An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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    Joining The Dots

    I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato’s own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.Read More »

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Peter de Roo


QuetzalcoatlQuetzalcoatl is a Mesoamerican deity, whose name in the local Nahuatl language means ‘feathered serpent’. To the Aztecs he was a creator god and also had a parallel in Mayan culture to whom he was known as Kukulcan or Gucumatz.

For some centuries it has been generally thought that the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II initially believed that Hernán Cortés’ arrival to be the anticipated return of their deity Quetzalcoatl. The veracity of this story has come under increased attack, exemplified by a paper from Jordan Baker(b).

It is a commonly held belief among Mormons that Quetzalcoatl was Jesus Christ!

More widespread and a little less contentious is the idea that St. Thomas the Apostle was Quetzalcoatl(e). Within two decades of the Conquest, Quetzalcoatl was identified with St. Thomas, the wandering apostle. Since that time Quetzalcoatl has been described as a Viking, a Chinese Explorer, an extraterrestrial, Moses, and Jesus Christ. Similarly, most Mormons assume that the legends of Quetzalcoatl were simply distorted reminiscences of the visit of Christ to the New World as detailed in the Book of Mormon”(f).

An Indian website vehemently disputes the association of St. Thomas with Quetzalcoatl and for good measure also argues against the idea of St. Thomas in India!(g)

Harold T. Wilkins claimed [363.97] that Quetzalcoatl was from Atlantean Brazil.

Pierre Honoré claimed[0956] that these white gods had come from the region of Crete and had brought with them their script. As Linear A & B had both ceased being used by 1400 BC, Honoré surmised that visits of these deities had taken place before that date.

Lewis Spence also claimed an Atlantis connection for Quetzalcoatl, identifying the Mesoamerican deity as Atlas.

Daniel Fleck had some interesting thoughts on Quetzalcoatl(c).

Christian O’Brien has proposed that Quetzalcoatl had been one of the Sages who originated in Sumeria and travelled the world spreading advanced knowledge, including astronomy and megalith building [1797.117]!

>In 1900 Peter de Roo concluded, “that Quetzalcoatl was a Christian prelate who landed in America, accompanied by several inferior missionaries and a number of people from some part of Christian Europe, and that he established a settlement in the territories of the Mexican empire or, perhaps, on the eastern coasts of our United States, from whence they eventually extended their race and religion along the Mexican Gulf.” [890+.1.582]<

These ideas are just pure conjecture but are relatively tame compared with the wilder speculations of writers such as Peter Kolosimo, who claimed that the legends actually describe a race of white men who were born in spaceships and migrated to Atlantis; then after Atlantis was destroyed, they moved to the Americas to be treated as “white gods” by the “primitive earth-dwellers.”(a)

[890.1.] vol.1


(b) The Real Story of the ‘Bearded God’ Named Quetzalcoatl | Ancient Origins (

(c) *






The term ‘Continent’, is derived from the Latin terra continens, meaning ‘continuous land’ and in English is relatively new, not coming into use until the Middle English period (11th-16th centuries). Apart from that, it is sometimes used to imply the mainland. The Scottish island of Shetland is known by the smaller islands in the archipelago as Mainland, its old Norse name was Megenland, which means mainland. In turn, the people of Mainland, Shetland, will apply the same title to Britain, who in turn apply the term ‘continuous land’ or continent to mainland Europe. It seems that the term is relative.

The term has been applied arbitrarily by some commentators to Plato’s Atlantis, usually by those locating it in the Atlantic. Plato never called Atlantis a continent, but instead, as the sixteen instances below prove, he consistently referred to it as an island, probably the one containing the capital city of the confederation or alliance!

