Greek Colonisation is something of misnomer on two counts. First of all is the fact that there was no unified Greek state until the time of Alexander the Great. Instead the territory was fragmented into a number of competing city- states (poleis) that formed shifting alliances to meet the exigencies of the day.
Secondly, the term ‘colonisation’ did not mean the same then as it does today. Individual city states had their own expansion ambitions, which were generally concerned with trade rather than territory. It seems that most of the colonies began as trading posts, known as emporia(a) , some developing into towns, others grew into urban centres and even established colonies of their own.
In the first millennium BC, some of the Greek city-states gradually expanded their influence(c) eastward into Asia Minor and the Black Sea and westward along the northern coast of the Mediterranean, eventually founding Massalia (modern Marseilles), which established emporia in eastern Spain.
The Phoenicians had their own city-states such a Tyre, Sidon and Byblos. They established ‘colonies along north Africa, and Spain. They competed with the Greeks, particularly in the central Mediterranean, where at one point they shared Sicily. Settlers from Tyre founded Carthage, which in turn became more powerful than and independent of its parent city and became more belligerent, eventually engaging in a series of wars with Rome, which it lost.
There is much more relevant information to be found on the excellent Ancient History Encyclopedia website(b) .
Tanit was a Carthaginian and Phoenician goddess. Immanuel Velikovsky claimed that the name of modern Tunis, near the site of Carthage, is a cognate of Tanit. She was also adopted by the Berbers and claims have been made that Tanit was also a Hyksos goddess.
The Egyptian city of Sais where Solon first learned of Atlantis had it principal temple dedicated to the goddess Neith, whom the Egyptian priests identified with Athene. In turn, Neith is also associated with the Libyan goddess Tanit.
The whole matter of the relevance of Saïs to the Atlantis story has been challenged by the theory(a) that Saïs and Tanis, named after Tanit, were in fact the same location. A starting point is the fact that the current village of Sa el Hagar adjacent to the ruins of Saïs has a counterpart at Tanis where there is a village called San el Hagar. Drawing on the writings of Strabo, Herodotus and the Bible some have concluded that the two cities were one. Velikovsky also proposed this idea in his Ramses II and His Time[0832.209], noting that “Tanis is mentioned in Scriptures as the capital of Egypt when. according to both the conventional plan and this reconstruction, Saïs was the capital.”
The island of Es Vedra off the west coast of Ibiza, the third largest of the Balearics, has had a number of imaginative myths, old and new, associated with it, including one that it is supposed to be the birthplace of Tanit!
Dennis Cassinelli is an historian and writer from Nevada, who has written “on topics that range from American Indian stone tools to the Great Basin to the history of the Comstock Lode”. In his 2009 book, Uncovering Archaeology, he outlines in some detail his Atlantis theory, which he locates in Central America (a).
Charles Vallancey (1721-1812) was a military surveyor in the British Army eventually holding the rank of general. He was sent to Ireland where he eventually settled. He was also an antiquarian who took great interest in the history, language and mythology of his adopted country. He published a number of book on the subject which have been heavily criticised for both their content and style. He voiced the opinion that the Phoenician and Irish languages were related!(a).
Although Valancey made little reference to Atlantis, James McCulloh noted  that Vallancey was disposed to support John Whitehurst’s association of the Giants Causeway, in Northern Ireland, with Atlantis.
Peter Marsh is a keen diffusionist with a particular interest in the peoples of the Pacific(a). However, this has not precluded him from looking at the Atlantic, where he concluded that the Azores were most likely remnants of Atlantis based on Plato's description(b).
*He takes Plato’s Atlantis account at face value and accepts that it flourished around 9,500 BC. Additionally, in chapter 10 of his website, he refers to the Michigan copper mines and surmises that they were transported to Europe by Phoenicians and Berbers!*
Patrick Neison Lynch (1817-1882) was the Irish-born third Catholic bishop of Charleston, South Carolina. In a lecture(a) in 1867, Lynch declared “I shall take it as an established fact that America was peopled by the sons of Japheth.” whom he named more specifically as the Phoenicians. Lynch also identified America as Plato’s Atlantis.
Invasion today, as in the past, is usually the consequence of a shortage of resources (food, metals, oil, water), climate change (affecting food supply), overpopulation (also affecting food supply) or political upheaval. Although I do not speak as a military strategist, it would seem obvious that if, for any of these reasons, a state is forced into an expansionism, it will first look at their nearest neighbours and assess the chances of military success. It is obvious that before the introduction of airborne attacks, propinquity in the form of contiguous territory or short sea journeys have always been critical for a successful invasion(a) and the continued control of occupied territories. This is borne out by the simple historical fact that all the earliest empires, which were located in what we now call the Middle East, expanded through the invasion of its neighbours.
However, over-expansion can be costly and potentially dangerous. With particular reference to the fall of the Roman Empire, Rachel Nuwer noted in a recent BBC article(c) that. “By the end of the 100 BC the Romans had spread across the Mediterranean, to the places most easily accessed by sea. They should have stopped there, but things were going well and they felt empowered to expand to new frontiers by land. While transportation by sea was economical, however, transportation across land was slow and expensive. All the while, they were overextending themselves and running up costs.”
