Francesco Palambo has published a few short Atlantis-related articles on his website(a). Obviously influenced by the theories of Constantino Cattoi and Evelino Leonardi, he has suggested that Atlantis had existed off the coast of Tuscany opposite the peninsula of Argentario. This would place it in the territory of sunken Tirrenide.
His own theories echoing Graham Hancock include the idea that there existed pre-Flood “advanced civilisations (with scientific and technological knowledge even higher than ours)”!
(a) Atlantide vicino all’Argentario? – Pagine Curiose (Italian)
Italy seems to have an uncertain etymology; Thucydides claims that Italos, the Sicilian king gave his name to Italy, while more recently Emilio Spedicato(h) considers that ”the best derivation we believe to be the one proposed by the Italian nuclear engineer Felice Vinci (1998), in his monograph claiming a Baltic setting for the Homeric epic: he derives Italia from the rare Greek word aithalia, meaning the smoking one.” This is thought to be a reference to Italy’s many volcanoes.
Italy today is comprised of territory south of the Alps on mainland Europe including a very large boot-shaped peninsula, plus Sicily, Sardinia and some smaller island groups, which along with the French island of Corsica virtually enclose the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The earliest proposal that Italy could be linked with Atlantis came from Angelo Mazzoldi in 1840 when he claimed that before Etruria, Italy had been home to Atlantis and dated its demise to 1986 BC. Mazzoldi expressed a form of hyperdiffusion that had his Italian Atlantis as the mother culture which seeded the great civilisations of the eastern Mediterranean region(b).
Some of Mazzoldi’s views regarding ancient Italy were expanded on by later scholars such as Camillo Ravioli, Ciro Nispi-Landi, Evelino Leonardi, Costantine Cattoi, Guido DiNardo and Giuseppe Brex. Ravioli sought to associate the Maltese island of Gozo with his proposed Atlantis in Italy.
The Italian region of Lazio, which includes Rome, has had a number of very ancient structures proposed as Atlantean; Monte Circeo (Leonardi) and Arpino(a) (Cassaro). Another aspect of Italian prehistory is the story of Tirrenide, which was described as a westward extension of the Italian landmass into the Tyrrhenian Sea during the last Ice Age, with a land bridge to a conjoined Sardinia and Corsica. At the same time, there were land links to Sicily and Malta, which were all destroyed as deglaciation took place and sea levels rose.
It is surprising that so few researchers have commented on Italy’s part in Plato’s Atlantis narrative considering that he twice, without any ambiguity, informs us that the Atlantean domain extended as far as Tyrrhenia (modern Tuscany).
Crit.114c. So all these, themselves and their descendants dwelt for many generations bearing rule over many other islands throughout the sea and holding sway besides, as was previously stated, over the Mediterranean peoples as far as Egypt and Tuscany. Tim.25a/b. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvellous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent; and, moreover, of the lands here within the Straits they ruled over Libya as far as Egypt, and over Europe as far as Tuscany. (Bury)
The quotation from Timaeus is most interesting because of its reference to a ‘continent’. Some have understandably but incorrectly claimed that this is a reference to America or Antarctica, when quite clearly it refers to southern Italy as part of the continent of Europe. Moreover, Herodotus is quite clear (4.42) that the ancient Greeks knew of only three continents, Europe, Asia and Libya.
Philo of Alexandria (20 BC-50 AD) in his On the Eternity of the World(g) wrote “Are you ignorant of the celebrated account which is given of that most sacred Sicilian strait, which in old times joined Sicily to the continent of Italy?” (v.139).>The name ‘Italy’ was normally used until the third century BC to describe just the southern part of the peninsula(e).<Some commentators think that Philo was quoting Theophrastus, Aristotle’s successor. This would push the custom of referring to Italy as a ‘continent’ back near to the time of Plato. More recently, Armin Wolf, the German historian, when writing about Scheria relates(f) that “Even today, when people from Sicily go to Calabria (southern Italy) they say they are going to the ‘continente’.” This continuing usage is further confirmed by a current travel site(d) and by author, Robert Fox[1168.141]. I suggest that Plato used the term in a similar fashion and can be seen as offering the most rational explanation for the use of the word ‘continent’ in Timaeus 25a.
When you consider that close to Italy are located the large islands of Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, as well as smaller archipelagos such as the Egadi, Lipari and Maltese groups, the idea of Atlantis in the Central Mediterranean can be seen as highly compatible with Plato’s description.
