Guanches and Canarios were the names given to the natives of the Canary Islands when conquered by the Spanish in the 15th century following a hundred-year campaign. They are generally considered to be of Cro-Magnon origin having fair or red hair and blue/grey eyes, characteristics that are still to be seen today. Many writers have been convinced that the Guanches were the remnants of the Atlantean civilisation,> a belief noted by W.G. Wood-Martin over a century ago [388.1.212]+.< Recent DNA studies(j) reveal a diversity of origins for the descendants of Guanches, comparable with the general Canarian population today.
However, a number of recent genetic studies(l)(m) have established a clear relationship with the Berbers of North Africa. Furthermore, it is claimed that the aboriginal language of the Guanches is related to one of the Berber dialects(n). Further evidence favouring a Berber connection was provided in 2017(o). A 2018 paper develops this further with particular reference to the Lybico-Berber script(p).
Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, it is claimed that the population numbered over 20,000. It is not commonly known that in the 15th century many of the Guanches were abducted and brought to the Madeiras to work as slaves(g).
The Guanches were reported to have had no boats or maritime heritage. If they were all that was left following a catastrophic event, the Guanches were probably the descendants of mountain people who had no seagoing heritage. This view was queried by Henry Eichner who claims that this idea was generated by the faulty assumptions of one of the first Spaniards to visit the island, Nicoloso de Recceo. In 2013, Sergio Navio decided to disprove this notion with a practical demonstration. The plan is to use a basic raft-like boat, named ‘Ursa Minor’ to sail from Lanzarote to La Palma, a distance of 250 miles(f).
The Spanish conquerors of the Canary Islands may have been able to shed more light on the subject, had they been more interested in history than in territory. According to these early explorers, the natives were surprised to learn that other people had survived the disaster that had flooded their world and submerged much of their homeland. They excitedly asked the conquistadors for help translating ancient inscriptions left by their ancestors that they could no longer read, but unfortunately – for the natives and for history – the Spanish exterminated their tribe before any more information was learned about their history and legends. Their inscriptions remain undeciphered.
The Guanches have been linked with both ancient Egypt and America on a number of grounds including similar methods of mummification(i) and the step pyramids found at both locations(d). Perhaps the most radical idea to emerge in recent times from Jonah G. Lissner was the suggestion that the Guanches or more correctly their ancestors were the founders of predynastic Egypt(q). In a similar vein, Helene E. Hagan wrote The Shining Ones, in which she identified the Tamazigh, related to the Guanches, as the founders of Egyptian civilisation.
Reinhard Prahl has published a paper(k) on the Migration & Diffusion website in which he also highlights cultural similarities of the Guanches and ancient Egyptians.
In The Atlantis Encyclopedia [104.130], Frank Joseph wrote, “In 45 A.D., he (Marcellus) recorded that “the inhabitants of the Atlantic island of Poseidon preserve a tradition handed down to them by their ancestors of the existence of an Atlantic island of immense size, of not less than a thousand stadia [about 115 miles], which had really existed in those seas, and which, during a long period of time, governed all the islands of the Atlantic Ocean.” Pliny the Elder seconded Marcellus, writing that the Guanches were in fact the direct descendants of the disaster that sank Atlantis. Proclus reported that they still told the story of Atlantis in his day, circa 410 A.D.” Joseph expanded on some of this in an article in issue #34 of Atlantis Rising(u).
José Luis Concepción (1948- ), a Canarian, has written a number of books with a local theme including The Guanches, Survivors and their Descendant , a booklet providing a brief history of the islands. He concurs with the view that the Guanches have an African Cro-Magnon ancestry and are related to modern Berbers. The author also claims that the Guanches are still the dominant race on the Canaries. The booklet has been translated into a number of languages and includes an extensive Spanish bibliography.
A website(a) discussing the Guanches has some interesting if controversial suggestions regarding their origins. Another site highlights a possible connection with the Dravidians of Southern India(c). This Dravidian connection is supported by the late Edo Nyland(e) in his Linguistic Archaeology. Some time ago, Arysio dos Santos wrote a paper, claiming that “we provide linguistic evidence that the Guanche language is very likely of Dravidian derivation, and not indeed Hamito-Semitic, as usually stated(v). The present article is intended to be read in connection with the one entitled: TheMysterious Origin of the Guanches(w).”
Two Russian writers, B.F. Dobrynin and B. L. Bogaevsky in the first quarter of the 20th century wrote articles that supported the idea that there were links between the Guanches and the original Atlanteans.
A 2020 article(t) on the BBC website reiterates the Guanche – Berber connection but adds that “They adapted caves and grottoes to be used as silos and temples. Some of those structures have been preserved to this day and indicate the Guanches’ sophisticated astronomical knowledge: holes on the caves’ walls allowed sunlight in at certain positions during different times of the year, marking solstices and equinoxes.”
