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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Sidon

Greek Colonisation

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) .

(a) https://www.academia.edu/1505105/The_origins_of_Greek_colonisation_and_Greek_polis_some_observations

(b) https://www.ancient.eu/edu/

(c) https://www.ancient.eu/Greek_Colonization/

Tyre

Tyre was located in what is modern Lebanon and is considered to have been originally a colony of Sidon. According to LebanonEgyptian records they ruled it during the middle of the second millennium BC, but lost control when their influence in the area declined. Independence brought commercial success that saw Tyre surpass Sidon in wealth and influence and eventually establish its own colonies across the Mediterranean. One of these was Carthage in North Africa, which in time became independent and eventually rivalled the Roman Empire in the west. It also had colonies in Greece and frequently fought with Egypt.

The location of Tyre, on an island with a superb natural harbour and which had great wealth and was supported by its many colonies, has been seen as a mirror of Atlantis. The Old Testament prophecies of Ezekiel, writing around 600 BC, described (26:19, 27: 27-28) the destruction of Tyre in terms that have prompted some to link it with Plato’s description of Atlantisdemise, written two hundred years later.*The earliest claim that Ezekiel’s Tyrus was a reference to Atlantis was made by Madame Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine [1495]  in 1888.

However, although both J.D. Brady and David Hershiser promote the idea of a linkage between Ezekiel’s Tyrus and Atlantis, they are certain that Tyrus is not the Phoenician city of Tyre. Beyond that, Brady identifies Tyrus/Atlantis with Troy, while Hershiser has placed his Tyrus/Atlantis in the Atlantic just beyond the Strait of Gibraltar(b).

Early in the 20th century Hanns Hörbiger also cited Ezekiel as justification for identifying Tyre as Atlantis.*

Recently, a sunken city has been discovered between Tyre and Sidon and according to its discoverer, Mohammed Sargi, is the 4,000 year old City of Yarmuta referred to in the Tell al-Amarna letters.

Carl Fredrich Baer, the imaginative 18th century writer, proposed a linkage between Tyre and Tyrrhenia. This idea has been insula-herculisrevived recently by the claims of Jaime Manuschevich[468] that the Tyrrhenians were Phoenicians from Tyre. Other supporters of a Tyrrhenian linkage with Tyre are J.D.Brady, Thérêse Ghembaza and most recently Dhani Irwanto. J.S. Gordon also claims[339.241] that Tyre was so named by the Tyrrhenians.

In Greek mythology it is said that Cadmus, son of the Phoenician king Agenor, brought the alphabet to Greece, suggesting a closer connection than generally thought.

J.P. Rambling places the Pillars of Heracles on Insula Herculis, now a sunken island, immediately south of Tyre(a).

(a) http://redefiningatlantis.blogspot.ie/search/label/Heracles

*(b) See: Archive 3395*

Poseidon

poseidonPoseidon was one of the twelve Olympians of ancient Greek mythology. He was also the Greek god of the sea who was given the island of Atlantis as his realm. The Romans later knew Poseidon as Neptune. Herodotus (II.50.2) claimed that the Greek gods were imported from Egypt with a few exceptions including Poseidon. Some have suggested that the ancient Egyptian god Sobek was the equivalent of Poseidon, but the connection seems rather tenuous.

Some writers have suggested that Noah was to be equated with Poseidon. His symbol was a trident.

*Poseidon is also credited with having been the first to tame horses.* Others, such as Nienhuis, have equated Poseidon with Sidon referred to in Genesis 10:15.

The Phoenician sea god Melqart is frequently seen as the son of Poseidon whereas others, such as Jonas Bergman, consider them to be identical. The Nordic sea god Aegir is also seen as a mirror of Poseidon. In Portugal, Saint Bartholomew is considered a Christianised Poseidon, where statues of him are similar to those of Poseidon including a trident.

The Celtic god of the sea was known as Manannán Mac Lir who is frequently associated with the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.

*When the Greek gods divided the world among themselves, Poseidon received Atlantis as his share. He fell in love with a mortal, Clieto, who bore him five sets of twin boys, of whom Atlas was the first born and primus inter pares. Atlantis was then shared between them.

