Agadir is a city in the South-West of Morocco. It is situated at the Atlantic end of the Sous-Massa-Draa valley which was considered by Michael Hübner to have been the location of Atlantis(a) . The name was identified by him as a variation of Gades, a region of Atlantis, ruled by Gadeiros, the twin brother of Atlas. Keep in mind that Agadir was about 3,300 km away from Athens and 3,700 kn from the Nile Delta. Not what you might call ‘easy striking distances’. >The relevance of this is discussed more fully in the ‘Invasion‘ entry.<
Étienne Félix Berlioux (1828-1910) was a 19th century French professor of geography in Lyon. In an 1883 book he placed Atlantis on the Atlantic coast of Morocco between Agadir (a variant of Gades) and Casablanca. According to Berlioux this location was the site of the city of Cerne the capital of the Atlantes referred to by Diodorus Siculus.
In 1907 he presented a series of papers entitled ‘Morocco and the Atlanteans’ for the Academy of Sciences at Lyons. Berlioux also wrote an account of the slave trade in Africa in the 1870’s. Bergman places Atlantis further north near Rabat.
His book on Atlantis, in French, can be read online(a).
Mare Tenebrosum meaning Sea of Darkness is an ancient name for the Atlantic Ocean(a). According to Michael Hübner, Cape Noun south of Agadir was originally the start of Mare Tenebrosum as it was dangerously shallow and muddy.
Michael Hübner (1966-2013) was a German researcher who presented to the 2008 Atlantis Conference in Athens, a carefully reasoned argument for placing Atlantis in North-West Africa on the Souss-Massa plain of Morocco. He has gathered and organised a range of geographical details and other clues contained in Plato’s text,which he maintained lead inexorably to Morocco. His paper is now available on the internet(a) and a fuller exposition of his hypothesis has now been published, in German, as Atlantis?:Ein Indizienbeweis , (Atlantis?:Circumstantial Evidence).
Hübner also published a number of video clips on his website in support of his theory. He begins with a lucid demonstration of a Hierarchical Constraint Satisfaction (HCS) approach to solving the mystery. These clips offer a body of evidence which are perhaps the most impressive that I have encountered in the course of many years of research. He matches many of the geographical details recorded by Plato as well as clearly showing rocks coloured red, white and black still in use in buildings in the same area. Hübner also shows possible harbour remains close to Cape Ghir (Rhir), not far north from Agadir (Plato’s ‘Gadeiros’). Although there are still some outstanding questions in my mind, I consider Hübner’s hypothesis one of the more original on offer to date.
However, I perceive some flaws in his search criteria definitions, which in my opinion, have led to an erroneous conclusion, although I think it possible that his Moroccan location may have been partof the Atlantean domain. Furthermore, I consider that his conclusions also conflict with some of the geographical clues provided by Plato.
Nevertheless, I am happy to promote Hübner’s website as a ‘must see’ for any serious student of Atlantology and I had looked forward to the publication of his book in English. In the meanwhile a video on YouTube(b) gives a good overview of his theory.
The 2011 Atlantis Conference saw Hübner present additional evidence(c) in which he translated his HCS method into a series of mathematical formulae.
Tragically, Michael Hübner died in December 2013 as a result of a cycling accident. He left a valuable contribution to Atlantis studies. Mark Adams met Hübner shortly before his death, so in March 2015 when Adams’ book, Meet me in Atlantis, was published, the ensuing media attention probably gave Hübner’s theory more publicity than when he was alive!
Although, I have always been impressed by Hübner’s methodology, my principal objection to his conclusions is based on the fact that all early empires expanded through the invasion of territory that was contiguous or within easy reach by sea. This was a logical requirement for pre-invasion intelligence gathering and for the invasion itself, but also for effective ongoing administrative control. Agadir in Morocco is around 3300 km (2000 miles), by sea, from Athens and so does not match Hübner’s very first ‘constraint’, which requires that “Atlantis should be located within a reasonable range from Athens.” He arbitrarily decided that ‘a reasonable range’ was within a 5,000 km radius based on the fact that the campaigns of Alexander the Great reached a maximum of 4,700 km from Macedonia. However, he seems to have missed the point that Alexander began his attack on the Persian Empire by crossing the Hellespont (Dardanelles), which is less than a mile wide at its narrowest. As is the case with all ancient empires, Alexander expanded his Macedonian empire incrementally, always advancing through various adjacent territories. Alexander’s aim was to conquer the Persian Empire and having done that, he continued with his opportunistic expansionism into India. My point being, that ancient land invasions were always aimed at neighbouring territory, then, if further expansion became possible, it was usually undertaken immediately beyond the newly extended borders. Alexander, did not initially set out to conquer India, but, as he experienced victory after victory, his sense of invincibility grew and so he pushed on until the threat of overwhelming odds ahead and opposition within his own army persuaded him to return home.
Similarly, naval invasions are best carried out over the shortest distances for the obvious logistical reasons of supplies and the risk of inclement weather and rough seas. There are many extreme Atlantis location theories, such as America, Antarctica and the Andes, from which it would have idiotic to launch an attack on Athens, over 3,000 years ago, particularly as there were more attractive and easier places to invade, closer to home, rather than Athens, from where up-to-date pre-invasion military intelligence would have been impossible. Hübner’s Agadir location being 3,300 km from Athens is not as ridiculous as the Transatlantic suggestions, but it is still far too great a distance to make it practical. If expansion had been necessary, nearby territory in Africa or Iberia would, in my opinion, have offered far better targets!
