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

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Troy is generally accepted by modern scholarship to have been situated at Hissarlik in what is now northwest Turkey.

Confusion over the site being Troy can be traced back to the 1st century AD geographer Strabo, who claimed that Ilion and Troy were two different cities! In the 18th century many scholars consider the village of Pinarbasi, 10 km south of Hissarlik, as a more likely location for Troy. The Hisarlik “theory had first been put forward in 1821 by Charles Maclaren, a Scottish newspaper publisher and amateur geologist. Maclaren identified Hisarlik as the Homeric Troy without having visited the region. His theory was based to an extent on observations by the Cambridge professor of mineralogy Edward Daniel Clarke and his assistant John Martin Cripps. In 1801, those gentlemen were the first to have linked the archaeological site at Hisarl?k with historic Troy.”(m)

The earliest excavations at Hissarlik began in 1856 by a British naval officer, John Burton. His work was continued in 1863 until 1865 by an amateur researcher, Frank Calvert. It was Calvert who directed Schliemann to Hissarlik and the rest is history(j).

However, some high profile authorities such as Sir Moses Finley (1912-1986) have denounced the whole idea of a Trojan War as a fiction in his book, The World of Odysseus[1139]. In 1909, Albert Gruhn argued against Hissarlik as Troy’s location(i).

The Swedish scholar, Martin P. Nilsson (1874-1967) who argued for a Scandinavian origin for the Mycenaeans[1140], also considered the identification of Hissarlik with Homer’s Troy as unproven.

Troy as Atlantis is not a commonly held idea, although Strabo, suggested such a link. So it was quite understandable that when Swiss geo-archaeologist, Eberhard Zangger, expressed this view[483] it caused quite a stir. In essence, Zangger proposed that Plato’s story of Atlantis Troywas a retelling of the Trojan War(g).

For me the Trojan Atlantis theory makes little sense as Troy was to the north east of Athens and Plato clearly states that the Atlatean invasion came from the west. In fact what Plato said was that the invasion came from the Atlantic Sea (pelagos). Although there is some disagreement about the location of this Atlantic Sea, all candidates proposed so far are west of both Athens and Egypt.(Tim.24e & Crit. 114c)

Troy would have been well known to Plato, so why did he not simply name them? Furthermore, Plato tells us that the Atlanteans had control of the Mediterranean as far as Libya and Tyrrhenia, which is not a claim that can be made for the Trojans.

A very unusual theory explaining the fall of Troy as a consequence of a plasma discharge is offered by Peter Mungo Jupp on The Thunderbolts Project website(d) together with a video(e).

Zangger proceeded to re-interpret Plato’s text to accommodate a location in North-West Turkey. He contends that the original Atlantis story contains many words that have been critically mistranslated. The Bronze Age Atlantis of Plato matches the Bronze Age Troy. He points out that Plato’s reference to Atlantis as an island is misleading, since at that time in Egypt where the story originated, they frequently referred to any foreign land as an island. He also compares the position of the bull in the culture of Ancient Anatolia with that of Plato’s Atlantis. He also identifies the plain mentioned in the Atlantis narrative, which is more distant from the sea now, due to silting. Zangger considers these Atlantean/Trojans to have been one of the Sea Peoples who he believes were the Greek speaking city-states of the Aegean.

Rather strangely, Zangger admits (p.220) that “Troy does not match the description of Atlantis in terms of date, location, size and island character…..”, so the reader can be forgiven for wondering why he wrote his book in the first place. Elsewhere(f), another interesting comment from Zangger was that “One thing is clear, however: the site of Hisarlik has more similarities with Atlantis than with Troy.”

There was considerable academic opposition to Zangger’s theory(a). Arn Strohmeyer wrote a refutation of the idea of a Trojan Atlantis in a German language book[559].

An American researcher, J. D. Brady, in a somewhat complicated theory places Atlantis in the Bay of Troy.

To confuse matters further Prof. Arysio Nunes dos Santos, a leading proponent of Atlantis in the South China Sea, places Troy in that same region of Asia(b).

Furthermore, the late Philip Coppens reviewed(h) the question marks that still hang over our traditional view of Troy.

Felice Vinci has placed Troy in the Baltic and his views have been endorsed by the American researcher Stuart L. Harris in a number of articles on the excellent Migration and Diffusion website(c). Harris specifically identifies Finland as the location of Troy, which he claims fell in 1283 BC although he subsequently revised this to 1190 BC, which is more in line with conventional thinking. The dating of the Trojan War has spawned its own collection of controversies.

Steven Sora in an article(k) in Atlantis Rising Magazine suggested a site near Lisbon called ‘Troia’ as just possibly the original Troy, as part of his theory that Homer’s epics were based on events that took place in the Atlantic. Two years later, in the same publication, Sora investigates the claim of an Italian Odyssey(l).

*Roberto Salinas Price (1938-2012) was a Mexican Homeric scholar who caused quite a stir in 1985 in Yugoslavia, as it was then, when he claimed that the village of Gabela 15 miles from the Adriatic’s Dalmatian coast in what is now Bosnia Herezgovina, was the ‘real’ location of Troy in his Homeric Whispers[1544].

More recently another Adriatic location theory has come from the Croatian historian, Vedran Sinožic in hisbook Naša Troja (Our Troy)[1543].After many years of research and exhaustive work on collecting all available information and knowledge, Sinožic provides numerous arguments that prove that the legendary Homer Troy is not located in Hisarlik in Turkey, but is located in the Republic of Croatia – today’s town of Motovun in Istria.” Sinožic who has been developing his theory over the past 30 years has also identified a connection between his Troy and the Celtic world.

Similarly, Zlatko Mandzuka has placed the travels of Odysseus in the Adriatic in his 2014 book, Demystifying the Odyssey[1396].*

Like most high-profile ancient sites, Troy has developed its own mystique, inviting the more imaginative among to speculate on its associations, including a possible link with Atlantis. Recently, a British genealogist, Anthony Adolph, has proposed that the ancestry of the British can be traced back to Troy in his book Brutus of Troy[1505].











(k) Atlantis Rising Magazine #64 July/Aug 2007

(l) Atlantis Rising Magazine #74 March/April 2009