Ogygia is the home of Calypso, referred to by Homer in Book V of his Odyssey. It is accepted by some as an island in the Mediterranean that was destroyed by an earthquake before the Bronze Age. The Greek writers Euhemerus in the 4th century BC and Callimachus who flourished in the 3rd century BC, identified the Maltese archipelago as Ogygia. Others have more specifically named the Maltese island of Gozo as Ogygia. Anton Mifsud has pointed out that Herodotus, Hesiod and Diodorus Siculus have all identified the Maltese Islands with Ogygia.
John Vella has added his support to the idea of a Maltese Ogygia in a paper published in the Athens Journal of History (Vol.3 Issue 1) in which he noted that “The conclusions that have emerged from this study are that Homer’s Ogygia is not an imaginary but a reference to and a record of ancient Gozo-Malta.”
Adding to the confusion, Aeschylus, the tragedian (523-456 BC) calls the Nile, Ogygian, and Eustathius, a Byzantine grammarian (1115-1195), claimed that Ogygia was the earliest name for Egypt(j).
Isaac Newton wrote a number of important works including The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended , in which he discussed a range of mythological links to Atlantis, including a possible connection with Homer’s Ogygia. There is now evidence that he concurred(c) with the idea of a Maltese Ogygia in The Original of Monarchies(d).
Strabo referred to “Eleusis and Athens on the Triton River [in Boiotia]. These cities, it is said, were founded by Kekrops (Cecrops), when he ruled over Boiotia (Boeotia), then called Ogygia, but were later wiped out by inundations.”(i) However, Strabo also declared that Ogygia was to be found in the ‘World Ocean’ or Atlantic (j). To say the least, these two conflicting statements require explanation.
Richard Hennig opted for Madeira following the opinion of von Humboldt. Spanuth argued strongly against either Madeira or the Canaries[0017.149] and gave his support to the Azores as the most likely location of Calypso’s Island.. Not unexpectedly the Azores, in the mid-Atlantic, have also been nominated as Ogygia by other 20th century researchers such as Sykes(e) and Mertz. In a 2019 paper(f), Gerard Janssen also placed Ogygia in the Azores, specifically naming the island of Saõ Miguel, which both Iman Wilkens [610.239] and Spanuth [015.226] also claimed. Spanuth added that until the 18th-century Saõ Miguel was known as umbilicus maris, which is equivalent to the Greek term, omphalos thallasses, used by Homer to describe Ogygia in chapter eight of the Odyssey!
Homer in his Odyssey identifies Ogygia as the home of Calypso. The Roman poet Catullus writing in the 1st century BC linked Ogygia with Calypso in Malta(g). However, Gozo’s claim is challenged by those supporting Gavdos in Crete(k). This opinion has been expounded more fully by Katerina Kopaka in a paper published in the journal Cretica Chronica(l), where her starting point is the claim that Gavdos had been previously known as Gozo!>Another Greek claimant is Lipsi(o) in the Dodecanese. We must also add Mljet in Croatia to the list of contenders claiming(p) to have been the home of Calypso. Mljet is also competing with Malta as the place where St. Paul was shipwrecked!
Mifsud quotes another Roman of the same period, Albius Tibullus, who also identified Atlantis with Calypso. Other Maltese writers have seen all this as strong evidence for the existence of Atlantis in their region. Delisle de Sales considered Ogygia to be between Italy and Carthage, but opted for Sardinia as the remains of Calypso’s island.
Other researchers such as Geoffrey Ashe and Andrew Collins have opted for the Caribbean as the home of Ogygia. Another site supports Mesoamerica as the location of Ogygia, which the author believes can be equated with Atlantis(h). An even more extreme suggestion by Ed Ziomek places Ogygia in the Pacific(b)!
In the Calabria region of southern Italy lies Capo Collone (Cape of Columns). 18th century maps(m) show two or more islands off the cape with one named Ogygia offering echoes of Homer’s tale. Respected atlases as late as 1860 continued to show a non-existent island there. It seems that these were added originally by Ortelius, inspired by Pseudo-Skylax and Pliny(n) . Additionally, there is a temple to Hera Lacinia at Capo Colonne, which is reputed to have been founded by Hercules!
