Tracking down the army and navy of Atlantis

A two part solution to the Atlantis mystery
Since there is no 100% solution that relates a time, place and events to Atlantis in the exact manner Plato described, we should consider, as sugested by the historian Robert Graves (The Greek Myths) the possibility that the story of Atlantis is a composite story incorporating elements from other legends which have been grafted onto the Atlantis geographical description.

sea peoples ships
The Trojan War was the beginning of a series of wars which ultimately led to the destruction of the Persian empire at the hands of Alexander.

Pages one to three of this site demonstrate that the geographic description of Atlantis belongs to South America, particularly Bolivia, the Altiplano, Lake Poopo and the circular formation at Pampa Aullagas.

But what of the horses, chariots, the fleet of 1200 ships etc which Plato said came from Atlantis? And what of the date of 9,000 years before Solon, when modern archaeology tells us there was no ancient Athens and no ancient Egypt?

In the first part of Plato's story, he concentrates mainly on the geographical appearance and location of Atlantis, which pretty much corresponds 100% to what we today call South America. But then he goes on to describe the distribution of allotments on the rectangular plain which surrounded the city, attributing to each allotment certain military dispositions and to the city political and military dispositions with guards and spearmen and including a racecourse for horses. So were these originally part of the Atlantis description which he supposedly inherited from Solon, or added on by Plato himself?

The plain measured 3,000 x 2,000 stades and was divided into allotments of 10 x 10 stades making 60,000 allotments all told each under its respective leader.

"So it was ordained that each such leader should provide for war the sixth part of a war-chariots equipment, so as to make up 10,000 chariots in all, together with two horses and mounted men; [119b] also a pair of horses without a car, and attached thereto a combatant with a small shield and for charioteer the rider who springs from horse to horse; and two hoplites; and archers and slingers, two of each; and light-armed slingers and javelin-men, three of each; and four sailors towards the manning of twelve hundred ships."

It is this introduction of chariots with horses and a fleet of 1200 triremes which is completely out of place with the Bolivian Altiplano because at the time of the Conquest there were no horses in the Americas and the wheel was not used, although in fact the horse originated in the Americas and stone wheels have been found at Tiwanaku.

All the same, as far as the story goes, it seems more than likely that these were additions of Plato, no one would expect that Atlantis had an army which included 120,000 hoplites because these were specifically soldiers from a period much later than any projected date for the end of Atlantis, from around the period of the Persian wars against Athens, 499-448 BC, as were the Triremes. Although triremes were used by both sides in the Persian wars, only Greeks used hoplites so hoplites could just be a general name meaning soldiers and Plato did say in the beginning that he used Greek names to make the story more acceptable to his readership.

greek persian soldiers So just how big was this army of Atlantis?
Let's see... 60,000 allotments with 1 x leader = 60,000 leaders providing
10,000 chariots
20,000 horses with
20,000 mounted men
20,000 horses without car
10,000 combattants with small shield
10,000 charioteers being riders who spring from horse to horse
120,000 hoplites
120,000 archers
120,000 slingers
180,000 light armed slingers
180,000 javelin-men
240,000 sailers
1200 ships, each crew was therefore 200 sailers, correct for a trireme.

That comes to a force of
10,000 combattants mounted on chariots,
10,000 drivers
20,000 cavalry
720,000 soldiers
240,000 sailors

Making total military personnel of 1,000,000 men. (assuming the leaders in the allotments stayed at home!)

And that was only supposedly one of the 10 kingdoms of Atlantis, "Such then were the military dispositions of the royal City; and those of the other nine varied in various ways, which it would take a long time to tell." [119B]

Diomedes of Argo
Above, Diomedes was one of the Greek heroes in the Trojan war.
Note the style of the chariot similar to Plato's description
with a pair of horses and combattant (Diomedes)
assisted by the goddess Pallas Athena

Now let us have a look at the forces which the Persian Empire arrayed against Athens in 480BC according to the account of Herodotus.

Persian soldier This is what Wikipedia Persian war has to say about the size of the Persian forces... The numbers of troops which Xerxes mustered for the second invasion of Greece have been the subject of endless dispute, because the numbers given in ancient sources are very large indeed. Herodotus claimed that there were, in total, 2.5 million military personnel, accompanied by an equivalent number of support personnel. The poet Simonides, who was a near-contemporary, talks of four million; Ctesias gave 800,000 as the total number of the army that was assembled by Xerxes. Whilst it has been suggested that Herodotus or his sources had access to official Persian Empire records of the forces involved in the expedition, modern scholars tend to reject these figures based on knowledge of the Persian military systems, their logistical capabilities, the Greek countryside, and supplies available along the army's route.

