Motya is a small island off the west coast of Sicily between Trapani and Marsala. It has been a Phoenician, and later Carthaginian, island city from around 700 BC.>Recent archaeological work there has shown that the island had settlements from 2000 BC.(b)<
It has been nominated by Federico Bardanzellu as the location of the Pillars of Hercules.(a)
Massimo Rapisarda is an Italian physicist from Catania in Sicily, who has opted for the as the location of the Pillars of Heracles and that Atlantis itself was Sicily with its capital situated in the vicinity of Marsala on the western end of Sicily. This city is located on the site of Lilybaeum, the main Carthaginian stronghold on the island.
Rapisarda is somewhat sceptical regarding the details of Plato’s story, but accepts that it might have been compatible with an existence in the Central Mediterranean at the end of the last Ice Age. (see his map)
He had a website(a) with a section on Atlantis to which he originally had added an English translation. The link now brings you to an archived copy of the original text.
In 2015, Rapisarda published a paper entitled A Scientific Approach to Plato’s Atlantis. This extensive document is an illustrated and fully referenced product in which he offers a wealth of evidence to support a literal acceptance of Plato’s early date for Atlantis. The paper, in English, can be freely downloaded(b).
>Rapisarda published a further paper, in English, in 2019, with the inviting title of Atlantis: A Grain of Truth Behind the Fiction? (c)<
The Egadi Islands are located off the west coast of Sicily and were the location for a naval battle in 241 BC that resulted in the defeat of the Carthaginians by the Romans which brought an end to the First Punic War.
At the height of the last Ice Age, the islands were connected by a landbridge to the Sicilian mainland, because of the lower sea level(c). They have been suggested by Andis Kaulins(a) as the location of the kingdom of Gadirus, who was the twin brother of Atlas, the first king of Atlantis. Until recently, it was generally accepted that the realm of Gadirus had been situated in the vicinity of modern Cadiz, known in ancient times as Gades. This idea was enhanced by its proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, deemed by many to be the site of the Pillars of Heracles.
However, there has been growing support for the idea of the Pillars, referred to by Solon/Plato, being situated in the Central Mediterranean, at either the Strait of Messina or the Strait of Sicily, the latter supported by Andis Kaulins, who goes further and suggests a link between Tartessos and ancient Carthage across the Strait in Tunisia.
More recently, Albert Nikas has argued cogently(b) for placing the Pillars of Heracles in the vicinity of the Egadi Islands and identifying them with Plato’s Gades and then concluded that Malta had been ‘the island in front of the Pillars’ and was Atlantis.
>Ernle Bradford made one passing reference to Atlantis in Ulysses Found [1011.57] which may be of interest to supporters of a Central Mediterranean Atlantis. When discussing the Egadi Islands off the west coast of Sicily he describes Levanzo, the smallest of the group as being “once joined to Sicily, and the island was surrounded by a large fertile plain. Levanzo, in fact, was joined to more than Sicily. Between this western corner of the Sicilian coast and the Cape Bon peninsula in Tunisia there once lay rich and fertile valleys-perhaps, who knows, long lost Atlantis?” This would seem to be close to the views of Alberto Arecchi and others.<
If the name of the Egadi Islands is more than just evocative of Plato’s Gades and since Gades has also been associated with Erytheia in the story of the ‘Trials of Hercules’, then if Izabol Apulia’s Map Mistress website is correct in locating Erytheia(d) between Pantelleria and the Egadi Islands it would confine all the ‘Trials’ in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean, consequently, locating the Pillars of Heracles somewhere in that region.
Opposite the Egadi Islands on the mainland of Sicily is the port of Marsala, which has also been identified, by Massimo Rapisarda, as another possible location for Atlantis.