Typhon in Greek mythology is described as a winged serpentine monster who fought Zeus for control of the cosmos and lost. He first appeared in Greek literature in the writings of Homer and Hesiod(b). Many castastrophists have identified the story of Typhon as a description of a close encounter and/or possible impact by a comet. Some atlantologists have endeavoured to link Typhon with Plato’s Atlantis.
Jürgen Spanuth [15.178] and Walter Baucum [183.36], among others, identified Typhon with Phaëton, while decades later Axel Famiglini proposed that Typhon had destroyed Atlantis located in the Atlantic.
Others have identified Typhon as the comet of Exodus(a), just one of the many speculative suggestions that the myth has generated. However, it is hard not to think that there may have been some real historical event behind the evolution of the story.
Lacedaemon and Laconia were the ancient names for a city state centred on Sparta, whose name eventually superseded theirs. Lacedaemon is the preferred location of Atlantis of Dr Theodore Spyropoulos, a Greek archaeologist, who is author of a three-volume work entitled Lacedaemon.
He was one of the archaeologists who discovered the ruins of Akrotiri on Santorini in 1967. In 2007, he was took part in the excavations at Pellana(c), now a village 27 km north of Sparta. Spyropoulos believes that Pellana was the Mycenaean capital of Lyconia mentioned by Homer.
In June 2014 he published two short papers(a)(b) on the Ancient Origins website arguing for Lacedaemon as the location of Plato’s Atlantis. In his own words;
“There is a vast bibliography about Atlantis, but the modern scholarship concluded that to locate Atlantis and to prove the validity of its identification, four points of agreement must be met and generally accepted. (See E. Bloedow. ‘Fire and Flood from Heaven: Was Atlantis at Troy?’ La Parola del Passato 48, 1993, pp.109-160
Atlantis was an island.
It lay beyond the ‘Pillars of Hercules’.
It was larger than Asia and Libya together.
Its destruction (sinking) produced a barrier of impassable mud.
These four prerequisites are completely fulfilled in the case of Lacedaemon.”
His contention is that in ancient times Lacedaemon had been a large lake or lagoon containing a number islands, both natural and artificial, one of which was the island of Atlantis.
His explanation for Atlantis being greater than Asia and Libya combined is that they were local names for two of the other islands in Lake Lacedaemon! He alone has identified the ‘Pillars of Heracles’ with Columns on Mt. Thornax, 2 km from the Lagoon of Lacedaemon! For example, Atlantis attacked Athens and Egypt from their base in the west (Tim.25b & Crit.114c), not something that could be attributed to Lacedaemon.
I would have expected something more convincing from such an experienced academic, considering the range of other details on offer in Plato’s narrative.
Manolis Koutlis is a computer engineer and the author of In the Shadow: The Greek Colonies of North America and the Atlantic 1500 BC -1500 AD, in which he seeks to demonstrate that the Greeks had settlements in North America. Using the classical texts of Plutarch, Homer, Hesiod and Plato as well as the traditions of the Native Americans of the North East, he offers evidence to support his thesis.
The idea of ancient Greeks in Canada has been around for some time with Henriette Mertz in the 1960’s suggesting that Odysseus’ wanderings took place in the Atlantic and that he was the first European to visit America.
Koutlis has concluded that Ogygia was located on St. Paul Island in the Cabot Strait and goes further, locating Atlantis in the Gulf of St. Lawrence northeast of the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, not far from Quebec’s Magdalen Islands.
A few years earlier, Emilio Spedicato, also proposed that the region around the Mouth of the St. Lawrence River, in Canada, had been visited by ancient Greeks. His comments were addressed to the 2005 Atlantis Conference [629.411]. He did not, however, suggest a Canadian location for Atlantis as he had already claimed Hispaniola as its home.
The first 37 pages of his book can be read online(a) .
Andreas Vergottis (1961- ) was born in Greece, schooled in Athens, followed by further education in the UK at the LSE and City University Business School, London. He is currently head of research with a fund management company.
As an amateur archaeologist and student of Homer, he has now written a book with the intriguing objective of demonstrating that:
“Lost Atlantis = Homeric Ithaca = Sea Peoples centre = Kefalonia”.
The book will be available in English and Greek and any publication developments will be posted here. In the meantime there is more information on his Facebook page.
Hubris is defined by Wikipedia to mean, “in a modern context, extreme pride or self-confidence; in its ancient Greek context, it typically describes violent and excessive behavior rather than an attitude. When it offends the gods of ancient Greece, it is usually punished.” Such was the fate of Plato’s Atlantis.
George Sarantitis has drawn attention to the fact that the offence of hubris and its consequences “is referred 26 times throughout the Odyssey and 4 times throughout the Iliad”. This is just one example of the Homeric influence on Plato, a subject dealt with at length by Bernard Suzanne(a).
One doctor has identified political hubris as a medical disorder(b).
Asahel Davis (1791- ) a former chaplain of the Senate of New York, in 1839, delivered a lecture, Antiquities of America, in which he offered a strong defence for a Scandinavian, or as he calls them ‘Northmen’, discovery of America five hundred years before Columbus.
When speaking of Atlantic landbridges he stated that “I’m inclined to believe that the land that united the now two continents, was the Atlantis, spoken of by Plato, Homer and Hesiod – Plato saw an account of this land which disappeared, in the hieroglyphics of Egypt.” [p.11].
