John Esse Larsen
Felice Vinci (1946- ) is an Italian nuclear engineer with a background in Latin and Greek studies and is a member of MENSA, Italy. He believes that Greek mythology had its origins in Northern Europe.
His first book on the subject in 1993, Homericus Nuncius, was subsequently expanded into Omero nel Baltico and published in 1995. It has now been translated into most of the languages of the Baltic as well as an English version with the title of The Baltic Origins of Homer’s Epic Tales. The foreword was written by Joscelyn Godwin.
>Vinci explained that “I have been interested in the Greek poet Homer and Greek mythology since I was seven years old. My elementary school teacher gave me a book about the Trojan War, so the leading characters of Homer’s poem, ‘Iliad,’ were as important for me as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.
“In 1992, I found the Greek historian Plutarch‘s key-indication which positioned the island Ogygie in the North Atlantic ocean. I decided to dedicate myself to this research. The ancient Greek that I had studied in secondary school helped me very much. Subsequently, I was helped and encouraged by Professor Rosa Calzecchi Onesti, a famous scholar who has translated both of Homer’s poems, ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey,’ into Italian. Her translations are considered a point of reference for scholars in Italy.”(s)
Readers might find two short reviews of Vinci’s book on an Icelandic website (in English) of interest(t)(u).<
However, the idea of a northern source for Homeric material is not new. In the seventeenth century, Olof Rudbeck insisted that the Hyperboreans were early Swedes and by extension, were also Atlanteans. In 1918, an English translation of a paper by Carus Sterne (Dr Ernst Ludwig Krause)(1839-1903) was published with the title of The Northern Origin of the Story of Troy.(m)
Vinci offers a compelling argument for re-reading Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey with the geography of the Baltic rather than the Mediterranean as a guide. A synopsis of his research is available on the Internet(a).
His book has had positive reviews from a variety of commentators(j). Understandably, Vinci’s theory is not without its critics whose views can also be found on the internet(d)(b).and in particular I wish to draw attention to one extensive review which is quite critical(k).
Stuart L. Harris has written a variety of articles for the Migration and Diffusion website(c) including a number specifying a Finnish location for Troy following a meeting with Vinci in Rome. M.A. Joramo was also influenced by Vinci’s work and has placed the backdrop to Homer’s epic works in northern European regions, specifically identifying the island of Trenyken, in Norway’s Outer Lofoten Islands, with Homer’s legendary Thrinacia. An Italian article also links the Lofotens with some of Homer’s geographical references(r).
Jürgen Spanuth based his Atlantis theory on an unambiguous identification of the Atlanteans with the Hyperboreans of the Baltic region. More specifically, he was convinced [p88] that the Cimbrian peninsula or Jutland, comprised today of continental Denmark and part of northern Germany had been the land of the Hyperboreans.
As a corollary to his theory, Vinci feels that the Atlantis story should also be reconsidered with a northern European origin at its core. He suggests that an island existed in the North Sea between Britain and Denmark during the megalithic period that may have been Plato’s island. He also makes an interesting observation regarding the size of Atlantis when he points out that ‘for ancient seafaring peoples, the ‘size’ of an island was the length of its coastal perimeter, which is roughly assessable by circumnavigating it’. Consequently, Vinci contends that when Plato wrote of Atlantis being ‘greater’ than Libya and Asia together he was comparing the perimeter of Atlantis with the ‘coastal length’ of Libya and Asia.
Malena Lagerhorn, a Swedish novelist, has written two books, in English, entitled Ilion  and Heracles , which incorporate much of Vinci’s theories into her plots(l). She has also written a blog about the mystery of Achilles’ blond hair(n).
Alberto Majrani is another Italian author, who, influenced by Vinci, is happy to relocate the origins of many Greek myths to the Nordic regions . Although his focus is on the Homeric epics, he has also touched on Plato’s Atlantis story, proposing, for example, that the Pillars of Heracles were a reference to the thousands of basaltic columns, known as the ‘Giant’s Causeway’ to be found on the north coast of Ireland with a counterpart across the sea in Scotland’s Isle of Staffa.(o)
Not content with moving the geography of Homer and Plato to the Baltic, Vinci has gone further and transferred the biblical Garden of Eden to the same region(e). Then in a more recent blog(q) he repeats his views on the location of Eden in Lapland and reiterates his core thesis that “the real scenario of the events of the Iliad and the Odyssey was the Baltic-Scandinavian world, the primitive seat of the blond Achean navigators: they subsequently descended into the Mediterranean, where, around the beginning of the sixteenth century BC., they founded the Mycenaean civilization.”
