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

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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.


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Plutarch

Koutlis, Manolis

Manolis Koutlis is a computer engineer and the author of In the Shadow: The Greek Colonies of North America and the Atlantic 1500 BC -1500 AD[1617], in which he seeks to demonstrate that the Greeks had settlements in North America. Using the classical texts of Plutarch, Homer, Hesiod, Plato as well as the traditions of the Native Americans of the North East, he offers evidence to support his thesis.

The idea of ancient Greeks in Canada has been around for some time with Henriette Mertz in the 1960’s suggesting that Odysseus’ wanderings took place in the Atlantic and that he was the first European to visit America.

Koutlis has concluded that Ogygia was located on St. Paul Island in the Cabot Strait and goes further, locating Atlantis in the Gulf of St. Lawrence northeast of the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, not far from Quebec’s Magdalen Islands.

*A few years earlier, Emilio Spedicato, also proposed that the region around the Mouth of the St. Lawrence River, in Canada, had been visited by ancient Greeks. His comments were addressed to the 2005 Atlantis Conference [629.411]. He did not, however, suggest a Canadian location for Atlantis as he had already claimed Hispaniola as its home.*

The first 37 pages of his book can be read online(a) .

(a) http://enskia.com/pdf/In-the-Shadow-sample-1.0.pdf

Canada

*Canada, until relatively recently, has had little attention from Atlantis seekers. The nearest to such a claim came in 2002, when New Zealander, Ian A. Fox, published[0782] his theory that Atlantis had been situated between Greenland and Canada’s Baffin Island.

A few years later, the only other reference, that I was aware of, came from Samuel Poe in a truly dreadful book[0847], in which he claimed the east coast of Canada and United States as Atlantean.*

Then, Brian Johnston, a retailer of precious stones, created a website(a) advocating Ontario as the location of Plato’s Atlantis. He offers a stone circle and what may be other megalithic standing stones along with many photos of the same as evidence. This is all held together by a large helping of speculation. Finally, after describing in some detail a site in Ontario’s Northumberland County, he concludes that the location “might not be Atlantis!”

Nevertheless, the idea that the ancient Greeks had an awareness of America has persisted, with some claiming that they had colonies in Canada. Among these are Lucio Russo, Ioannis Liritzis(b) and Minas Tsikritsis(d). Now Manolis Koutlis has gone one further and claims[1617] that not only were there Greek colonies in Canada, but that Atlantis had been situated in the Gulf of St. Lawrence(c).*This raises the question of why or how Atlanteans or Greek colonists in Canada would launch an attack on Athens thousands of miles away?

At the 2005 Atlantis Conference, Emilio Spedicato also subscribed to the idea of early Greeks in Canada, specifically in the St. Lawrence Region [629.411]. However, he does not refer to Atlantis in this context as he has already nominated Hispaniola as Plato’s lost island.

All these advocates of an ancient Greek presence in Canada are greatly reliant on their interpretations of the writings of Plutarch, a matter that has been dealt with by Jason Colavito(e).*

(a)  http://atlantisincanada.com/ (link broken Mar. 2019) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20180319084638/http://atlantisincanada.com/

(b) https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/did-ancient-greeks-sail-to-canada/

(c) http://enskia.com/en/homepage/

(d)   http://canada.greekreporter.com/2012/04/21/researcher-claims-ancient-greeks-made-it-to-america-before-columbus/

*(e) http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/greek-scientists-claim-plutarch-recorded-ancient-greek-voyages-to-canadian-colony*

Tsikritsis, Minas

Minas Tsikritsis, a native of Crete, is a Professor of Computer Science and noted Researcher of Aegean Scripts. Included in his work is his claim to have deciphered Linear A and the Phaistos Disk, one side of which appears to be a form of sea shanty. Gavin Menzies quotes[780.319] Tsikritsis’ belief that the Minoans had mathematical knowledge equal, if not superior, to that of the Babylonians and Egyptians.

However, this claim has been seriously challenged by a recent study of a 3,700-year-old Babylonian tablet known as Plimpton 322. The tablet was discovered around a century ago in what is now southern Iraq. Australian scientists from the University of New South Wales, Sydney have now demonstrated that the tablet is the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, predating the Greek astronomer Hipparchus by over a millennium(b). These claims have generated some considerable debate (c).