[Timaeus 24e, 25a, 25d  Critias 108e, 113c, 113d, 113e, 114a, 114b, 114e, 115b, 115e, 116a, 117c, 118b, 119c]


Several commentators have assumed that when Plato referred to an ‘opposite continent’ he was referring to the Americas, however, Herodotus, who flourished after Solon and before Plato, was quite clear that there were only three continents known to the Greeks, Europe, Asia and Libya [4.42]. In fact, before Herodotus, only two landmasses were considered continents, Europe and Asia, with Libya sometimes considered part of Asia. Furthermore, Anaximander drew a ‘map’ of the known world (left), a century after Herodotus, showing only the three continents, without any hint of territory beyond them.

>Nevertheless, there has always been a school of thought that supported the idea of the ancient Greeks having knowledge of the Americas. In 1900, Peter de Roo in History of America before Columbus [890] not only supported this contention but suggested further that ancient travellers from America had travelled to Europe [Vol.1.Chap 5].<

Daniela Dueck in her Geography in Classical Antiquity [1749] noted that “Hecataeus of  Miletus divided his periodos gês into  two  books,each devoted to one continent, Europe and Asia, and appended his description of Egypt to the book on Asia. In his time (late sixth century bce), there was accordingly still no defined identity for the third continent. But in the fifth century the three continents were generally recognized, and it became common for geographical compositions in both prose and poetry to devote separate literary units to each continent.”

So when Plato does use the word ‘continent’  [Tim. 24e, 25a, Crit. 111a] we can reasonably conclude that he was referring to one of these landmasses, and more than likely to either Europe or Libya (North Africa) as Atlantis was in the west, ruling out Asia.

Philo of Alexandria (20 BC-50 AD)  in his On the Eternity of the World(b) wrote “Are you ignorant of the celebrated account which is given of that most sacred Sicilian strait, which in old times joined Sicily to the continent of Italy?” (v.139). It would seem that in this particular circumstance the term ‘Sicilian Strait’ refers to the Strait of Messina, which is another example of how ancient geographical terms often changed their meaning over time (see Atlantic & Pillars of Herakles).

The name ‘Italy’ was normally used in ancient times to describe the southern part of the peninsula(d). Some commentators think that Philo was quoting  Theophrastus, Aristotle’s successor. This would push the custom of referring to Italy as a ‘continent’ back to the time of Plato, who clearly states (Tim. 25a) that the Atlantean alliance “ruled over all the island, over many other islands as well. and over sections of the continent.” (Wells). The next passage recounts their control of territory in Europe and North Africa, so it naturally begs the question as to what was ‘the continent’ referred to previously? I suggest that the context had a specific meaning, which, in the absence of any other candidate and the persistent usage over the following two millennia can be reasonably assumed to have been southern Italy.

Centuries later, the historian, Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) refers at least twice[1523.6.209/10] to the ‘continent of Italy’. More recently, Armin Wolf (1935- ), the German historian, when writing about Scheria relates(a) that “Even today, when people from Sicily go to Calabria (southern Italy) they say they are going to the “continente.” This continuing usage of the term is confirmed by a current travel site(c) and by author, Robert Fox in The Inner Sea [1168.141].

I suggest that Plato similarly used the term and can be seen as offering a more rational explanation for the use of the word ‘continent’ in Timaeus 25a, adding to the idea of  Atlantis in the Central Mediterranean.

Giovanni Ugas claims that the Mediterranean coast of southern Spain and France, along with the Italian peninsula constituted the ‘true continent’ (continente vero) referred to by Plato. (see below)


Furthermore, the text informs us that this opposite continent surrounds or encompasses the true ocean, a description that could not be applied to either of the Americas as neither encompasses the Atlantic, which makes any theory of an American Atlantis more than questionable.

Modern geology has definitively demonstrated that no continental mass lies in the Atlantic and quite clearly the Mediterranean does not have room for a sunken continent.

(a) Wayback Machine (


>(c) Four Ways to Do Sicily – Articles – Departures (<



Allen, J.M.

J.M. Allen, a Scotsman, worked in the 1970’s as an expert in satellite mapping with the British Royal Air Force. He was also a researcher of ancient measuring systems. The combination of these two interests led to a Jim Allenconviction that Plato’s Atlantis could be matched with a site in the Altiplano of Bolivia,which he outlined in his book Atlantis: The Andes Solution[0040].  Coincidentally, in the same year, Tony Morrison published an article entitled The Bolivian Atlantis(k-n).