Modern scholars thus generally attribute the numbers given in the ancient sources to the result of miscalculations or exaggerations on the part of the victors, or disinformation by the Persians in the run up to the war.[30] The topic has been hotly debated but the modern consensus revolves around the figure of 200–250,000. Nevertheless, whatever the real numbers were, it is clear that Xerxes was anxious to ensure a successful expedition by mustering overwhelming numerical superiority by land and by sea."

And these are the figures,
1,207 triremes with 200-man crews from 12 ethnic groups: Phoenicians of Palestine, Egyptians, Cyprians, Cilicians, Pamphylians, Lycians, Dorians of Asia, Carians, Ionians, Aegean islanders, Aeolians, Greeks from Pontus
= 241,400 sailors.

Horse cavalry from the Persians, Sagartians, Medes, Cissians, Indians, Caspians and Paricanians.
= 80,000 cavalry

Infantry from 47 ethnic groups including; Medes, Cissians, Hyrcanians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Bactrians, Sacae, Indians, Arians, Parthians, Chorasmians, Sogdians, Gandarians, Dadicae, Caspians, Sarangae, Pactyes, Utians, Mycians, Paricanians, Arabians, Ethiopians of Africa, Ethiopians of Baluchistan, Libyans, Paphlagonians, Ligyes, Matieni, Mariandyni, Cappadocians, Phrygians, Armenians, Lydians, Mysians, Asian Thracians, Lasonii, Milyae, Moschi, Tibareni, Macrones, Mossynoeci, Mares, Colchians, Alarodians, Saspirians and Red Sea islanders.
= 1,700,000 soldiers

Making a total of 2,021,400 military personnel not counting additional support staff and vessels which were documented by Herodotus.

Diomedes of Argo
Above, Persian war chariot.

Herodotus numbers the Persian fleet as 1207 comprised as follows,
Phoenicia and Syria 300, Egypt 200, Cyprus 150, Cilicia 100, Ionia 100, Pontus 100, Caria 70, Aeolia 60, Lycia 50, Pamphylia 30, Dorians from Asia Minor 30, Cyclades 17

So we can see that in effect, the Persian empire was a sort of Confederation in the sense that many different nations comprised its forces against Athens, also that triremes did not sail out from any of the Persian capitals such as Persepolis, Susa or Eckbatana to attack Athens, but were summoned from different parts of the empire, the fleet of the Phoenicians playing a conspicious part. The number of ships, 1207 or roundly 1200 is sometimes thought to be a repetition of the number appearing in the Illiad as the size of the Greek fleet against Troy, so Plato would have been well aware of this number as meaning a large force and if Atlantis were to have 1200 triremes with 200 crew per trireme then each allotment would need to provide 4 sailors suggesting that this may be how Plato worked it out.

But the story of Atlantis does not begin with the Persian wars against Athens, rather it ends with the story of the Persian wars against Athens, and the story which Solon brought from Egypt could not include details of the Persian wars because at that time they had not taken place, but they could have included details of the Trojan war and the war of the Sea Peoples against the eastern Mediterranean which was documented in Egypt....

But Plato would have known of the Persian wars and how the great Persian invasion force was defeated by the Greeks with Athens at their head, and since Atlantis had to be a great empire and a great power which was defeated by his idealised form of Athens with philosopher kings, then maybe Atlantis had to be credited with forces comparable to the great Persian empire, and maybe Atlantis itself was in fact actually at one time associated with the confederation which comprised the Persian Empire or should we say, the proto-Persian empire since the Persian confereration also included elements from Ethiopia and from Libya, (Herodotus, Histories, Book VII, 70) and Libya Plato said, was part of the area controlled by Atlantis.

greek persian soldiers
Lightly armoured Persian troops were defeated by heavily armoured Greek hoplites

Could the great invasion fleet of the Persians be the same that Plato used to base the military elements of his Atlantis story upon, since they in turn were beaten by the Greeks both on land and by sea, so that was "the finest achievement of the Greeks"?

xerxes 2 at salamis battle of salamis
Xerxes sees his fleet being smashed by the Greeks at the battle of Salamis.

Although this latter event (around 480B.C.) was later than when Solon visited Egypt it was also before Plato wrote his Atlantis story, so could have inspired him in his description of the war between Atlantis and Athens.