Additionally, based on an analysis of Plutarch’s “On the Apparent Face in the Orb of the Moon,” Tsikritsis believes that the Greeks had contact with North America, at least as far back as 86 AD!(a) *Some time later he expanded on the idea in a paper published on the Researchgate website(d).*

(a) http://canada.greekreporter.com/2012/04/21/researcher-claims-ancient-greeks-made-it-to-america-before-columbus/

(b) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/29/science/trigonometry-babylonian-tablet.html

(c) https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/dont-fall-for-babylonian-trigonometry-hype/

*(d) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321319687/download*

Pateneit

Pateneit is the name of the Egyptian priest that Solon spoke to in Sais, according to Proclus (5th cent. AD) in his Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus (Vol I). He adds that he also spoke to two other priests, Ochlapi at Heliopolis and Ethimon at Sebbynetus. However, Plutarch (2nd cent. AD) gives the names of the priests at Sais and Heliopolis as Sonchis and Psenophis respectively. It is frustrating that we no longer have access to the sources used by Plutarch and Proclus, but they do seem to enhance the provenance of Plato’s account.

The Thomas Taylor translation of Proclus’ commentary can be read online(a)(b).

(a) https://archive.org/details/proclusontimaeus01procuoft

(b) https://archive.org/details/proclusontimaeus02procuoft

 

Egyptian Calendar, The

The Egyptian Calendar is central to the debate regarding the date of the Alantean war. At first sight it appears that Plato dated that event to 9,000 years prior to Solon’s visit to Egypt. However, since such a date conflicts with both archaeology and common sense, commentators have striven to reconcile the differences. Either the number is exaggerated, the unit of measurement is wrong, or both require revision. I’m inclined towards the latter.

The ancient Egyptians had three types of ‘years’, solar, lunar or seasonal(a). The first was based on the heliacal rising(b) of the star Sirius, the second was a count of the annual lunar cycles and the last was the number of seasons of which there were three in the Egyptian year. The lunar cycles or months were the means by which the Egyptian priesthood calculated the passage of time and since Solon received the story of Atlantis from Egyptian priests it is assumed by many that the 9,000 ‘years’ were in fact months. Apart from modern authorities, 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.

Zhirov noted[458.375] that the lunar calendar was re-introduced into Egypt by the Arabs in 641 AD.

Some others, such as Radek Brychta and Rosario Vieni, have proposed that the number of seasons were used in a similar manner. Even more extreme was the contention of André de Paniagua who claimed that the date of Atlantis was recorded in Sothic cycles of 1,460 solar years each, which would push its time back 13 million years!

Nevertheless, there are many who still maintain that Plato’s 9,000 should be taken literally, even though neither Egypt nor Athens existed as structured societies at such an early date!

*(a) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_calendar*

(b) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliacal_rising

Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands are a small archipelago in the North Atlantic between Norway and Iceland. It has been proposed that they contained the island of Ogygia, the home of Atlas’ daughter Calypso. Plutarch recorded that Ogygia was five days sailing from Britain and has been incorporated into the theories of a number of writers supporting a North Sea Atlantis, such as Felice Vinci and later John Esse Larsen.

*Larsen contends that Odysseus means ‘Isse from the island Od’, a former Danish island, which is now a peninsula. In fact he interprets Homer’s Odyssey as a description of a trip around the Baltic Sea(c). Furthermore the Pillars of Herakles have also been identified by Larsen with the village of Eide on the Faroes(a).*

In November 2018, I was directed to a German website(b) which also refers to the Faroe Islands as having an Atlantean connection, but in this case, Jan, its author, proposes that Atlantis was located between Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land explaining that It looks like our Earth is Atlantis, and in the northern part of the Earth was hyperborea, Greenland might have been Mu, and Antarctica was Lemuria. It was a pole shift that caused Atlantis to go down. At that time Spitzbergen was probably at the height of the Canary Islands and the Antarctic must have been located at the height of today’s Philippines.”

(a) http://odisse.me.uk/odysseus-isse-from-the-island-od-in-denmark-2.html

*(b) https://ich-fand-atlantis.org/atlantis/ (link broken Sept. 2019)

(c) http://odisse.me.uk/odysseus-tour-round-the-baltic-sea.html*

Seasons

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.

