Croatia has been mentioned several times within these pages. Apart from being the birthplace of Rudolf Steiner and Flavio Barbiero, it also offers a serious rival to Malta as the place where St. Paul was shipwrecked, namely on the island of Mljet! Coincidentally, Mljet is also claimed by some as the home of Calypso’s Ogygia(a).
Vedran Sinožic in his book Naša Troja (Our Troy) . “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.”
Pero Metkovic recently announced that he had identified a number of pyramids in the vicinity of Dubrovnik. Not content with that revelation, he also claims to have located Atlantis nearby(b). For good measure, he supports the idea of Croatians in America in ancient times!
When the sunken ruins of a city, dated to around 1500 BC were discovered in 2015, near Croatia’s oldest city, Zadar, it generated the usual flurry of Atlantis speculation. There was a media report(c) in early 2017 in which treasure hunter Mark Kempf claimed to have discovered the remains of Atlantis 30 miles off the coast of Croatia.
So, with links to St. Paul, along with Ogygia, Troy, Atlantis and a collection of Egyptian-style pyramids within its territory, it has got to be the holiday destination of all time.
>Nevertheless, although it cannot be directly linked to Atlantis, I feel obliged to add a May 2023 report that a “prehistoric road was discovered under layers of sea mud at the sunken Neolithic site of Soline, and helped connect the Hvar settlement to the now-isolated island of Korcula in Croatia(i). The ‘road’ has been dated to around 5000 BC.<
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) .
Iceland has occasionally entered the Atlantis debates. Jean Silvain Bailly and more recently Gilbert Pillot have identified Iceland with Ogygia. Some have linked the island with Thule or Hyperborea, while others see it as a remnant of a transatlantic landbridge. Harry Dale Huffman has similar ideas but believes that the landbridge also held Atlantis.
>A recent commentator, Johan Nygren, also considered Iceland, when occupied by Cro-Magnon Man, to have been home of Atlantis(a)(b). This he followed with another paper drawing attention to the similarities between a map of Greenland and the famous 17th-century map of Atlantis published by Athanasius Kircher. More confusion was caused by an earlier document(c) in which he decided that South America was Atlantis and has since had it removed from the internet!<
Another recent advocate for an Icelandic location is June Austin in a lengthy blog, which wanders all over the place, including the claim that a disproportionately large number of Icelandic people have psychic abilities(d). Sadly, she offers nothing but speculation to support her theory.
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 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 manifestation 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.
>Philipp Clüver spent some years surveying Italy and Sicily and concluded in his Sicilia Antiqua (1619) that the Homeric locations associated with the travels of Odysseus were to be found in Italy and Sicily(g) and that Homer identified Calypso’s Island (Ogygia) as Malta.<
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 offers 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 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.
The Faroe Islands are a small archipelago in the North Atlantic between Norway and Iceland. It has been proposed that they contained the island of Ogygia, the home of Atlas’ daughter Calypso. Plutarch recorded that Ogygia was five days sailing from Britain and has been incorporated into the theories of a number of writers supporting a North Sea Atlantis, such as Felice Vinci and later John Esse Larsen.
*Larsen contends that Odysseus means ‘Isse from the island Od’, a former Danish island, which is now a peninsula. In fact he interprets Homer’s Odyssey as a description of a trip around the Baltic Sea(c). Furthermore the Pillars of Herakles have also been identified by Larsen with the village of Eide on the Faroes(a).*
In November 2018, I was directed to a German website(b) which also refers to the Faroe Islands as having an Atlantean connection, but in this case, Jan, its author, proposes that Atlantis was located between Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land explaining that “It looks like our Earth is Atlantis, and in the northern part of the Earth was hyperborea, Greenland might have been Mu, and Antarctica was Lemuria. It was a pole shift that caused Atlantis to go down. At that time Spitzbergen was probably at the height of the Canary Islands and the Antarctic must have been located at the height of today’s Philippines.”
*(b) https://ich-fand-atlantis.org/atlantis/ (link broken Sept. 2019)
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.
>In addition, he identified the town of Bergen, on Germany’s largest island of Rügen, as Troy(c).