After all, his stated purpose in the Atlantis story was to find a worthy enemy that his ideal state of Athens could be seen to have defeated in war, to show how good his theoretical system of government for Athens would be, that is, not a democratic Athens but an Athens governed by philosopher kings and guardians. So for that reason, the date of the war is described as 9,000 "years" earlier in order to give it respectability and to divorce it from the actual Persian wars which in Plato's day would not have been all that long ago.

So could this be part of one of those other legends grafted onto the Atlantis story as Robert Graves suggested? The original Bolivian legend of a city punished by the gods and sunk into the sea does not mention anything about horses, chariots or the vast number of ships and military dispositions which Plato attributed to Atlantis, but vast numbers of troops and ship dispositions are recorded by Herodotus for the Persian forces in his Histories. There were no triremes, hoplites, chariots, riders springing from horse to horse on the Bolivian Altiplano, but there were triremes, hoplites, chariots etc in the wars between Persia and Athens...

Plato, Timaeus... Soc. There are conflicts which all cities undergo, and I should like to hear some one tell of our own city carrying on a struggle against her neighbours, and how she went out to war in a becoming manner... ... when you had engaged our city in a suitable war, you of all men living could best exhibit her playing a fitting part.

Tim. The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke; they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. ... Consider then, Socrates, if this narrative is suited to the purpose, or whether we should seek for some other instead. Soc. And what other, Critias, can we find that will be better than this, which is natural and suitable to the festival of the goddess, and has the very great advantage of being a fact and not a fiction? How or where shall we find another if we abandon this?

The dating of the period of Atlantis is a difficult question, at face value Plato gives a date of 9,600BC both for the founding of Atlantis and Athens and also for the war against Athens, yet we know there was no Athens at this early date. But as to the location on the Altiplano, some factors point to an early date, such as the mastodons, also at an earlier period, the climate on the Altiplano would have been warmer than it is today. Many agricultural terraces which today are above the line of perpetual snow, must have been cultivated at an earlier period when the climate was warmer.

The Altiplano was covered in a giant inland sea known as Lake Tauca which lasted from 16,000 to around 13,000BC, then there may have been a dry spell when the Altiplano would have been covered in fertile mud until around 11,000BC when the Altiplano was covered by the shallower lake Coipasa which lasted a further 1500 years. So there is a flooding event which fits in roughly with Plato's date.

However Plato tells us that "9,000 is the sum of years since the war occurred" - and he is describing the foundation of Athens and the "finest of the deeds the Greeks achieved." So the real question is whether both these events, the sinking of the Atlantis plain and the defeat of the invading armies by the Athenian Greeks really both happened at the same time, or was one earlier and one later or both at a later period?

The number of ships involved may provide a further clue and in the description of the Confederation of Atlantis ruling Libya up to the borders of Egypt and Europe up to Tyrennia in Italy, then attempting to enslave the whole of the eastern Mediterranean.

If we substitute lunar "years" (sidereal lunar months) for solar years, this would bring the date down to around 1260BC and the Trojan war which might correspond to the "finest of the deeds the Greeks achieved"

sea peoples ships
The Trojan War, an age of heroes.

The "confederated nations attempting to enslave the eastern Mediterranean" would be what are usually called "the Sea Peoples" who carried out a great onslaught in lands around the eastern Medittanean and attacked Egypt in 1220 and 1186BC, attempting to enter Egypt both by sea and with land armies all of which were defeated by the Egyptian pharoahs. (Then later, the Persian armies of Darius and Xerxes which overran neighbouring states and invaded Athens might also be described as attempting to enslave the eastern Mediterranean, under Darius they subdued Egypt then after Egypt rebelled, Xerxes subdued Egypt again before attempting to overthrow Athens, a detachment of Triremes was later sent by Athens to assist Egypt in its struggle to throw off the Persians so the Egyptian priests had good reason to tell Solon in the words of Plato that Athens set free from slavery the nations of the eastern Mediterranean - particularly since Herodotus tells us it was the intention of Xerxes first to defeat the Athenians as revenge for the Greeks having burned Sardis, then Xerxes intended to conquer all of Europe "they that have done us wrong and they that have done us none will alike bear the yoke of slavery" - Herodotus Histories VII 8).

sea peoples headdress amazonian indian headdress amazonian indian headdress sea peoples headdress amazonian indian headdress
Above left, headgear of Sea People warrior, next, headdress of amazonian Indians, then headgear of Tula warrior, Mexico,
then headdress of Tiwanaku warrior, Bolivia.
Click for comparison of headgear page high feather headdresses of the Sea Peoples.

sea peoples ships
The boats of the Sea Peoples are ambushed and pulled over with grappling irons.
Prisoners were taken and some, such as the Philistines, resettled in Palestine which is named after them.