By way of complete contrast, both Felice Vinci and John Esse Larsen have proposed that the Faeroe Islands included Ogygia. In the same region, Iceland was nominated by Gilbert Pillot as the location of Ogygia and Calypso’s home. Ilias D. Mariolakos, a Greek professor of Geology also makes a strong case(a) for identifying Iceland with Ogygia based primarily on the writings of Plutarch. He also supports the idea of Minoans in North America.
A more recent suggestion has come from Manolis Koutlis , who, after a forensic examination of various versions of Plutarch’s work, in both Latin and Greek, also placed Ogygia in North America, specifically on what is now the tiny island of St. Paul at the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada, a gulf that has also been proposed as the location of Atlantis.
Jean-Silvain Bailly also used the writings of Plutarch to sustain his theory of Ogygia, which he equated with Atlantis having an Arctic location[0926.2.299], specifically identifying Iceland as Ogygia/Atlantis with the islands of Greenland, Nova Zembla and Spitzbergen as the three islands equally distant from it and each other.
>The novelist Samuel Butler (1835-1902) identified Pantelleria as Calypso’s Island, but the idea received little support(q).<
However, Ireland has been linked with Ogygia by mainly Irish writers. In the 17th century historian, Roderick O’Flaherty(1629-1718), wrote a history of Ireland entitled Ogygia, while in the 19th century, Margaret Anne Cusack (1832-1899) also wrote a history in which she claimed a more explicit connection. This was followed in 1911 by a book by Marion McMurrough Mulhall in which she also quotes Plutarch to support the linking of Ireland and Ogygia. More recently, in The Origin of Culture Thomas Dietrich promotes the same view, but offers little hard evidence to support it.
This matter would appear to be far from a resolution.
(c) See: Archive 3439
(e) ‘Where Calypso may have Lived’ (Atlantis, 5, 1953, pp 136-137)
(g) Lib. iv, Eleg. 1
(i) Strabo, Geography 9. 2. 18
(n) See: Note 5 in Armin Wolf’s Wayback Machine (archive.org)
Ireland according to James Bramwell [0195.181], was first identified with Atlantis as early as circa 1250 AD in the Speculum Regale (The King’s Mirror)(g) which was written in Norway. Apart from that, Ireland was less controversially was first suggested in the 18th century as a possible location of Atlantis by the English geologist John Whitehurst. The idea lay dormant for over a century until the early part of the 20th century when George H. Cooper  suggested that Cork harbour fits Plato’s description of the harbour of Atlantis. Fifty years later an official guidebook claimed that one of the outposts of Atlantis was to be found on the west coast of Galway. As a nation famed for its storytelling we have never let truth stand in the way of a good tale.
The mythical Hy-Brasil was shown west of Ireland on maps as early as 1325 and incredibly, was not removed from naval charts until 1865. The UK’s Daily Star (21/5/16) with typical tabloid accuracy told its readers(f) that Hy-Brasil was off the coast of ‘Britain’!
In 1976, Steiner Books, New York, republished a book under the misleading title of Atlantis in Ireland. One may be excused for viewing this as a blatant case of exploitative opportunistic publishing. The original text was written by Henry O’Brien and published in London (1834) as The Round Towers of Ireland. Apart from being written in the rather turgid English of the period, there is not a single reference to Plato or Atlantis to be found in that volume.
Diodorus Siculus, in a well-known passage (Bk 1.158), that is claimed by some as a reference to Ireland(h), describes it as ”an island in the ocean over against Gaul, to the north, and not inferior in size to Sicily, the soil of which is so fruitful that they mow there twice in the year.” Some consider this to be reminiscent of the Platonic reference to the two crops a year gathered in Atlantis. However, I am more inclined to think that Diodorus was referring to Britain. Diodorus also mentions the Irish singular temples of ’round form’, however, this seems too early to be a reference to the round towers and more likely to be an allusion to the astronomically aligned mounds such as Newgrange, Dowth and Knowth in Ireland or Stonehenge in Britain!
Bob Quinn has written and lectured on possible ancient cultural links between North Africa and Ireland. This idea may have been reinforced by a number of 19th century reports that visitors from North Africa were able to understand the Irish language!(i)
In 1923, Conor MacDari, who’s eccentricity was comparable with that of Comyns Beaumont, published Irish Wisdom Preserved in the Bible and Pyramids , which among a litany of bizarre claims, proposed that Atlantis had been located in Ireland.