At least twelve editions of his paper have been published.(a)
Odysseus and Herakles are two of the best known heroes in Greek mythology, both of whom had one important common experience, they each had to endure a series of twelve tests. However, although different versions of the narratives are to be found with understandable variations in the detail, the two stories remain substantially the same.
The two tales have been generally interpreted geographically although a minority view is that an astronomical/astrological interpretation was intended, as the use of twelve events in both accounts would seem to point to a connection with the zodiac!
Alice A. Bailey is probably the best known regarding Hercules in her book The Labours of Hercules, while Kenneth & Florence Wood have also proposed Homer’s work as a repository of astronomical data. Bailey’s work is available as a pdf file(d).
In geographical terms, Herakles and Odysseus share something rather intriguing. Nearly all of the ‘labours’ of Herakles (Peisander c 640 BC) and all of the ‘trials’ of Odysseus (Homer c.850 BC) are generally accepted to have taken place in the eastern Mediterranean. In fact, the first map of the geography of the Odyssey, was produced by Ortelius in 1597, which situated all of the locations in the central and eastern Mediterranean(e).
However, in both accounts, there is a suggestion that they experienced at least one of their adventures in the extreme western Mediterranean, at what many consider to be the (only) location of the Pillars of Heracles as defined by Eratosthenes centuries later (c.200 BC). Significantly, nothing happens over the 1100 mile (1750 km) journey on the way there and nothing occurs on the way back!
I think it odd that both share this same single, apparently anomalous location. I suggest that we should consider the possibility that the accounts of Heracles and Odysseus are possibly distorted versions of each other and that, in the later accounts of their exploits, the use of the extreme western location for the trial/labour is possibly only manifestations of a blind acceptance of the geographical claims of Eratosthenes or a biased view that this was always the case. A credible geographical revision of the location of those inconsistent activities by Odysseus and Heracles to somewhere other than the Gibraltar region would add weight to those, such as myself, that consider a Central Mediterranean location for the ‘Pillars’ more likely.
The German historian, Armin Wolf, relates how his research over 40 years unearthed 80 theories on the geography of the Odyssey, of which around 30 were accompanied by maps. In 2009, he published, Homers Reise: Auf den Spuren des Odysseus, a German language book that expands on the subject, concluding that all the wandering of Odysseus took place in the central and eastern Mediterranean. In a fascinating paper(a) he reviews many of these theories and offering his own ideas on the subject along with his own proposed maps, which exclude the western Mediterranean entirely. Wolfgang Geisthövel adopted Wolf’s conclusions in his Homer’s Mediterranean .
With regard to Hercules the anomalous nature of the ‘traditional’ location of Erytheia for his 10th ‘labour’ is evident on a map(b), while the 11th could be anywhere in North Africa.
Further study of the two narratives might offer further strong evidence for a central Mediterranean location for the ‘Pillars’ around the time of Solon! For example, “map mistress” places Erytheia in the vicinity of Sicily(c), while my personal choice would be the Egadi Islands further to the north, Egadi being a cognate of Gades, frequently linked with Erytheia.
Dr. Albert Gruhn was reported to have placed Atlantis in the Western Mediterranean Basin, according to a report in New Zealand’s North Otago Times of August 8th 1911(a). Apparently it was quoting from the ‘North German Gazette’ where he stated his belief that the Western Basin had once been dry land and that Atlantis had been situated between the Balearic Islands and Sardinia or in what is now the Tyrrhenian Sea.
A couple of years earlier he had disputed(b) that Homer’s Troy had been located at Hissarlik, instead he opted for Duden.
Morten Alexander Joramo is a Norwegian astrologer, musician and author. In his 2011 book, The Homer Code, he is heavily influenced by Felice Vinci, who situated Homer’s Odyssey in the northern European region. Joramo specifically identifies the island of Trenyken, in Norway’s Outer Lofoten Islands, with Homer‘s legendary Thrinacia. He also refers to the work of Iman Wilkens and Jürgen Spanuth. He also introduces the Bock Saga in support of his contention that “that there must have been an advanced culture in the high north thousands of years ago.”(a)
Although the author touches on the subject of Atlantis in The Homer Code he expands more fully on it the following year in Atlantis Unveiled. In it he again follows much of Vinci’s work as well as Spanuth’s identification of Helgoland as the location of Atlantis. He also uses Homer as well as copious extracts from Apollonius of Rhodes to justify his identification of Northern Europe as the backdrop to both the Odyssey and Plato’s Atlantis narrative.
Up to this point I found his work interesting, if not convincing. However, when I got to his ancient alien conspiracy theory and the use magic mushrooms, I cried halt.
In 2015, Joramo published The Lost Civilization of the North, which is intended to supplant Atlantis Unveiled.
John Esse Larsen is an independent Danish researcher who has expressed similar views to Felice Vinci regarding the Baltic origins of Homer’s epic tales, Iliad and Odyssey, in his 2012 book, Odysseus: Isse fra Od. He identifies many of the placenames recorded by Homer with Baltic and North Sea locations.
Larsen has an English language website(a) where many of his ideas are outlined, including an identification of the Pillars of Heracles with the Faroe Islands and Atlantis with the Wadden Sea region of the North Sea(b), Kirsten Bang had suggested the same location for Atlantis a few years ago.