[388.1.212]+ https://archive.org/details/traceselderfait00martgoog *
(g) https://menceymacro.blogspot.ie/2013/08/la-punta-del-sol-la-historia-de-los.html (Spanish)
(i) See Archive 2617
(q) https://joe3998.tripod.com/guanches/ (link broken)
(r) The Mysterious Origin of the Guanches | Atlantis (archive.org)
(s) http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/39792/Abstract (Link Broken)
(u) Atlantis Rising magazine #34 http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(v) Guanche language derived from Dravida? | (archive.org)
(w) The Mysterious Origin of the Guanches | (archive.org)
Classical Writers Supporting the Existence of Atlantis
Classical Writers Supporting the Existence of Atlantis
Although many of the early writers are quoted as referring to Plato’s Atlantis or at least alluding to places or events that could be related to his story there is no writer who can be identified as providing unambiguous independent evidence for Atlantis’ existence. One explanation could be that Atlantis may have been known by different names to different peoples in different ages, just as the Roman city of Aquisgranum was later known as Aachen to the Germans and concurrently as Aix-la-Chapelle to the French. However, it would have been quite different if the majority of post-Platonic writers had completely ignored or hotly disputed the veracity of Plato’s tale.
>Sprague de Camp, a devout Atlantis sceptic, included 35 pages of references to Atlantis by classical writers in Appendix A to his Lost Continents.[194.288]<
Alan Cameron, another Atlantis sceptic, is adamant that ”it is only in modern times that people have taken the Atlantis story seriously, no one did so in antiquity.” Both statements are clearly wrong, as can be seen from the list below and my Chronology of Atlantis Theories and even more comprehensively by Thorwald C. Franke’s Kritische Geschichte der Meinungen und Hypothesen zu Platons Atlantis (Critical history of the hypotheses on Plato’s Atlantis).
H.S. Bellamy mentions that about 100 Atlantis references are to be found in post-Platonic classical literature. He also argues that if Plato “had put forward a merely invented story in the Timaeus and Critias Dialogues the reaction of his contemporaries and immediate followers would have been rather more critical.” Thorwald C. Franke echoes this in his Aristotle and Atlantis[880.46]. Bellamy also notes that Sais, where the story originated, was in some ways a Greek city having regular contacts with Athens and should therefore have generated some denial from the priests if the Atlantis tale had been untrue.
Homer(c.8thcent. BC)wrote in his famous Odyssey of a Phoenician island called Scheria that many writers have controversially identified as Atlantis. It could be argued that this is another example of different names being applied to the same location.
Hesiod (c.700 BC) wrote in his Theogonyof the Hesperides located in the west. Some researchers have identified the Hesperides as Atlantis.
Herodotus (c.484-420 BC)regarded by some as the greatest historian of the ancients, wrote about the mysterious island civilization in the Atlantic.
Hellanicus of Lesbos (5th cent. BC) refers to ‘Atlantias’. Timothy Ganz highlights one line in the few fragments we have from Hellanicus as being particularly noteworthy, “Poseidon mated with Celaeno, and their son Lycus was settled by his father in the Isles of the Blest and made immortal.”
Thucydides (c.460-400 BC)refers to the dominance of the Minoan empire in the Aegean.
Syrianus (died c.437 BC) the Neoplatonist and one-time head of Plato’s Academy in Athens, considered Atlantis to be a historical fact. He wrote a commentary on Timaeus, now lost, but his views are recorded by Proclus.
Eumelos of Cyrene (c.400 BC) was a historian and contemporary of Plato who placed Atlantis in the Central Mediterranean between Libya and Sicily.
Aristotle (384-322 BC) Plato’s pupil is constantly quoted in connection with his alleged criticism of Plato’s story. This claim was not made until 1819 when Delambre misinterpreted a commentary on Strabo by Isaac Casaubon. This error has been totally refuted by Thorwald C. Franke. Furthermore, it was Aristotle who stated that the Phoenicians knew of a large island in the Atlantic known as ’Antilia’. Crantor (4th-3rdcent. BC) was Plato’s first editor, who reported visiting Egypt where he claimed to have seen a marble column carved with hieroglyphics about Atlantis. However, Jason Colavito has pointed out that according to Proclus, Crantor was only told by the Egyptian priests that the carved pillars were still in existence.
Crantor (4th-3rd cent. BC) was Plato’s first editor, who reportedly visited Egypt where he claimed to have seen a marble column carved with hieroglyphics about Atlantis. However, Jason Colavito has pointed out(a) that according to Proclus, Crantor was only told by the Egyptian priests that the carved pillars were still in existence.
Theophrastus of Lesbos (370-287 BC) refers to colonies of Atlantis in the sea.
Theopompos of Chios (born c.380 BC), a Greek historian – wrote of the huge size of Atlantis and its cities of Machimum and Eusebius and a golden age free from disease and manual labour. Zhirov states[458.38/9] that Theopompos was considered a fabulist.
Apollodorus of Athens (fl. 140 BC) who was a pupil of Aristarchus of Samothrace (217-145 BC) wrote “Poseidon was very wrathful, and flooded the Thraisian plain, and submerged Attica under sea-water.” Bibliotheca, (III, 14, 1.)