Allen’s case is primarily based on the discovery of a vast canal network in the region together with aerial photography indicating concentric rings on the ground. His chosen site of Pampa Aullagus contains red, white and black rock reminiscent of the Atlantean masonry described by Plato.

In a TV documentary that focused on his theory it was suggested that the other nine kingdoms that comprised the Atlantean domain were probably to be found in South America.

Allen has also written Decoding Ezekiel’s Temple(a), which discusses ancient measuring methods.

In 2008 Allen delivered three papers to the 2nd Atlantis Conference[750] in Athens. All three papers are available online in pdf format(g)(h)(i).

2009 saw the publication of a second book, Atlantis: Lost Kingdom of the Andes[207] designed to reinforce his original thesis of Atlantis on the Altiplano of Bolivia. A trilogy was completed in 2010 with the publication of The Atlantis Trail (Kindle)which records his travels in the Andes in search of Atlantis(b). A small hotel is now being built in Pampa Aullagus to cater for increased number of tourists, no doubt in response to the work of Jim Allen.

In 2012, Allen published Atlantis and the Persian Empire, which is available to download as a free pdf file(c). This work is really just a reprise of his earlier writings. In this somewhat provocatively titled book he claims that Plato took the geography of the Atlantis story from the Andes, a theme he has been promoting since 1998.

However, he also maintains that the military history in Plato’s narrative was based on the war between Athens and the Persian Empire in the 5th century BC. Another of his more exotic claims is that the Sea Peoples were from South America. Allen devotes a considerable part of the book to ancient South American metrology and ends with a comparison of relative merits of the Altiplano versus Santorini as the inspiration behind Plato’s Atlantis story.

An extensive critique of Allen’s theories is offered by Timothy J.Stephany on his website(e). Nevertheless, although I consider Allen’s basic theory regarding Atlantis unacceptable, I find that part of his website showing images(f) of an extensive range of artefacts demonstrate most eloquently that South American civilisation was heavily influenced by distant cultures, both east and west.

Support for Allen’s views has continued into 2013(d), despite those elements of his theory that still conflict with Plato’s narrative: dating, dimensions and the improbability of an invasion of the eastern Mediterranean by a force from the west coast South America! However, I have found that in 1900, Peter de Roo devoted chapter seven of his History of America before Columbus[890.v1] to a review of the idea that at various times native Americans travelled eastward and among other things were responsible for the settling of Egypt!

Allen’s site offers an extensive article on the life and research of Posnansky, including excerpts from his work(j).





(e) See: Archive 2237











The Phoenicians or Canaanites are linguistically regarded as Semitic people, who among their many achievements are credited with giving us our alphabet (without vowels). Both Strabo and Herodotus claim that they originally came from Bahrain(p), but this origin is denied by the website(q). The correctness of these two ancient writers has been heavily criticised(r).

>Nevertheless, Dhani Irwanto in a 2019 article(ab) on his website insists that the Phoenicians originated somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Irwanto suggests “that perhaps the most significant contribution of the Phoenicians was an alphabetic writing system that became the root of the Western alphabets.” However, Irwanto has gone further and proposed that the Phoenicians also influenced the development of at least three of the scripts of South Sumatera in Indonesia!<

A recent essay explicitly claims that there never any such entity as ‘Phoenicia’! It also charts the manner in which ‘Phoenicians’ have been arbitrarily claimed as ancestors by distant nations, having been “enlisted in support of the nationalist histories of Lebanon, Britain and Ireland, and in some cases seriously distorted by them. Despite claims by various partisans of Lebanese, British and Irish nationalism to enlist the Phoenicians as their ancient progenitor, the Phoenicians never existed as a self-conscious community, let alone a nascent nation.” (y)