If I’m asked to say what I consider a ‘reasonable striking distance’ for a naval invasion to be, I would hazard a layman’s guess at less than 500 km. When the Romans wiped out Carthage, the used Sicily as a stepping-stone and then had to travel less than 300 km to achieve their goal. But there are many variables to be considered; weather, time of year, terrain and the opposing military, which I think should be left to experts in military history and tactics. However, I must reiterate that 3,300 km is not credible.
My second criticism of Hübner’s presentation is his claim that Plato described Atlantis as being ‘west’ of Tyrrhenia, which is based on his assumption that Atlantis was situated on the Atlantic coast of Morocco and consequently believed that Atlantean territory extended from there eastward until it met Tyrrhenia.
In fact, what Plato said, twice, was that Atlantis extended as far as Tyrrhenia (Timaeus 25b &Critias 114c), The implication being that Tyrrhenian territory, which was situated in central Italy, was adjacent to part of the Atlantean domain, which, I suggest, was located in southern Italy. This would have left the Greek mainland just over 70 km away across the Strait of Otranto, well within striking distance. I think that it is safer to think of the Atlantean alliance having a north/south axis, from Southern Italy, across the Mediterranean, including Sicily together the Maltese and Pelagie Islands and large sections of the Maghreb, including Tunisia and Algeria.
In late 2018, the well-known TV presenter, Andrew Gough, who had previously supported the Minoan Hypothesis, posted a lengthy article on his website(e) endorsing Hübner’s theory.
A graphical demonstration of how HCS works is available on a YouTube clip(d).
Gades is the Roman name of what is generally accepted as having been located at or near modern Cadiz in southern Spain. In his Critias Plato relates that the twin brother of Atlas, the first ruler of Atlantis, was named Gadeiros although known in Greek as Eumelos. It is assumed that he had his realm in the vicinity of Cadiz and had his capital named, Gadeira, after him.
However it has been pointed out that the Phoenicians who, before the time of Plato, possessed a port city in southwest Spain named Gadir meaning ‘enclosure’ or ‘fortress’ and was, over time, corrupted to Cadiz.
Until recently it was generally accepted, based on classical writers including the historian Livy, that the Phoenicians founded Gades around 1100 BC. Writers today such as Mark Woolmer have pointed out [1053.46] that the archaeological evidence suggests a more recent date, perhaps the middle of the 8th century BC.
However, a number of locations with similar sounding names are to be found in the Central and Western Mediterranean region, weakening the certainty normally associated with the more generally accepted identification of Gadeirus’ city with South-West Spain.
Another solution has recently been proposed by the late Michael Hübner, in which he offers the Souss-Massa plain of Southern Morocco as the location of Atlantis. On the Atlantic coast of the plain is the large town of Agadir, whose name is also probably derived from the word ‘gadir’ which means fort or enclosure in the local Tamazight language. It can also mean ‘sheep fold’, which may tie in with Plato’s use of ‘Eumelos’ as the Greek translation of Gadeiros means ‘rich in sheep’.
Alternative suggestions have been proposed, including one by Andis Kaulins(a), who is inclined to identify the islands of Egadi (Aegadian), off the west coast of Sicily, which is opposite today’s Tunis. Should this Egadi be the original Gades it would make sense of two of the suggested alternatives for the location of the Pillars of Heracles, either the Strait of Messina or the Strait of Sicily, where there is a Gadir on the island of Pantelleria(b). It would mean that Egadi would have been outside the Pillars of Heracles from either an Athenian or Egyptian perspective. Albert Nikas has pointed out the existence of a place in Malta called Il Ghadira, which has the largest sandy beach on the island!
More recently Jonathan Northcote has suggested that Gadeira may have been Ireland, citing Strabo, who quoted Eratosthenes, who had noted that Gades is five days sailing from the ‘Sacred Promontory’. Wikipedia lists(d) eleven promontories stretching from Crimea to Wales that have been so named, but noting that these were only some of the locations given that designation. So he arbitrarily chose either of the two Portuguese Capes listed as the most likely starting point for a five-day journey to Ireland (Gadeira)!
Stuart L. Harris has echoed this, employing linguistic gymnastics(c). He uses Felice Vinci‘s idea that Homeric Greek was in fact a form of Finnish and so Gadeira was Käde Eiran, meaning ‘Hand of Eira’, supposedly a variant of Éire (Ireland) and consequently Atlantis lay to the west of Ireland. Convoluted, is an understatement.
Eumelos is the Greek name given to Gadeiros, the twin brother of Atlas. The name itself can be translated as ‘good music’. According to the text of Critias, he appears to have been given the portion of Atlantis nearest the Pillars of Heracles as his domain. This area, according to Plato, is called Gades after Eumelos’ original name in the language of the region, Gadirus. It is generally accepted that Gades is modern Cadiz.
However, a case can also be made for alternative locations such as Agadir in Southern Morocco or the Egadi Islands off the west coast of Sicily. The latter has gained in significance as support has grown for placing the ‘Pillars’in the Central Mediterranean at either the Strait of Messina or the Strait of Sicily.
Galanopoulos on the other hand believed that the Pillars of Heracles was at the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnesus and that the nearest Minoan island, Melos, may have been named after its first king Eumelos.
It is worth mentioning that a stone was discovered on Thera with the name Eumelos inscribed on it in archaic Greek, but the importance of this could be easily overplayed.