A 116 bullet-pointed support for Vinci from a 2007 seminar, “Toija and the roots of European civilization” has been published online(h). In 2012 John Esse Larsen published a book expressing similar views.
An extensive 2014 audio recording of an interview with Vinci on Red Ice Radio is available online(f). It is important to note that Vinci is not the first to situate Homer’s epics in the Atlantic, northern Europe and even further afield. Henriette Mertz has Odysseus wandering across the Atlantic, while Iman Wilkens also gives Odysseus a trans-Atlantic voyage and just as controversially locates Homer’s Troy in England. Edo Nyland has linked the story of Odysseus with Bronze Age Scotland.
Christine Pellech has daringly proposed in a 2011 book, that the core narrative in Homer’s Odyssey is a description of the circumnavigation of the globe in a westerly direction(i). These are just a few of the theories promoting a non-Mediterranean backdrop to the Illiad and Odyssey. They cannot all be correct and probably all are wrong. Many have been seduced by their novelty rather than their provability. For my part I will, for now, stick with the more mundane and majority view that Homer wrote of events that took place mainly in the central and eastern Mediterranean. Armin Wolf offers a valuable overview of this notion(g).
It is worth noting that Bernard Jones has recently moved  Troy to Britain, probably in the vicinity of Cambridge! Like many others, he argues that Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey were not set in the Mediterranean as so many of the details that he provides are incompatible with the characteristics of that sea. However, Jones has gone further and claimed that there are details in Virgil’s Aeneid, which are equally inconsistent with the Mediterranean[p.6-10], requiring a new location!
Felice Vinci is also a co-author (with Syusy Blady, and Karl Kello) of Il meteorite iperboreo  in which the Kaali meteor is discussed along with its possible association with the ancient Greek story of Phaeton.
(g) Wayback Machine (archive.org) See: Note 5
(m) The Open Court magazine. Vol.XXXII (No.8) August 1918. No. 747
Troy is believed to have been founded by Ilus, son of Troas, giving it the names of both Troy and Ilios (Ilium) with some minor variants.
“According to new evidence obtained from excavations, archaeologists say that the ancient city of Troy in northwestern Turkey may have been more than six centuries older than previously thought. Rüstem Aslan, who is from the Archaeology Department of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University (ÇOMU), said that because of fires, earthquakes, and wars, the ancient city of Troy had been destroyed and re-established numerous times throughout the years.” This report pushes the origins of this famous city back to around 3500 BC.(s)
The city is generally accepted by modern scholars to have been situated at Hissarlik in what is now northwest Turkey. Confusion over identifying the site as Troy can be traced back to the 1st century AD geographer Strabo, who claimed that Ilion and Troy were two different cities!(t) In the 18th century, many scholars consider the village of Pinarbasi, 10 km south of Hissarlik, as a more likely location for Troy.
The Hisarlik “theory had first been put forward in 1821 by Charles Maclaren, a Scottish newspaper publisher and amateur geologist. Maclaren identified Hisarlik as the Homeric Troy without having visited the region. His theory was based to an extent on observations by the Cambridge professor of mineralogy Edward Daniel Clarke and his assistant John Martin Cripps. In 1801, those gentlemen were the first to have linked the archaeological site at Hisarlik with historic Troy.”(m)
The earliest excavations at Hissarlik began in 1856 by a British naval officer, John Burton. His work was continued in 1863 until 1865 by an amateur researcher, Frank Calvert. It was Calvert who directed Schliemann to Hissarlik and the rest is history(j).
However, some high-profile authorities, such as Sir Moses Finley (1912-1986), have denounced the whole idea of a Trojan War as fiction in his book, The World of Odysseus . Predating Finley, in 1909, Albert Gruhn argued against Hissarlik as Troy’s location(i).
The Swedish scholar, Martin P. Nilsson (1874-1967) who argued for a Scandinavian origin for the Mycenaeans , also considered the identification of Hissarlik with Homer’s Troy as unproven.
Troy as Atlantis is not a commonly held idea, although Strabo, suggested such a link. So it was quite understandable that when Swiss geo-archaeologist, Eberhard Zangger, expressed this view  it caused quite a stir. In essence, Zangger proposed(g) that Plato’s story of Atlantis was a retelling of the Trojan War.