Poseidonius (135-51 BC.) was Cicero’s teacher and wrote, “There were legends that beyond the Hercules Stones there was a huge area which was called “Poseidonis” or “Atlanta”
Diodorus Siculus (1stcent. BC), the Sicilian writer who has made a number of references to Atlantis.
Marcellus (c.100 BC) in his Ethiopic History quoted by Proclus [Zhirov p.40] refers to Atlantis as consisting of seven large and three smaller islands.
Statius Sebosus (c. 50 BC), the Roman geographer, tells us that it was forty days’ sail from the Gorgades (the Cape Verdes) and the Hesperides (the Islands of the Ladies of the West, unquestionably the Caribbean – see Gateway to Atlantis).
Timagenus (c.55 BC), a Greek historian wrote of the war between Atlantis and Europe and noted that some of the ancient tribes in France claimed it as their original home. There is some dispute about the French druids’ claim.
Philo of Alexandria (b.15 BC) also known as Philo Judaeus also accepted the reality of Atlantis’ existence.
Strabo (67 BC-23 AD) in his Geographia stated that he fully agreed with Plato’s assertion that Atlantis was fact rather than fiction.
Plutarch (46-119 AD) wrote about the lost continent in his book Lives, he recorded that both the Phoenicians and the Greeks had visited this island which lay on the west end of the Atlantic.
Pliny the Younger (61-113 AD) is quoted by Frank Joseph as recording the existence of numerous sandbanks outside the Pillars of Hercules as late as 100 AD.
Pomponius Mela (c.100 AD), placed Atlantis in a southern temperate region.
Tertullian (160-220 AD) associated the inundation of Atlantis with Noah’s flood.
Claudius Aelian (170-235 AD) referred to Atlantis in his work The Nature of Animals.
Arnobius (4thcent. AD.), a Christian bishop, is frequently quoted as accepting the reality of Plato’s Atlantis.
Ammianus Marcellinus (330-395 AD) [see Marcellinus entry]
Proclus Lycaeus (410-485 AD), a representative of the Neo-Platonic philosophy, recorded that there were several islands west of Europe. The inhabitants of these islands, he proceeds, remember a huge island that they all came from and which had been swallowed up by the sea. He also writes that the Greek philosopher Crantor saw the pillar with the hieroglyphic inscriptions, which told the story of Atlantis.
Cosmas Indicopleustes (6thcent. AD), a Byzantine geographer, in his Topographica Christiana (547 AD) quotes the Greek Historian, Timaeus (345-250 BC) who wrote of the ten kings of Chaldea [Zhirov p.40]. Marjorie Braymer[198.30] wrote that Cosmas was the first to use Plato’s Atlantis to support the veracity of the Bible.
There was little discussion of Atlantis after the 6th century until the Latin translation of Plato’s work by Marsilio Ficino was produced in the 15th century.
Marcellus was a Greek geographer, about whom very little is known. He wrote just before or just after the start of the Common Era, offering what is probably the earliest independent reference to Atlantis after Plato. He states that it consisted of ‘seven islands and also three others of immense extent’, the middle one of which was dedicated to the Atlantean god Poseidon. The magnitude of this island was ‘one thousand stadia ‘, and the inhabitants of it preserved the remembrance of their ancestors, or the Atlantic island that had existed there, and was truly prodigiously great; which for many periods had domination over all the islands in the Atlantic Sea.’
*The above passage from Marcellus’ now lost Ethiopic History, is cited by Proclus in his commentary on Timaeus.
One interpretation is that in this extract the Atlantic ‘Sea’ is the Tyrrhenian Sea and that the three ‘immense’ islands referred to are Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily! Outside the Aegean, the Central Mediterranean is the only location within striking distance of Athens that has three very large islands together with numerous smaller ones.*
Vassilios Paschos (1924-1993) was a Greek writer who was responsible for creating the Museum of Atlantis in Athens which lasted from 1982 until 1994. His work was then taken up by his son, Theodoros, with equal enthusiasm.
Paschos firmly believed that Atlantis had been located in the Atlantic, which he archipelago, with a large central island, stretching from opposite the mouth of the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. A report in the New York Times on August 29th 1979(b) outlined his theories which included the claim that it had a population of about 60 million and had colonies in Latin America and the Middle East. He further claimed that after the continent sank, around 6500 B.C., its colonies on the islands of Crete, Delos and Thera, formerly called Santorini, became what he calls the new Atlantis. This area was also largely destroyed by a volcanic eruption around 1450 B.C.
His map also produced in 1979, is claimed to be based on the writings of Homer, Plato and Marcellus. Interestingly, he shows a vast inland lake in North Africa.
Paschos is also opposed to the ‘ancient astronaut’ views of Erich von Däniken and published his reasons in a Greek language book and a shorter English translation. This shortened English version of his book is now available online(a).
(a) https://pdfslide.net/documents/atlantes-not-the-gods.html?page=1 or https://atlantipedia.ie/samples/archive-3350/ *
(b) Greek Backs Plato Theory On Where to Find Atlantis – The New York Times (archive.org) *