A third proposal, by Galanopoulos & Bacon[263], was that Plato’s large numbers were inflated by a factor of ten, but they never offered a satisfactory explanation for how this happened.

Christ, Wilhelm

Wilhelm Christ (1831-1906) was a 19th century German scholar who was possibly the first to suggest that the invasion of the Sea Peoples, recorded by the Egyptians, reflected the Atlantean attack in Plato’s narrative. In an 1886 monograph(a) he predated the central thesis of Jürgen Spanuth by nearly a century. Jason Colavito has offered an English translation of part of Christ’s text(c).

Although Spanuth includes Christ in his bibliography he does not credit him with the original idea in the body of the text.*Similarly, Jason Colavito has also accused Ilias Mariolakos of borrowing from Christ without attribution(d)*

Christ commented that Plutarch‘s reference to Ogygia being in the Atlantic and a continent beyond it demonstrated an early knowledge of America(b).

(a) https://archive.org/stream/abhandlungenbaye17bayeuoft#page/450/mode/2up (p451-512)(German)

(b) http://rlebling.blogspot.ie/2012/03/where-was-ogygia-isle-of-calypso.html

(c) http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/the-first-effort-to-identify-atlantis-with-the-sea-peoples

*(d) http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/greek-scientists-claim-plutarch-recorded-ancient-greek-voyages-to-canadian-colony*

McMurrough-Mulhall, Marion

Marion McMurrough Mulhall (? -1922) was the wife of a famous Irish statistician, Michael George Mulhall (1838-1900) (his Dictionary of Statistics(b) was last published in 1970). She has written a number books, particularly about South America, but in 1911 she published Beginnings or Glimpses of Vanished Civilizations. In this interesting, if rather dated work of 136 pages, the author suggests that “The gods and goddesses of the ancient Greeks, the Phoenicians, the Hindoos, and the Scandinavians were simply the kings, queens, and heroes of Atlantis, and the acts attributed to them in mythology are a confused recollection of real historical events. The mythology of Egypt and Peru represented the original religion of Atlantis, which was sun worship. The oldest colonies from Atlantis were probably the Akkadians and Sumerians, who are thought as yet, according to Messrs.King and Halpto have been the original founders of the Babylonian and Egyptian civilization. The implements of the ” Bronze Age ” of Europe were derived from Atlantis. The Atlantians were also the first manufacturers of iron, and we know that Parthelon, when he visited Ireland, came in iron vessels of occidental blackness.”

The author discusses a number of aspects of ancient history including Atlantic landbridges. She argues that Ireland was Plutarch’s Ogygia and also comments on Lemuria and Easter Island. The full text can be read online(a).

(a) http://archive.org/stream/beginningsorglim00mulhrich#page/118/mode/1up

(b) http://archive.org/details/dictionaryofstat00mulhuoft

Mariolakos, Ilias D.

Ilias D. Mariolakos is professor emeritus of Geology and Palaeontology at Athens University. In 2010 he presented a paper(a) to the 12th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece, in which he concluded that the prehistoric Greeks were quite familiar with the Atlantic and its Gulf Stream. He also identifies Iceland as Ogygia, based on his interpretation of the writings of Plutarch.

Mariolakos further maintains that the ancient Greeks*exploited the Michigan copper mines to supply the needs of their bronze industry. Their expertise was accumulated between the beginning or end of the 3rd millennium BC until shortly after the conclusion of the Trojan War towards the close of the Mycenaean period at the end of the 1st millennium BC. The onset of the ‘Dark Ages’ saw this maritime knowledge ‘forgotten’ until the ensuing Archaic Period when Greek civilisation revived.

Jason Colavito has accused Mariolakos of borrowing heavily, without attribution from the work of Wilhelm Christ who associated Atlantis with the SeaPeoples(c).

Mariolakos bases his conclusions on the works of Homer, Hesiod, Orphic poetry and Plutarch as well as the 20th century writer Henriette Mertz.

(a) http://www.geology.upatras.gr/files/diavgeia/geology_congress/XLIII,%20Vol%201.pdf (p.92)

(b) https://ejournals.epublishing.ekt.gr/index.php/geosociety/article/view/11163/0

(c) http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/greek-scientists-claim-plutarch-recorded-ancient-greek-voyages-to-canadian-colony