In December 2017, Anton Mifsud, Malta’s leading Atlantologist, published an intriguing suggestion(a) , when he pointed out that on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Neo-Platonist Michelangelo, something odd can be perceived in the central panel, known as The Creation of Adam. There, we find ‘god’ surrounded by five pairs of flightless ‘cherubs’. This is reminiscent of Poseidon’s five pairs of twin sons. Atlantis. However, Christian iconography invariably shows cherubs with wings, so it begs the question; why this departure from the norm? Mifsud contends that together with other aspects of the fresco, this depiction is closer to Plato’s ‘god’, Poseidon, than that of the Mosaic creator in Genesis!

(a) https://www.academia.edu/35425812/THE_CREATION_OF_ADAM_-_Genesis_or_Plato?auto=download*

 

Phoenicians

The Phoenicians or Canaanites are linguistically regarded as a Semitic people, who among their many achievements are credited with giving us our alphabet (without vowels). Both Strabo and Herodotus claim that they originally came from Bahrain(p), but this origin is denied by the phoenicia.org website(q). The correctness of these two writers has been heavily criticised(r).

The Phoenicians flourished during the 1st and 2nd millennia BC. The late Joseph Robert Jochmans has suggested(c) that similarities between Phoenician names and those of the sons of Poseidon are more than coincidental. The descendants of the Phoenicians are still to be found in great numbers in modern Lebanon as well as elements of the Phoenician language. Contrary to popular belief the Maltese language is more related to Phoenician than Arabic(g). Similarly, in a mountainous and isolated north-east corner of Asia Minor its people still speak Greek in a dialect known as Romeyka(l). Dr Ioanna Sitaridou of Queen’s College, Cambridge explains that ‘Although Romeyka can hardly be described as anything but a Modern Greek dialect, it preserves an impressive number of grammatical traits that add an Ancient Greek flavor to the dialect’s structure – traits that have been completely lost from other Modern Greek varieties.’ 

A more radical view of the Phoenicians has been expressed by Professor Josephine Quinn(o) who declared “the Phoenicians never existed as a self-conscious community, let alone a nascent nation.” In a lengthy article she suggests that “‘Phoenician’ was just a generic label invented by ancient Greek authors for the Levantine sailors they encountered in their own maritime explorations. Although some of these Greek writers entertain a mild stereotype of these Phoenicians as rather cunning or tricksy, they never use the term as a description of a distinct ethnocultural community.”

The Phoenicians have been frequently identified as the Atlanteans of Plato’s narrative. James Nienhuis has recently identified Canaanites as Atlanteans(m)! The supporters of a Bronze Age date for the invasion of the Atlanteans see in the Phoenicians the powerful far flung maritime civilisation described by Plato. However, this identification is in conflict with Plato’s statement that Atlantis or its influence extended as far as Tyrrhenia and Libya, whereas the Phoenicians had their PhoeneciaTradeRoutesoriginal base further east in the region of modern Lebanon and Israel. It also runs counter to Plato’s clear account of the Atlanteans attacking from their bases in the Central Mediterranean (Tim.25b & Crit.114c).

The Phoenicians were never unilaterally at war with Greece and/or Egypt, but their successors, the Carthaginians, whose main military campaigns were directed against the Roman Empire, did clash with the Greeks in Sicily.

It is accepted that the Phoenician commercial empire began with the three cities of Tyre, Sidon and Byblos. They expanded with the establishment of trading settlements along the Mediterranean coast of North Africa usually separated by a day’s rowing – somewhere between 30 to 60 miles.

It is claimed that the Phoenicians together with the Egyptians had an influence on the development of the Minoan culture(e).

Jonas Bergman recently presented a paper to the 2005 Melos Atlantis Conference on the subject of a Phoenician association with the Atlantis story. He outlined how Plato’s description of Atlantis was similar to the western colonies of the Phoenicians.

*Joaquín Lorenz Villanueva (1757-1837) was a Spnish historian, who moved to Dublin in later life, where he wrote Ibernia Phœnicea [1664] , which was an attempt to prove that Ireland had been colonised by the Phoenicians. This was translated into English and published by Henry O’Brien in 1833 as Phoenician Ireland [1663] .*

Some German writers in the 19th century such as Robert Prutz  and later Jakob Kruger have advocated the idea that Phoenicians had discovered America, where he also placed Atlantis. However, in spite of the fact that there is widespread support for this concept and the even more extreme claim of Phoenicians in Australia, a Lebanese website (now offline), in the original home of Phoenicia, discounted all such claims for lack of evidence. Nevertheless, attention-seeking Rex Gilroy persists in promoting the idea of Phoenicians in Australia(h).