When Ignatius Donnelly came to the subject of Ireland, he attributed an Atlantean origin to so the various waves of settlers that came to the post-glacial island. He substitutes evidence with assertion and speculation. Donnelly further claimed that the famous round towers of Ireland are proof that the people of Atlantis settled in Ireland.
More recently Ulf Erlingsson, a Swedish geographer, insisted that with a claimed probability
factor of 99.98%, that his interpretation of Plato’s text demonstrates that Ireland was home to Atlantis . The subtitle of the book, Mapping the Fairy Land, is probably a good guide on how seriously to take this book, particularly as it is by an author who hails from the land of the original Trolls.
In March 2008, it was reported that a Dr. Jac Hummer had mounted an expedition to South America with the intention of discovering the remains of St. Patrick under a pyramid there. But it gets better – he then explains that such a discovery will prove his theory that Ireland is Plato’s lost island of Atlantis!I can only conclude that this is a hoax story.
Irish legend speaks of the Domnu, people of the deep sea from a land that disappeared beneath the waves. However, Ireland is still above the waves and in contrast to Plato’s statement that even in his time the location of Atlantis was marked by impassable shallows. Since sea levels have generally risen only slightly since Plato lived, he cannot have been referring to Ireland.
John Douglas Singer in his slender book, Ireland’s Mysterious Lands and Sunken Cities , has carried out an investigation into the ancient legends of Ireland and their possible connection with Plato’s Atlantis. He points out that Ireland has the greatest number of legends relating to sunken cities and islands! He draws on the works of Egerton Sykes and Lewis Spence among others.
Ireland was also nominated by Thomas Dietrich as an early colony of Atlantis in The Origin of Culture.
Somewhat incongruously, the website of extremist, Dejan Lucic, has an extensive and fully referenced article entitled The Irish Origins of Civilisation(a), including not a few controversial sources such as, Comyns Beaumont, Ralph Ellis and John Gordon.
Around 2010, a father and son team Francis J.Ward & Francis P.Ward seeminglly published their first book The Truth Against the World-Red Phoenix Rising & the Return of the Thunder Gods , in which they express the view that “Atlantis was a global, maritime empire based in Ireland”.(c)
In 2013, Skender Hushi informed the world that Albanian had been the original language of Ireland and Atlantis! Another equally odd claim came from Zoltán Simon who proposed that the ancient Hun Calendar came from Ireland [0549.147]!
Evidence for the earliest humans in Ireland is now dated as 10,500 BC.(d)(e)
In July 2020, Erlingsson’s Atlantis in Ireland theory was recycled by a website(j) with the title of ‘Keystone University’. It promises to build a world-class enterprise centre in Ireland in 2025. The site implies that Keystone has the support of Brian Tracy, an American self-development speaker. While Keystone seems to focus on business success and personal development, it incongruously includes a study of Atlantis a la Erlingsson as part of its course! It has published two papers on the Ancient Origins website(k)(l).
>The Atlantis claims of Keystone were found earlier in January on YouTube and while it ostensibly appeared to add the gravitas of an educational institution to the subject of Atlantis, it was only a smokescreen for an attempt to intice people to sign up for overpriced seminars. Jason Colavito drew attention(m) to this at the time and to the more recent articles on Ancient Origins(n).<
The Identity of the Atlanteans has produced a range of speculative suggestions nearly as extensive as that of the proposed locations for Plato’s lost island. However, it is highly probable that we already know who the Atlanteans were, but under a different name.
The list below includes some of the more popular suggestions and as such is not necessarily exhaustive. While researchers have proposed particular locations for Atlantis, not all have identified an archaeologically identified culture to go with their chosen location. The problem is that most of the places suggested have endured successive invasions over the millennia by different peoples.
It would seem therefore that the most fruitful approach to solving the problem of identifying the Atlanteans would be to first focus on trying to determine the date of the demise of Atlantis. This should reduce the number of possible candidates, making it easier to identify the Atlanteans.
A final point to consider is that the historical Atlanteans were a military alliance, and as such may have included more than one or none of those listed here. The mythological Atlanteans, who included the five sets of male twins and their successors would be expected to share a common culture, whereas military coalitions are frequently more disparate.