The Phoenicians flourished during the 1st and 2nd millennia BC. The late Joseph Robert Jochmans has suggested(c) that similarities between Phoenician names and those of the sons of Poseidon are more than coincidental. The descendants of the Phoenicians are still to be found in great numbers in modern Lebanon as well as elements of the Phoenician language. Contrary to popular belief the Maltese language is more related to Phoenician than Arabic(g). Similarly, in a mountainous and isolated northeast corner of Asia Minor, its people still speak Greek in a dialect known as Romeyka(l). Dr Ioanna Sitaridou of Queen’s College, Cambridge explains that ‘Although Romeyka can hardly be described as anything but a Modern Greek dialect, it preserves an impressive number of grammatical traits that add an Ancient Greek flavor to the dialect’s structure – traits that have been completely lost from other Modern Greek varieties.’ 

A more radical view of the Phoenicians has been expressed by Professor Josephine Quinn(o) who declared “the Phoenicians never existed as a self-conscious community, let alone a nascent nation.” In a lengthy article, she suggests that “‘Phoenician’ was just a generic label invented by ancient Greek authors for the Levantine sailors they encountered in their own maritime explorations. Although some of these Greek writers entertain a mild stereotype of these Phoenicians as rather cunning or tricksy, they never use the term as a description of a distinct ethnocultural community.”

The Phoenicians have been frequently identified as the Atlanteans of Plato’s narrative. Peter Dawkins’ Zoence Academy website has the following logic stretching gem – “Atlas also is known by other names, such as Enoch or The Phoenix, (hence Atlantis is Phoenicia, the land of the Phoenix)(v).

Keith Hunt noted on his website that  “Prof. George Rawlinson (1812-1902), in his “Story of Phoenicia,” tells us that Phoenicia derived its name from the forests of date or Phoenix palms which grew there in great luxuriance. So far so good; but whence did the Phoenix palm derive its name? Horapollo says: “A palm branch was the symbol of the Phoenix.” Yes, but what or who was the Phoenix? Sanchomathon, the Phoenician writer, states that “Phoenix was the first Phoenician.” Phoenix, then, was a man. Now, the word Phoenix is the Greek form of the Egyptian term “Pa-Hanok,” the house of Enoch. In Hebrew Enoch also is Hanok. Thus the mystery of that ancient race is solved: they were the sons and descendants of Enoch and of Noah and his three sons, who after the Flood started their westward march. Their descendants have kept it up since, settled, first north of the Persian Gulf in the bushlands of Mesopotamia, where they found a dusky race in occupation of the land, the ancient Sumerians, and from thence towards the Mediterranean.” (w)

James Nienhuis has recently identified Canaanites as Atlanteans(m)! The supporters of a Bronze Age date for the invasion of the Atlanteans see in the Phoenicians the powerful far-flung maritime civilisation described by Plato. However, this identification is in conflict with Plato’s statement that Atlantis or its influence extended as far as Tyrrhenia and Libya, whereas the Phoenicians had their PhoeneciaTradeRoutesoriginal base further east in the region of modern Lebanon and Israel. It also runs counter to Plato’s clear account of the Atlanteans attacking from their bases in the Central Mediterranean (Tim.25b & Crit.114c).

The Phoenicians were never unilaterally at war with Greece and/or Egypt, but their successors, the Carthaginians, whose main military campaigns were directed against the Roman Empire, did clash with the Greeks in Sicily.

It is accepted that the Phoenician commercial empire began with the three cities of Tyre, Sidon and Byblos. They expanded with the establishment of trading settlements along the Mediterranean coast of North Africa usually separated by a day’s rowing – somewhere between 30 to 60 miles.

It is claimed that the Phoenicians together with the Egyptians had an influence on the development of the Minoan culture(e).

Jonas Bergman recently presented a paper to the 2005 Melos Atlantis Conference on the subject of a Phoenician association with the Atlantis story. He outlined how Plato’s description of Atlantis was similar to the western colonies of the Phoenicians.