If we accept that Plato stated unambiguously that the domain of Atlantis included at least part of southern Italy and also declared that Atlantis attacked from beyond the Pillars of Heracles, then this appellation could not be applied at that time to any location in the vicinity of the Strait of Gibraltar but must have been further east, probably not too far from Atlantean Italy. This matches earlier alternative locations recorded by classical writers who placed the ‘Pillars’ at the straits of Messina or Sicily. I personally favour Messina, unless there is stronger evidence that some of the islands in or near the Strait of Sicily such as the Maltese or Pelagian Islands or Pantelleria were home to the ‘Pillars’.
(c) Archive 2946
Angelo Mazzoldi (1799-1864) was born in Montichiari, near Brescia in northern Italy. He studied law and also wrote on historical subjects. His best known was published in Milan in 1840 with the snappy title of Delle origini italiche e della diffusione dell’incivilimento italiano all’Egitto, alla Fenicia, alla Grecia ea tutte le nazioni asiatiche poste sul Mediterraneo (Of the Italic origin and spread of civilization Italian Egypt, Phoenicia, Greece and all Asian nations located on the Mediterranean)(a) . This provoked a critical response from the journalist Aurelio Bianchi-Giovini (1799-1862) and a debate ensued over the following two years (c).
Emiliana Pasca Noether in her Roots of Italian Nationalism 1700-1815, recounts how Mazzoldi claimed that before Etruria, Italy had been home to Atlantis and dated its demise to 1986 BC and is recalled locally as the destruction of Tirrenide.
Similarly, Pierre Vidal-Naquet described Mazzoldi as having “carved out a place for Atlantis in the Italians’ own history”. Mazzoldi expressed a form of regional hyperdiffusion that had his Italian Atlantis as the mother-culture which seeded all the great civilisations of the eastern Mediterranean region.
Tirrenide is the name given to a large landmass that was supposedly submerged off the west coast of Italy, which subsequently gave its name to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Some of these ideas were proposed in 1840 by Angelo Mazzoldi in Delle Origini Italiche who also placed Atlantis in this ancient Italy.
The name ‘Tirrenide’ was first proposed by C.J. Forsyth Major in 1882.
>The idea of the existence of such a large sunken land is seemingly supported by Pliny the Elder in Natural History (III, Of Italy) where he compared the shape of Italy to an oak leaf: “I may premise by observing that this land very much resembles in shape an oak leaf, being much longer than it is broad…” which seems a far cry from the boot-like shape used to describe Italy today.<
Some commentators, such as Pier Paolo Cavallin(e)  and Evelino Leonardi, have tried to link the story with Atlantis. Leonardi’s contribution to the belief that there was an Italian Atlantis is explored in depth by Marco Pucciarni(d). Von Klaproth speculated that it had been a vast island that filled most of the Western Mediterranean. Others suggest the vicinity of Calabria or part of a landbridge between Italy and North Africa.
The legend of Tirrenide is frequently linked with the island of Sardinia (along with Corsica). This is the view of Leonardo Melis who considers his Tirrenide to have been a rival empire of Atlantis(c).
Constantino Cattoi expressed some odd views involving an extension of Atlantis reaching into the Mediterranean as far as Italy and added that just offshore from Ansedonia, 70 miles north of Rome may have been the location of the Atlantean capital! This concept has now been adopted by Francesco Palambo.
Cattoi also announced that he had located three of the cities of Tirrenide between Porto Santo Stefano and Isola del Giglio, but he died without being able to find funding for the underwater exploration that would have proved his hypothesis(b).
A more recent view of Tirrenide at the end of the last Ice Age is available online(a).
(a) See: Archive 2510 (b) https://www.paginecuriose.it/2019/07/28/atlantide-vicino-allargentario/ (Italian)
(c) La Sardegna e Atlantide (archive.org) (Italian)
Evelino Leonardi (1871-1939) was a Roman doctor and amateur archaeologist who was convinced that Atlantis had been located in Italy with their cyclopean remnants visible on Monte Circeo on the west coast of Italy, south of Rome.
He published his ideas in 1937, among which he claimed that Lake Tritonis had been situated in Italy adjacent to the Tyrrhenian Sea and that the mythical Tirrenide was also situated there. To say the least, this was an innovative idea, as it was generally accepted that Lake Tritonis had been located in North Africa. Leonardi also contended that the survivors of the demise of Atlantis migrated to Egypt.
However, in recent years interest in Leonardi’s work has been revived. The late Gianluigi Proia has written a number of articles on the circei.it website in support of Leonardi’s theories. One of the most comprehensive of these(a), although published in Italian, translates adequately with Google.>Leonardi’s contribution to the belief that there was an Italian Atlantis is explored in depth in a paper by Marco Pucciarni(b).<
See Also: Ponza