Many people think that military intelligence gathering is a relatively modern development. However, ancient documents, including the Bible, have accounts of spying thousands of years ago. Mary Rose Sheldon has produced an invaluable sourcebook on the subject, as well as a volume on Spies in the Bible, while Peter Dubovsky, in his Hezekiah and the Assyrian Spies, focuses on espionage described in 2 Kgs 18-19. It is reasonable therefore to assume that Atlantis also exercised due diligence and endeavoured to assess their opponents strengths and weaknesses before invading.
Boris Rankov has noted(b) in The Encyclopedia of Ancient History that military intelligence in ancient times had its value limited by the “slowness of communications, which meant that it was often out of date before any response could be brought to bear.” This, of course, ties in with the then established practice of invading those within your immediate proximity; supply lines are shorter and information more up-to-date. In turn, it implies that Atlantis was within relatively easy striking distance of Athens!
Even in modern times the same constraints determined the actions of invaders. Hitler could not have invaded Russia without first controlling Poland and Romania. Even expansionist Japan, although an island nation, expanded into Korea and Manchuria (China) and following the attack on Pearl Harbour spread even further within the same region.
The ancient land-based empires were dependent on military might, whereas others, such as the Phoenicians, expanded their influence through trade, supported by extensive merchant fleets. However, over time, Phoenician or more correctly Carthaginian rivalry with Rome led to disastrous wars.
One of the primary military concerns today, as in ancient times, will be to ensure that its men are fed and watered and consequently there will be a need to keep its supply lines as short as possible.
The nearest possible belligerent to the west of Athens was across the Adriatic in Italy. I argue elsewhere that according to Plato, southern Italy constituted part of the Atlantean domain (see Etruscans). I suggest that the Atlantean invasion of Greece was probably launched from there. The motivation is unclear, but we can speculate that success in Greece would have been followed by the control of the entire Aegean, including Crete, offering a huge expansion in trade.
The alternative is that the nearest part of Atlantis was elsewhere, necessitating the bypassing of other territories on the way and stretching supply and communication lines more than desirable. Italy looks the best bet, with forces added from the Atlantean HQ in Sicily or Sardinia, possibly travelling through the Strait of Messina, sometimes identified as the location of the Pillars of Heracles.
In the south, the Atlantean forces in North Africa (Ancient Libya), if not augmenting the attack on Greece, were probably planning their invasion of Egypt (Timaeus 25b & Critias 114c). Success there would have been followed by a two-pronged attack by both northern and southern Atlantean forces on the eastern Mediterranean coast, later known as the Levant, giving them total control of the eastern Mediterranean Basin.
Invasion requirements are the strongest argument against any of the fanciful Atlantis theories that place Plato’s Atlantis in Antarctica, the Andes, or North America. It is ludicrous to claim that any invasion force came across the Atlantic to attack Greeks and Egyptians. That there were remarkable early cultures in both North and South America is absolutely undeniable, however, it is foolishness to claim that they had any connection with Plato’s story.
Christian C. Karam is a Brazilian archaeology student who has written a paper with the controversial, if not provocative, title of Phoenicians in Brazil(a). In it he proposes that an encounter with an extraterrestrial body caused a global catastrophe, which caused a large part of the Andes to be uplifted, the Sahara to be dried out and Atlantis in the Atlantic to be submerged. He dates this event to around 9500 BC and believes that the Atlantean survivors fled to Africa.
Perhaps the first to suggest that the Phoenicians visited Brazil was Georgius Hornius in the 17th century. The matter was dealt with in greater detail(d) by the Austrian professor of history, Ludwig Schwennhagen, who flourished at the beginning of the 20th century. A Hungarian website(c) offers more on the development of this claim.
Karam names the Phoenicians as the thalassocratic successors to the Atlanteans. The main portion of his paper concerns the possibility or as he sees it, the probability, of Phoenician visits to and even colonisation of Brazil.
Ross T. Christensen (1918–1990) an American archaeologist supported the idea of Phoenicians in America. However, in my view, his early work as a Mormon missionary must bring into question his objectivity. Further evidence in support of Phoenicians in Brazil is presented elsewhere(b).
(d) http://www.academia.edu/7848641/Fen%C3%ADcios_no_Brasil_parte_1_Ludwig_Schwennhagen (Portuguese) (offline Feb. 2016)
Lucio Russo (1944- ) is an Italian mathematician, physicist and science historian. In his 2013 offering L’ America dimenticata (The Forgotten America) he bravely suggests that America was discovered by * the Phoenicians or the Carthaginians. He also claims that the longitude of the Lesser Antillies (known as the Isles of the Blest) was known precisely to Hipparchus (190-120BC), but that Ptolemy (90-168AD) later identified the Isles of the Blest with the Canaries and made a catastrophic error when he reduced the circumference of the Earth to 180,000 stadia from the nearly exact figure of 252,000 stadia calculated by Eratosthenes centuries earlier.
George Firman published a 1978 speculative map of Atlantis, on which he located it in the Atlantic. Firman’s ‘portolan’ is allegedly based on “ancient charts drawn during the Ice Age circa 15,100 BP.”) He included Mediterranean details based on Angelino Dulcert’s 14th century charts.
In 1985 Firman published Atlantis, A Definitive Study, a 125-page offering with 45 maps, photos and diagrams. The author touches on Phoenicians, dolphins(!), Edgar Cayce and of course ancient maps.