Basques: William Lewy d’Abartiague, Edward Taylor Fletcher
Maltese: Anton Mifsud, Francis Xavier Aloisio, Kevin Falzon, Bibischok, Joseph Bosco, David Calvert-Orange, Giorgio Grongnet de Vasse, Albert Nikas, Joseph S. Ellul, Francis Galea, Tammam Kisrawi, Charles Savona-Ventura, Hubert Zeitlmair.
Maya: Robert B. Stacy-Judd, Charles Gates Dawes, Colin Wilson, Adrian Gilbert, L. M. Hosea, Augustus le Plongeon, Teobert Maler, Joachim Rittstieg, Lewis Spence, Edward Herbert Thompson, Jean-Frédérick de Waldeck,
Minoans: K.T. Frost, James Baikie, Walter Leaf, Edwin Balch, Donald A. Mackenzie, Ralph Magoffin, Spyridon Marinatos, Georges Poisson, Wilhelm Brandenstein, A. Galanopoulos, J. G. Bennett, Rhys Carpenter, P.B.S. Andrews, Edward Bacon, Willy Ley, J.V. Luce, James W. Mavor, Henry M. Eichner, Prince Michael of Greece, Nicholas Platon, N.W. Tschoegl, Richard Mooney, Rupert Furneaux, Martin Ebon, Francis Hitching, Charles Pellegrino, Rodney Castleden, Graham Phillips, Jacques Lebeau, Luana Monte, Fredrik Bruins, Gavin Menzies, Lee R. Kerr, Daniel P. Buckley.
>Sea Peoples: Wilhelm Christ, Jürgen Spanuth, Spyridon Marinatos, Rainer W. Kühne, John V. Luce, Theodor Gomperz, Herwig Görgemanns , Tony O’Connell, Sean Welsh, Thorwald C. Franke, Werner Wickboldt.<
The Formorians are reputed to have been the earliest occupiers of Ireland after the last Ice Age, according to the Book of Invasions(e). Although the etymology of their name is uncertain a commonly accepted theory is that the term Formorian is supposed to be derived from ‘Firmorrichi’ meaning ‘men of Morocco’ conforming to a tradition that they came from North Africa. Thomas Dietrich is happy to accept the Moroccan connection as he considers early Morocco to have been a colony of Atlantis and so by extension to have brought Atlantean culture to Ireland.
Ignatius Donnelly in Part V, chapter 7(f) of his now rather dated 1882 book, Atlantis: The Antediluvian World also designates Ireland as a former colony of Atlantis. He also disputes the generally accepted etymology for the name ‘Formorian’, preferring to adopt the views of Col. Francis Wilford to support his contention that it means ‘from the west’, which according to Donnelly could only be a reference to Atlantis in the Atlantic.
However, the Irish Annals of Clonmacnoise(g) claim that the Formorians were descended from Noah’s youngest son Cham who according to the Bible was born 100 years before the Flood (Genesis 7).
The Ancient Pages.com website had an article in July 2017 with the misleading headline of “Formorians: Supernatural Race Of Giants Who Came From Atlantis”, without a single mention of Atlantis in the body of the text(h). Readers can draw their own conclusions about the reliability of A. Sutherland, the author.
Ronan Coghlan has suggested that “the CHAM referred to in the Annals of Clonmacnoise is not SHEM but HAM, noting that in the Vulgate translation of the Bible, Ham is CHAM”!
Robert Stacy-Judd[0607.237] followed Donnelly and accepted that the ancient Irish annals(b) describe the Formorians coming to Ireland ‘before the Deluge’ and having a fleet of sixty ships and a strong army. He also quotes the Annals of Clonmacnois which records that the Formorians ‘were descended from Cham, the son of Noeh and lived by piracy and spoil of other nations and were in those days very troublesome to the whole world.’ Stacy-Judd also speculates that Noah and his sons were Atlanteans!
The reliability of the Irish annals as historical documents is highly questionable, particularly when dealing with very early events.
James I. Nienhuis seems to have adapted some of Dietrich’s ideas for his Dancing from Genesis blog (Nov. 2007)(a) , although he does not seem to be clear on the difference between Ireland and Britain, as he places Newgrange in the United Kingdom and has the Formorians settling in Britain rather than Ireland!