“Roderic O’Flaherty (Ruaidrhí Ó Flaithbheartaigh) was the first Irish scholar to suggest in his influential work Ogygia (1685) that the Phoenicians formed part of Irish ancestry. In the 18th century, O’Flaherty’s theory of the Phoenicians as progenitors of the Irish became very popular among the Protestant Ascendancy as well as Gaelic intellectuals.”(y)

Joaquín Lorenz Villanueva (1757-1837) was a Spanish historian, who moved to Dublin in later life, where he wrote Ibernia Phœnicea [1664] , which was an attempt to prove that Ireland had been colonised by the Phoenicians. This was translated into English and published by Henry O’Brien in 1833 as Phoenician Ireland [1663] .

Phoenicians in America

Some German writers in the 19th century such as Robert Prutz and later Jakob Kruger have advocated the idea that Phoenicians had discovered America, where he also placed Atlantis. However, in spite of the fact that there is widespread support for this concept and the even more extreme claim of Phoenicians in Australia, a Lebanese website (now offline), in the original home of Phoenicia, discounted all such claims for lack of evidence. Nevertheless, attention-seeking Rex Gilroy persists in promoting the idea of Phoenicians in Australia(h).

Noteworthy is the fact that the world’s only traditionally-built replica of a Phoenician ship made the trans-Atlantic crossing successfully, landing in Fort Lauderdale in February 2020(u).

A paper by Christian C. Karam, who believes that Atlantis had been located in the Atlantic has expanded on the idea of a Phoenician presence in Brazil three thousand years ago(n).

In 1886, the American novelist Ann Eliza Smith (1819-1905) published a fantasy novel(j), Atla, that tells the tale of the discovery of the Atlantis civilization by the Phoenicians.

In 1889, Enrique Onffroy de Thoron proposed[0901] that Atlantis had been Phoenician and situated in America. Indeed, claims still persist that the Phoenicians did reach South America(f). However, Onffroy was not the first to suggest this, as he was preceded by Robertus Comtaeus Nortmannus as early as 1644 and Georg Horn in 1652 . Arguably, the best-known exponent of the ‘Phoenicians in America’ school of thought was Bernardo Silva Ramos(i).

Nevertheless, John Denison Baldwin, writing in the late 19th century, was highly critical of the Phoenicians being early colonisers in America and after reviewing the arguments in favour of the idea, he concluded that “if it were true that the civilization found in Mexico and Central America came from people of the Phoenician race, it would be true also that they built in America as they never built anywhere else, that they established a language here radically unlike their own, and that they used a style of writing totally different from that which they carried into every other region occupied by their colonies. All the forms of alphabetical writing used at present in Europe and Southwestern Asia came directly or indirectly from that anciently invented by the race to which the Phoenicians belonged, and they have traces of a common relationship which can easily be detected. Now the writing of the inscriptions at Palenque, Copan, and elsewhere in the ruins has no more relatedness to the Phoenician than to the Chinese writing. It has not a single characteristic that can be called Phoenician any more than the language of the inscriptions or the style of architecture with which it is associated; therefore we can not reasonably suppose this American civilization was originated by people of the Phoenician race, whatever may be thought relative to the supposed ancient communication between the two continents and its probable influence on civilized communities already existing here.”(x) 

Jason Colavito has published articles written by Thomas Crawford Johnston in 1892(z). that he later developed into his 1913 book Did the Phoenicians Discover America [1902+] which is available online(aa).

In his 2009 book, Uncovering Archaeology[1612]Dennis Cassinelli outlines in some detail his Atlantis theory, which he locates in Central America(s). He suggests that Phoenicians landed in Central America and on seeing the Mayan cities concluded that they had landed in Atlantis. Not unexpectedly, Jason Colavito had a few words to say about this idea(t).