Larsen has also generously given Ireland a place in the Odyssey naming the Co. Donegal hillfort Grianan an Aileach as the home of Circe! Pure speculation.<
>Larsen has an English language website(a) where many of his ideas are outlined, including an identification of the Pillars of Heracles with two huge sea stacks off the Faroe Islands and Atlantis with Watland in the Wadden Sea region of the North Sea(b), Kirsten Bang had suggested the same location for Atlantis a few years earlier.<
Philipp Clüver (Philippi Cluverii) (1580-1622) was a Polish geographer and historian. In his Introductio in Universam Geographiam  which was published posthumously from 1624 on, he considered Atlantis to have been an island in the Atlantic and had been a stepping stone to America. A 1711 edition of his book is available online(a).
Clüver spent some years surveying Italy and Sicily and concluded in his Sicilia Antiqua (1619) that the Homeric locations associated with the travels of Odysseus were to be found in Italy and Sicily(b) and that Homer identified Calypso’s Island (Ogygia) as Malta.
Wilhelm Christ (1831-1906) was a 19th century German scholar who was possibly the first to suggest that the invasion of the Sea Peoples, recorded by the Egyptians, reflected the Atlantean attack in Plato’s narrative. In an 1886 monograph(a) he predated the central thesis of Jürgen Spanuth by nearly a century. Jason Colavito has offered an English translation of part of Christ’s text(c).
Although Spanuth includes Christ in his bibliography he does not credit him with the original idea in the body of the text.*Similarly, Jason Colavito has also accused Ilias Mariolakos of borrowing from Christ without attribution(d)*
(a) https://archive.org/stream/abhandlungenbaye17bayeuoft#page/450/mode/2up (p451-512)(German)
Marion McMurrough Mulhall (? -1922) was the wife of a famous Irish statistician, Michael George Mulhall (1838-1900) (his Dictionary of Statistics(b) was last published in 1970). She has written a number books, particularly about South America, but in 1911 she published Beginnings or Glimpses of Vanished Civilizations. In this interesting, if rather dated work of 136 pages, the author suggests that “The gods and goddesses of the ancient Greeks, the Phoenicians, the Hindoos, and the Scandinavians were simply the kings, queens, and heroes of Atlantis, and the acts attributed to them in mythology are a confused recollection of real historical events. The mythology of Egypt and Peru represented the original religion of Atlantis, which was sun worship. The oldest colonies from Atlantis were probably the Akkadians and Sumerians, who are thought as yet, according to Messrs.King and Halpto have been the original founders of the Babylonian and Egyptian civilization. The implements of the ” Bronze Age ” of Europe were derived from Atlantis. The Atlantians were also the first manufacturers of iron, and we know that Parthelon, when he visited Ireland, came in iron vessels of occidental blackness.”
The author discusses a number of aspects of ancient history including Atlantic landbridges. She argues that Ireland was Plutarch’s Ogygia and also comments on Lemuria and Easter Island. The full text can be read online(a).
Ilias D. Mariolakos is professor emeritus of Geology and Palaeontology at Athens University. In 2010 he presented a paper(a) to the 12th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece, in which he concluded that the prehistoric Greeks were quite familiar with the Atlantic and its Gulf Stream. He also identifies Iceland as Ogygia, based on his interpretation of the writings of Plutarch.
>Mariolakos focussed on Plutarch’s comment that “An isle, Ogygia, lies far out at sea, a run of five days off from Britain as you sail westward” and from that he calculated that “Accepting that vessels similar to Argo (the ship of the Argonauts), could develop speeds approximately 4 – 5 miles/hour, then the distance traveled within 5 days must have been in the order of 5 x 24 = 120 hours, 120 x 4 m/h = 480 miles ? 900 km. According to these, and using a simple school atlas, Ogygia should correspond to present-day Iceland.”<
Mariolakos further maintains that the ancient Greeks exploited the Michigan copper mines to supply the needs of their bronze industry. Their expertise was accumulated between the beginning or end of the 3rd millennium BC until shortly after the conclusion of the Trojan War towards the close of the Mycenaean period at the end of the 1st millennium BC. The onset of the ‘Dark Ages’ saw this maritime knowledge ‘forgotten’ until the ensuing Archaic Period when Greek civilisation revived.
Mariolakos bases his conclusions on the works of Homer, Hesiod, Orphic poetry and Plutarch as well as the 20th-century writer Henriette Mertz.