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

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Geryon

Bosporus, The

?The Bosporus or Bosphorus is described by Wikipedia as “a narrow, natural strait and an internationally significant waterway located in northwestern Turkey. It forms part of the continental boundary between Asia and Europe, and divides Turkey by separating Anatolia from Thrace. It is the world’s narrowest strait used for international navigation. The Bosporus connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and, by extension via the Dardanelles, the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, and by the Kerch Strait, the Sea of Azov.”

A number of modern commentators have promoted the Bosporus as the location of the Pillars of Herakles; Eberhard Zangger, Christian and Siegfried Schoppe and Werner E. Friedrich.

Arysio dos Santos in his book Atlantis [320.186] noted that “The Bosphorus was considered to be the site of the ‘Pillars of Hercules’ even before the name of these famous features was transplanted to the region of Gibraltar, where it remains stuck down to the present time. In reality, bosporus or bosphorus (or bosporos or bosphoros, rather, the Greek words from which the Latin name derives) means ‘cattle passage, oxford’ precisely because Hercules was said to have crossed there with the cattle he rustled from Geryon, in Erytheia.”

Erytheia

Erytheia is recorded by Hesiod (8th cent. BC) as one of the Hesperides, a sunken island beyond the Pillars of Heracles. Pherecydes of Athens (5th cent. BC), is considered to be the first to identify Erytheia with Gádeira (Cadiz) according to Strabo (Geog. Bk. III). Some commentators have found many of its characteristics comparable with that of Plato’s Atlantis. Herodotus  (Hist. 4.8) also describes it as an island that was located beyond the ‘Pillars’ near Gades. Avienus also supported this idea while Solinus described it being on the Lusitanian coast (Portugal).

N. Zhirov agreed with Adolf Schulten in identifying Erytheia with Tartessos. However, while Schulten located Tartessos at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River in South West Spain, Zhirov argued that the story of Hercules taking from Erytheia, the oxen of Geryon, indicated a distance of around 60 miles from the coast. He points out that since Hercules had to get from Helios the ‘golden cup’ in order to show direction by day and night, it would not have required a compass had the island been close to land. Similarly, he reasoned that Erytheia could not have been more than one or two day’s journey since their small boat could not have carried enough food and water for the animals on a longer journey.

Isla de León is a large piece of land between the city of Cádiz and the mainland and accepted by some as having been the home of the mythical giant Geryon and his cattle.

Gades(a) and Erytheia(b) have both been placed on the Map Mistress website in the Central Mediterranean and since they have both been associated with the ‘Pillars of Heracles’, is she suggesting a location in that region for Atlantis?

A paper on the subject was presented to the 2005 Atlantis conference on Melos, by Papamarinopoulos, N. Drivaliari & Ch. Cosyan who also place Erytheia in the vicinity of Cadiz.

>(a) http://www.mapmistress.com/egadi-islands-marettimo-levanzo-favignana.html (link broke Dec 2020) Text only available at Egadi Islands: Marettimo, Levanzo, Favignana of Sicily (archive.org)

(b) http://www.mapmistress.com/pantelleria-erytheia-sicily-tunisia.html  (link broke Dec 2020) Text only available at Pantelleria & Erytheia: Southwest Sicily Sunken Coastline to Tunisia (archive.org)<