Hugh Fox (1932-2011) wrote of the early peoples of the Americas in his well-received Gods of the Cataclysm[1171]. The ‘cataclysm’ referred to is the biblical Deluge, in respect of which he follows the ideas of Velikovsky and the Christian catastrophist Donald W. Patten (1929-2014), who attributed Noah’s Flood to a close encounter with a massive extraterrestrial body around 2800 BC. Fox explicitly claims that before the Flood, transoceanic travel was commonplace, with the Chinese in America, Indian theology in the Mediterranean and that after the Flood we had the Phoenicians and Odysseus in America.

More recently, Andrew Collins has drawn attention to the extraction of purple dye from shellfish in a number of Central and South American countries [072.357], commenting that “quite clearly, the presence of purple dye processes in Costa Rica, Mexico and Ecuador, as well as in Peru, could well constitute positive proof of transoceanic contact with ancient seafarers from the eastern Mediterranean.” Collins also quotes from Thomas Crawford Johnston’s Did the Phoenicians Discover America [1902+]“There is probably no stronger evidence of the presence of the Phoenician in the New World than can be drawn from the use of dyes.” Collins also notes that similar sentiments were expressed by Wolfgang Born in a 1937 paper.

Collins has also noted [p361] how cotton was widely produced in the Americas before the Spanish conquest and that genetic studies have shown “that the variety of cotton cultivated in the New World from very earliest times is a hybrid form derived from an Old World species crossed with species native only to the American continent. Crawford Johnston also claimed that the compass had been invented by the Phoenicians!

Peter de Roo, writing in 1900 [890.1.195] stated “that the Phoenicians at some time landed on American soil could not well be denied in the presence of ancient reports; but as Gravier justly observes. if any vague account of their discoveries was kept, it reached us disfigured by Hellenic fanciful imagination.”

The late Sabatino Moscati, a renowned linguist and archaeologist, wrote a highly regarded work[505] on the subject of the Phoenicians. Additionally, there is an invaluable website(a) on offer from Salim George Khalaf, a modern Phoenician from Lebanon. This huge site with its 2,000 pages covers all aspects of Phoenician culture. This same site(b), drawing on the work of Ignatius Donnelly, identifies the kings of Atlantis with the Phoenician pantheon and claims that the gods of the Greeks were also the deified Atlantean kings.

Jacques Hébert, who places Atlantis in the Indian Ocean on the island of Socotra, suggests that the Atlanteans had a colony in the Eastern Mediterranean whose inhabitants developed into the Phoenicians!



(c) See:



(g) See: Archive 2852


(i)  (Portuguese)










(s) Lost continent of Atlantis rediscovered | Mesquite Local News (



(v) Wayback Machine (



(y) Phoenicia: an imaginary friend to nations in need of ancestors | Aeon Essays

(z) Phoenicians in America – JASON COLAVITO  

(aa) Did the Phoenicians discover America? : Johnston, Thomas Crawford : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive 

(ab) The Phoenicians | Atlantis in the Java Sea (*

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Fortunate Isles (L)

Fortunate Isles or Isles of the Blest is a term that has been applied to many islands over the ages but has been consistently described as being ‘in the west’. It is most commonly believed that the term was originally used to describe the Canary Islands, which in turn are considered by many to be remnants of Atlantis.

Marinus of Tyre, writing around 120 AD wrote of the Fortunate Isles as the western boundary of the known world and he was followed by Claudius Ptolemy (90-168 AD) who used the Fortunate Islands as the prime meridian for his Geographia(a) . However, although there is a general acceptance that the Canaries should be considered the Fortunate Isles, Ptolemy’s prime meridian runs more closely to the Cape Verde Islands!

Peter de Roo identifies Madeira and the Canaries as the Fortunate Islands in a map in his 1900 book History of America before Columbus[0890]..

Macaronesia which is derived from the Greek meaning ‘islands of the fortunate’ is a modern geographical term used to collectively describe the islands of Madeira, Azores, Canaries, Cape Verde and the Savage Islands. The term ‘Fortunate Isles’  is also applied to the Scilly Isles off the coast of Cornwall.

See:  HesperidesEugene Pégot-Ogier