The excellent Migration and Diffusion website(c) has a paper by Stuart L. Harris who puts more flesh on the bones of the idea of the Formorian invasion of Ireland from Galicia in Spain, which he dates at 2186 BC. However, Harris’ claims that “the Formorians spoke and wrote in Finnish” and that “until about 1200 BC, Ireland spoke Finnish, not Gaelic”, reflecting his obsession with the ancient Finns. Such a claim would be guaranteed the raise the eyebrows, if not the hackles, of many Irish academics.
Dale Drinnon has an extensive article on the Formorians in his Frontiers of Anthropology website(d).
(d) See: Archive 3570
(e) See: Archive 3628
Morocco was known in ancient times as Maurusia and Mauretania and mentioned by both Herodotus and Strabo. Herodotus referred to the inhabitants as Atalantes. It is the only African country with a coast on both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Its capital is Rabat and the largest city is Casablanca.
The very early human occupation of Morocco was confirmed in 2007 when beads were discovered in a cave in Eastern Morocco dated to around 80000 BC. A few years earlier a prehistoric city, dated to 13000 BC, was discovered in Western Sahara controlled by Morocco.
This has now been overshadowed by a 2017 report(c) that the remains of early relatives of homo sapiens had been discovered in Morocco and dated to between 300,000 and 350,000 years ago.
>The Mzora Stone Circle is a huge megalithic monument in Morocco and is reputed to be the largest stone ellipse in the world. However, there are many other megalithic monuments in the country and across the Maghreb generally. Over twenty years ago Natalya Marquand published a study of ‘Megaliths and Stone Circles of Morocco and Their Relation to Those of the Mediterranean and Europe’. In conclusion, she noted that “The relations between the megaliths of Morocco may not be directly related to those in the rest of North Africa, and may be related to those in Spain. We can never really be sure, but in some way, all the megaliths of the Euro-Mediterranean region are connected (and they even extend further, into sub-Saharan Africa) connecting people, beliefs and culture the whole region over,” (Marquand’s paper is no longer available online).<
Morocco was suggested as the possible location of Atlantis as early as 1868 by D.A. Godron. A few years later E.F Berlioux and Gustave Lagneau, a French anthropologist adopted the same idea. They were followed by a number of other commentators such as A.F.R. Knötel and Eduardo Saavedra, but the theory seems to have had little support beyond the 1920s.
However, the speculations of these researchers were replaced at the end of the 20th century with a more scientific approach by writers such as Jonas Bergman. He is considered by many to be today’s leading exponent of the ‘Atlantis in Morocco’ school of thought. His ideas can be read on an Atlantis Rising forum(a). Bergman bases his theory on a topographical comparison of Morocco with Plato’s text.
Originally, Bergman had opted for the ancient city of Lixus as the site of Atlantis but later changed his opinion and now favours a location near Rabat that had been an ancient Phoenician colony on the river Bou Regreg, called Salé, Sala or Chellah. Bergman presented three papers to the 2005 Atlantis Conference outlining his theories[629 .473-506].
Erick Wright, another regular contributor to Atlantis Rising forums, had supported Bergman’s idea of Atlantis in Morocco. However, he now finds that his investigations have forced him to review his position and has opted for a location in southern Turkey.
Georgeos Diaz-Montexano favours the region on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar as the original realm of Atlantis with the location of the capital city now submerged. In a similar manner, Thomas Dietrich in The Origin of Culture considers Morocco an Atlantean colony.
More recent support for a Moroccan Atlantis was presented in a paper presented to the 2008 Atlantis Conference in Athens, by the late M. Hübner an independent German researcher, which offered circumstantial evidence for the existence of Atlantis in the southern Moroccan region of Souss-Massa-Draâ. His theory is supported with a website(b) that includes a number of video clips and a 32-page synopsis of his book, Atlantis? Ein Indiezienbeweis, which has yet to be published in English.
In 2019, Stefan Bittner joined the ‘Atlantis in Morocco Club’ with the publication of Atlantis – wissenschaftlich analysiert . Thorwald C. Franke has now written an interesting review(d) (in English) of Bittner’s 500-page book. Translating from the original German, Franke reveals that Bittner places Atlantis around 1650 BC and locates it “in the valley of the river Oued Laou, the Wadi Laou in northeast Morocco, which flows into the Mediterranean Sea at a small town of the same name.”