For me, the Trojan Atlantis theory makes little sense as Troy was to the northeast of Athens and Plato clearly states that the Atlantean invasion came from the west. In fact, what Plato said was that the invasion came from the ‘Atlantic Sea’ (pelagos). Although there is some disagreement about the location of this Atlantic Sea, all candidates proposed so far are west of both Athens and Egypt.(Tim.24e & Crit. 114c)
Troy would have been well known to Plato, so why did he not simply name them? Furthermore, Plato tells us that the Atlanteans had control of the Mediterranean as far as Libya and Tyrrhenia, which is not a claim that can be made for the Trojans. What about the elephants, the two crops a year or in this scenario, where were the Pillars of Heracles?
A very unusual theory explaining the fall of Troy as a consequence of a plasma discharge is offered by Peter Mungo Jupp on The Thunderbolts Project website(d) together with a video(e).
Zangger proceeded to re-interpret Plato’s text to accommodate a location in North-West Turkey. He contends that the original Atlantis story contains many words that have been critically mistranslated. The Bronze Age Atlantis of Plato matches the Bronze Age Troy. He points out that Plato’s reference to Atlantis as an island is misleading, since, at that time in Egypt where the story originated, they frequently referred to any foreign land as an island. He also compares the position of the bull in the culture of Ancient Anatolia with that of Plato’s Atlantis. He also identifies the plain mentioned in the Atlantis narrative, which is more distant from the sea now, due to silting. Zangger considers these Atlantean/Trojans to have been one of the Sea Peoples who he believes were the Greek-speaking city-states of the Aegean.
Rather strangely, Zangger admits (p.220) that “Troy does not match the description of Atlantis in terms of date, location, size and island character…..”, so the reader can be forgiven for wondering why he wrote his book in the first place. Elsewhere(f), another interesting comment from Zangger was that “One thing is clear, however: the site of Hisarlik has more similarities with Atlantis than with Troy.”
An American researcher, J. D. Brady, in a somewhat complicated theory places Atlantis in the Bay of Troy.
In January 2022, Oliver D. Smith who is unhappy with Hisarlik as the location of Troy and dissatisfied with alternatives proposed by others has now proposed a Bronze Age site, Yenibademli Höyük, on the Aegean island of Imbros(v). His paper was published in the Athens Journal of History (AJH).
To confuse matters further Prof. Arysio Nunes dos Santos, a leading proponent of Atlantis in the South China Sea places Troy in that same region of Asia(b).
Furthermore, the late Philip Coppens reviewed(h) the question marks that still hang over our traditional view of Troy.
Felice Vinci has placed Troy in the Baltic and his views have been endorsed by the American researcher Stuart L. Harris in a number of articles on the excellent Migration and Diffusion website(c). Harris specifically identifies Finland as the location of Troy, which he claims fell in 1283 BC although he subsequently revised this to 1190 BC, which is more in line with conventional thinking. The dating of the Trojan War has spawned its own collection of controversies.
However, the idea of a northern source for Homeric material is not new. In 1918, an English translation of a paper by Carus Sterne (Dr Ernst Ludwig Krause)(1839-1903) was published under the title of The Northern Origin of the Story of Troy.(n) Iman Wilkens is arguably the best-known proponent of a North Atlantic Troy, which he places in Britain. Another scholar, who argues strongly for Homer’s geography being identifiable in the Atlantic, is Gerard Janssen of the University of Leiden, who has published a number of papers on the subject(u). >Robert John Langdon has endorsed the idea of a northern European location for Troy citing Wilkens and Felice Vinci (w). However, John Esse Larsen is convinced that Homer’s Troy had been situated where Bergen on the Danish island of Rügen(x) is today.<
Most recently (May 2019) historian Bernard Jones(q) has joined the ranks of those advocating a Northern European location for Troy in his book, The Discovery of Troy and Its Lost History . He has also written an article supporting his ideas in the Ancient Origins website(o). For some balance, I suggest that you also read Jason Colavito’s comments(p).
Steven Sora in an article(k) in Atlantis Rising Magazine suggested a site near Lisbon called ‘Troia’ as just possibly the original Troy, as part of his theory that Homer’s epics were based on events that took place in the Atlantic. Two years later, in the same publication, Sora investigated the claim of an Italian Odyssey(l). In the Introduction to The Triumph of the Sea Gods , he offers a number of incompatibilities in Homer’s account of the Trojan War with a Mediterranean backdrop.
Roberto Salinas Price (1938-2012) was a Mexican Homeric scholar who caused quite a stir in 1985 in Yugoslavia, as it was then when he claimed that the village of Gabela 15 miles from the Adriatic’s Dalmatian coast in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina, was the ‘real’ location of Troy in his Homeric Whispers.
