose III and most controversially that it was concurrent with the eruption of Thera and its consequent tsunami. According to Rohl’s ‘New Chronology’, this would give the Flood a date of around 1100 BC rather than the conventionally accepted date of around 1450 BC.
Over the last couple of millennia there has been a general consensus that the Flood of Deucalion occurred in the middle of the second millennium BC. This leaves supporters of an early date for Atlantis obliged to produce evidence of a comparable catastrophe around 9600 BC, a task compounded by the probable erosion of any such evidence during the passage of such a considerable time span. We can expect this particular debate to run for some time yet.
Cecrops (Kekrops) was, according to tradition, reputed to have been the first king of Athens and is the earliest Athenian named referred to by Plato along with Erechtheus, Erichthonius and Erisichthon (Crit.110a).*There was an early belief that Cecrops was originally a native of Saïs, in Egypt, who emigrated to Greece, where he founded Athens. However, this claim was disputed, even in ancient times(a).
Cecrops is usually depicted as a man with a serpent’s tail, without any clear reason, which for me is vaguely reminiscent of Oannes in Mesopotamian mythology, who had a man’s head with the body of a fish!*
Eusebius of Caesarea placed Cecrop’ reign between 1556 and 1506 BC, which if verifiable would provide a possible ‘anchor’ for arriving at a credible date for the destruction of Atlantis.
The existence of Cecrops as a real person who reigned over Athens during the 2nd millennium BC is given further support by the Parian Marble.
Hoaxes associated with Atlantis are of various types; the most common sort are those perpetrated by writers who write volumes of balderdash about information they claim to have received through psychic channels. The simple fact that so many of these authors contradict each other demonstrates the fictional nature of their offerings. To be extremely kind, I might accept that some of these people are simply self-deluded but to be brutally honest, I believe that the majority of them are simply churning out their rubbish, in collusion with equally opportunistic publishers, in order to separate gullible readers from their cash.
The father of such drivel has to be Edgar Cayce, although I am inclined to think that he personally was in some way one of the self-deluded and did not have any financial motivation. However, it was pure greed or should it be impure greed that ‘inspired’ the vast majority of writers who followed Cayce, building on his foundation of spurious information.
Other types of hoaxers must include Madame Blavatsky, the godmother of occultic garbage, who was declared a fraud in 1884 by the London Society for Psychical Research. Her first book, Isis Unveiled, published in 1877 devotes just one page out of two volumes to Atlantis. Her second book The Secret Doctrine (1888) expands greatly on her ‘knowledge’ of Atlantis. It is worth pointing out that these extended ‘revelations’ were produced only a few years after the success of Ignatius Donnelly’s groundbreaking book in 1882.
A more harmless story, frequently touted in books on Atlantis, is that of the S.S. Jesmond that was reported to have discovered an uncharted island in the Atlantic on which they found artefacts including a sarcophagus complete with occupant. The ‘discovery’ was published in a New Orleans newspaper after the ship arrived there on April 1st, 1882, the same year that Donnelly’s book was published. The newspaper retracted the story later.
Another frequently quoted claim is the alleged discovery of an underwater pyramid by the late Dr. Ray Brown, which does not stand up to the most cursory examination.
In 1970 a book entitled Mu Revealed purported to have evidence which supported Churchward’s claims, but was subsequently revealed as a hoax perpetrated by one Raymond Buckland, writing under the pen-name of Tony Earll, an anagram of ‘not really’.
Blatant commercial frauds have also been perpetrated invoking Atlantis as the ultimate source. One such instance is the sale of replicas of the so-called ‘Atlantis Ring’, an object that is decorated with special geometric symbols and is claimed to emit electromagnetic waves that protect the wearer, give increased psychic abilities, healing powers and bring the owner good luck. It is claimed that the original was found in 1860 in the Valley of the Kings by “well-known French Egyptologist” Marquis d’Agrain who claimed that it came from Atlantis. He is supposed to have bequeathed the ring to another “famous Egyptologist” Arnold de Belizal. An Internet search reveals little about either person apart from this alleged connection with the Atlantis Ring. Two more articles about it are available online(d)(e), unfortunately they include a lot of psychic twaddle. One supplier charges $350 for replica rings(a).
There are so many other Atlantis related claims which stretch credibility beyond breaking point that a book devoted to that subject alone is warranted.
In fact, some years ago the Atlantis Online website had a forum devoted to the subject of Atlantis hoaxes(c). But Atlantis was not the only classical subject that has a hoax associated with it. In 1924, Di Martino, editor of Mouseion, an Italian classics journal, claimed to have discovered all the lost books of Livy(b).
Jason Colavito has written an interesting article(f) on hoaxes, which were more prevalent before WWII.
However, before anyone cries ‘hoax’ or ‘fake’, they should remember the case of the Parian Marble (Parian Chronicle), which was found in two sections on the Greek island of Paros in the 17th century. In 1788, Joseph Robertson (1726-1802) declared the Chronicle to be a ‘modern’ fake in a lengthy dissertation, a claim disproved by the discovery of the final third piece, over a century later.
*(a) http://www.atlantisring.com/sales/order.aspx (link broken Jan. 2019)*