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.
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 to 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 a co-author (with Syusy Blady, 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