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

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  • NEWS September 2023

    NEWS September 2023

    September 2023. Hi Atlantipedes, At present I am in Sardinia for a short visit. Later we move to Sicily and Malta. The trip is purely vacational. Unfortunately, I am writing this in a dreadful apartment, sitting on a bed, with access to just one useable socket and a small Notebook. Consequently, I possibly will not […]Read More »
  • 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.Read More »

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Ocean or Sea

Ocean and Sea are words employed by classical writers in a manner different to our present usage. Originally the Greek word Oceanos referred to the ‘Great River’ that was assumed to flow around the then known world.

>That great resource notes(j)  In the ancient Greek cosmogony the RIVER OKEANOS (Oceanus) was a great, fresh-water stream which encircled the flat disc of the earth. It was the source of all of the earth’s fresh-water–from the rivers and springs which drew their waters from it through subterranean aquifers to the clouds which dipped below the horizon to collect their moisture from its stream.”<

Livio Stecchini wrote that “the existence of a river Oceanus as an extension of the Nile along the Equator was considered a serious reality in Greek times” (e)

Anton Mifsud has pointed out[209] that Homer used the word ocean for the sea and in fact used the same word for the Tyrrhenian ‘Sea’ (a). Both Seneca and Cicero referred to the Mediterranean Sea as the Atlantic Ocean(b)(c)Diodorus Siculus notes further that the word for ocean has even been applied to the Nile(d) by Homer. Herodotus also recorded that Homer called the Nile ‘Okeanòs’, as it was generally believed at the time that it began the Atlantic Ocean and flowed across the equator to Egypt(f)and ended in an ‘ocean’, the Mediterranean. (quoted by J.H. Agnew) [1232.123]

Georgeos Diaz-Montexano made a similar point when he offered the simplistic explanation that the classical writers had three words for bodies of saltwater; pontos (small), pelagos (medium) and okeanos (large). Plato always referred to Atlantis as being in a pelagos.

Alfred C. Moorhouse, among others, has pointed out(a) that ‘pontos’ is seemingly derived from words meaning ‘path’ or ‘bridge’, which in turn gave us the Latin ‘pons’ for bridge. Understandably, early sailors preferred shore-hugging and the use of trusted sea routes. ‘Pelagos’ refers to open seas, probably when out of sight of land. Agnieszka Adamowicz-Pospiech suggested that the words were used to distinguish “between the familiar and the foreign”.(h)

George Sarantitis suggested that ‘Pelagos’ “usually denotes a small sea in the shape of an embrace and contains islands, bays, peninsulas”, while ‘Pontos’ “denotes a sea with strong currents that require extra effort to navigate.”(i)

Carlos Bisceglia in his Atlantis 2021, made an important observation – “If Plato had thought that Atlantis was an island located in what we today call the Atlantic Ocean, he would have written that his Atlantis was ‘in the Middle of Okeanos’.” For the Greeks, Okeanos referred specifically to the great river that encircled the known world. Instead. he placed Atlantis in the Atlantic Sea, which in my opinion brings us back to the Mediterranean.

We can conclude therefore that since Plato never used the term ‘ocean’ in connection with Atlantis there is no proof that he was referring to our present-day Atlantic, while in all likelihood he was indicating the western basin of the Mediterranean or the reported large inland sea where the chotts of Tunisia and Algeria are all that remains of it today.

(a)  Odysseus x. 508,

(b)  Quaestiones Naturales,

(c) Somnium Scipioni

(d) Biblioteca Storica i.

(e) Ancient Cosmology ( 



(h) See Archive 6248 

(i) The Atlantis Hypothesis (2nd Conference)(Heliotopos, Athens, 2010) p.400

(j) OCEANUS – Earth-Encircling River of Greek Mythology ( *