A paper by Christian C. Karam, who believes that Atlantis had been located in the Atlantic has expanded on the idea of a Phoenician presence in Brazil three thousands years ago(n).

In 1886, the American novelist Ann Eliza Smith (1819-1905) published a fantasy novel(j), Atla, that tells the tale of the discovery of the Atlantis civilization by the Phoenicians.

In 1889, Enrique Onffroy de Thoron proposed[0901] that Atlantis had been Phoenician and situated in America. Indeed, claims still persist that the Phoenicians did reach South America(f). However, Onffroy was not the first to suggest this, as he was preceded by Robertus Comtaeus Nortmannus as early as 1644 and Georg Horn in 1652 . Arguably, the best known exponent of the ‘Phoenicians in America’ school of thought was Bernardo Silva Ramos(i).

In his 2009 book, Uncovering Archaeology[1612]Dennis Cassinelli outlines in some detail his Atlantis theory, which he locates in Central America(s). He suggests that Phoenicians landed in Central America and on seeing the Mayan cities concluded that they had landed in Atlantis. Not unexpectedly, Jason Colavito had a few words to say about this idea(t).

Hugh Fox (1932-2011) wrote of the early peoples of the Americas in his well-received Gods of the Cataclysm[1171]. The ‘cataclysm’ referred to is the biblical Deluge, in respect of which he follows the ideas of Velikovsky and the christian catastrophist Donald W. Patten (1929-2014), who attributed Noah’s Flood to a close encounter with a massive extraterrestrial body around 2800 BC. Fox explicitly claims that before the Flood, transoceanic travel was commonplace, with the Chinese in America, Indian theology in the Mediterranean and that after the Flood we had the Phoenicians and Odysseus in America.

The late Sabatino Moscati, a renowned linguist and archaeologist, wrote a highly regarded work[505] on the subject of the Phoenicians. Additionally, there is an invaluable website(a) on offer from Salim George Khalaf, a modern Phoenician from Lebanon. This huge site with its 2,000 pages  that covers all aspects of Phoenician culture. This same site(b), drawing on the work of Ignatius Donnelly, identifies the kings of Atlantis with the Phoenician pantheon and claims that the gods of the Greeks were also the deified Atlantean kings.

Jacques Hébert, who places Atlantis in the Indian Ocean on the island of Socotra, suggests that the Atlanteans had a colony in the Eastern Mediterranean whose inhabitants developed into the Phoenicians!

(a) http://phoenicia.org/index.shtml

(b) http://phoenicia.org/atlantisplato.html

(c) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20101112211128/http://www.forgottenagesresearch.com/vanished-civilizations-series/The-Atlantis-Genesis-ConnectionParallel-Memories-o.htm

(e) http://www.phoenician.org/minoans_phoenicians_paper.htm

(f) http://www.cristobalcolondeibiza.com/2eng/2eng00.htm

(g) See: Archive 2852

(h) http://www.mysteriousaustralia.com/pyramid-sequel/chapter16.html (reinstated)

(i) http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernardo_de_Azevedo_da_Silva_Ramos  (Portuguese)

(j) https://archive.org/details/atlastoryoflosti00smitrich

(k) http://www.pappaspost.com/fascinating-cambridge-university-research-links-endangered-pontic-greek-dialect-to-ancient-greek/

(l) http://www.pappaspost.com/fascinating-cambridge-university-research-links-endangered-pontic-greek-dialect-to-ancient-greek/

(m) http://dancingfromgenesis.com/?p=49635

(n) http://phoenicia.org/brazil.html

(o) https://aeon.co/essays/phoenicia-an-imaginary-friend-to-nations-in-need-of-ancestors

*(p) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenicia

(q) https://phoenicia.org/index.shtml

(r) https://www.quora.com/Are-the-Phoenicians-Arabs

(s) https://mesquitelocalnews.com/2019/01/29/lost-continent-of-atlantis-rediscovered/

(t) http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/nevada-author-claims-phoenicians-mistook-maya-cities-for-atlantis