More recently another Adriatic location theory has come from the Croatian historian, Vedran Sinožic in his book Naša Troja (Our Troy). “After many years of research and exhaustive work on collecting all available information and knowledge, Sinožic provides numerous arguments that prove that the legendary Homer Troy is not located in Hisarlik in Turkey, but is located in the Republic of Croatia – today’s town of Motovun in Istria.” Sinožic who has been developing his theory over the past 30 years has also identified a connection between his Troy and the Celtic world.
Fernando Fernández Díaz is a Spanish writer, who has moved Troy to Iberia in his Cómo encontramos la verdadera Troya (y su Cultura material) en Iberia  (How we find the real Troy (and its material Culture) in Iberia.).
Like most high-profile ancient sites, Troy has developed its own mystique, inviting the more imaginative among us to speculate on its associations, including a possible link with Atlantis. Recently, a British genealogist, Anthony Adolph, has proposed that the ancestry of the British can be traced back to Troy in his book Brutus of Troy.
It is thought that Schliemann has some doubts about the size of the Troy that he unearthed, as it seemed to fall short of the powerful and prestigious city described by Homer. His misgivings were justified when many decades later the German archaeologist, Manfred Korfmann (1942-2005), resumed excavations at Hissarlik and eventually exposed a Troy that was perhaps ten times greater in extent than Schliemann’s Troy(r).
(k) Atlantis Rising Magazine #64 July/Aug 2007 See: Archive 3275
(l) Atlantis Rising Magazine #74 March/April 2009 See: Archive 3276
(n) The Open Court magazine. Vol.XXXII (No.8) August 1918. No. 747 See: https://archive.org/stream/opencourt_aug1918caru/opencourt_aug1918caru_djvu.txt
Rockall is an uninhabited islet in the North Atlantic, northwest of Donegal in Ireland. It appears to have been first marked on a map in 1640(c). This ostensibly insignificant piece of stone is around 80ft by 100ft at the base and approximately
70ft in height. Nevertheless, its ownership is disputed by Ireland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the United Kingdom.
Rocabarraidh which was a mythic island referred to in the folklore of the Lordship of the Isles, a Scottish title, is generally accepted to be an early allusion to Rockall. The Atlantic rock is considered as part of the Hebridean parish of South Harris.
In June 1997, Greenpeace declared Rockall to be the independent state of Waveland(f).
Recently, a new claim has been made in connection with Rockall, namely, that it is a remnant of the Atlantis highlands, with the plain so vividly described by Plato, now situated under the sea to the southwest of the rock. Two extensively illustrated French websites(a)(b) expound this theory. Which, however, are somewhat less than convincing. However, a 1938 newspaper report(d) suggests that a proposed linkage with Atlantis goes back much further!
In December 2016, Jonathan Northcote published 16.484ºW 58.521ºN, Atlantis, Found?, in which he offers spirited support for this location using a mass of geological data and underwater topography. He also suggests that Gades may have been Ireland. In January 2019, Northcote revised his book with additional material and published this second edition with the title of Atlantis, Found? An investigation into ancient accounts, bathymetry and climatology .
Stuart L. Harris, the prolific American researcher, has, in recent private correspondence with me, supported the vicinity of Rockall as the location of Atlantis, dating its demise to around 9577 BC. He later expanded on this in a highly speculative paper published on the Academia.edu website.
At the end of September 2018, the UK’s Daily Star, a well-known comic for adults, tried to revive the idea of Atlantis in Frisland(g) . They based their brief article on the speculations of Matt Sibson, presented as an ‘expert’, who admits that “there are still some questions that need clearing up.” I would like to know why Frislanders in the middle of the last Ice Age would want to attack a non-existent Athens 4,000 km away? If Sibson is considered to be an expert historian, my cat is a brain surgeon. Jason Colavito had a few words to add regarding Sibson’s pathetic claims(h).
Incredibly, a week later the same ‘newspaper’ cited Sibson again, this time claiming that Rockall was the remains of Atlantis(i), an equally silly idea that is not new. The UK’s online Express recycled this nonsense in January 2020(k).
Kevin A. & Patrick J. Casey have published a series of papers on the Academia.edu website outlining a globally catastrophic event that occurred thirteen thousand years ago, which they refer to as the ’13K Event’, but is more popularly known as the onset of the Younger Dryas period. In February 2019, they published Atlantis Revisited (j), in which they claim that Rockall was the location of Atlantis.
>Less extreme is a claim by John Esse Larsen that in support of the theory that Homer’s Odyssey refers to adventures in the North Atlantic he suggests that Rockall is referenced in Odyssey 10.513(l).<