The Sea Peoples were a confederation of various nations and so far it has not been possible for archaeologists to identify exactly where they came from. The Egyptians said they came from "The Isles in the midst of the Sea".

This is usually assumed to mean Mediterranean islands such as Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Cyprus etc but at the same time there were huge numbers of them considering they supposedly came from these relatively small islands, unless these islands were used as intermediary bases... the Sea Peoples invaded Egypt both from Palestine and from Libya, bringing to mind Plato's description that the Confederation of Atlantis contolled Libya up to the border of Egypt and Europe up to Tuscany. The use of feathered headdresses combined with the discovery of coca in the mummies of Egyptian pharoahs suggests there may have been also a South American connection i.e. that someone must have sailed over from South America bringing the coca and also that some elements of the Sea Peoples might have been from South America, i.e. from Atlantis.

It seems probable that the war which Plato described or inspired Plato's story began with the Trojan war when the Greeks crossed over to attack Troy and all the Trojan allies.

Then the war continued with the attacks of what are called "The Sea Peoples" but were actually an alliance of various nations, probably allied to those who had supported Troy, the Phoenicians and the early Persians. After the defeat of Troy, Greek settlements expanded on the coast either side of Troy and according to Herodotus, the original inhabitants of this area set off to found a new colony in what became Tyrennia (Etruria or Tuscany - which Plato said was controlled by Atlantis). Then several years later the Persians expanded their empire to the west, reconquering the coast around Troy and crossing over to attack Greece.

Athens was burned, but the Persian army was defeated by the Greeks and the Athenians rebuilt their city and re-established their cities on the other side of the Aegian on the coast of what is now Turkey, making for themselves an Athenian empire or league.

That the Persian invasion was a retaliation for the Trojan war is explained by Herodotus on the first page of his Histories where even he thinks it was unreasonable for the Greeks to have attacked Troy on the pretext of the Trojans having carried off Helen.

Herodotus on Persian war
Herodotus attributes the Persian war against Athens to the Greek invasion of Asia and the capture of Troy.

Herodotus also mentions another interesting feature of the Medes and Persians which may relate to Atlantis. He tells us that when the first capital of the Medes was established at Ecbatana, it had "circles one within the other. And this wall is so contrived that one circle is higher than the next by the height of the battlements alone. And to some extent, I suppose, the nature of the ground, seeing that it is on a hill, assists towards this end; but much more was it produced by art, since the circles are in all seven in number. And within the last circle are the royal palace and the treasure-houses. The largest of these walls is in size about equal to the circuit of the wall round Athens; and of the first circle the battlements are white, of the second black, of the third crimson, of the fourth blue, of the fifth red: thus are the battlements of all the circles coloured with various tints, and the two last have their battlements one of them overlaid with silver and the other with gold." (Herodotus Book 1, 98)

susa circular ciradel
circular fortifications and site of palace in Susa, Iran.

susa circular ciradel    pampa aullagas circular ciradel
detail of circular fortifications in Susa, Iran (left), and comparison to remains of rings at Pampa Aullagas (Bolivia).

Further research tells us that King Memnon built the circular walls at Ecbatana and also at Susa, but, here is another interesting part, that King Memnon was a nephew of King Priam of Troy, he is said to have ruled all the way from Susa to Troy and came to the aid of the Trojans with a large army until being killed on the battlefield by Achilles.

battle of Achilles and Memnon
Above, battle of Achilles and Memnon

Since both the fortifications at Ecbatana and Susa had the same form, they may possibly have been modelled on earlier fortifications such as those of Atlantis which Memnon may have heard of through his mother, Eos - which means "titan of the dawn" and said to have dwelt originally on the edge of Oceanus.

Assyrian eagled headed god Amazonian circular headdress Aztec eagle head mask Elamite headdress 1000bc Persian headdress Indian high headdress
Above, Assyrian god with eagle head and feathered headdress, American Indian feathered headdress,
Aztec warrior with eagle head mask, Elamite headdress 1000bc, Persian headgear, South American Indian headdress

Sea Peoples high headdress
Above, Sea Peoples with high feathered headdresses.

sir Francis Bacon "The New Atlantis" by Sir Francis Bacon, 1627...
YOU SHALL UNDERSTAND THAT ABOUT THREE THOUSAND YEARS AGO, or somewhat more, the Navigation of the world (specially for remote voyages) was greater than at this day…. Whether it was, that the example of the Ark, that saved the remnant of men from the Universal Deluge, gave men confidence to adventure upon the waters, or what it was; but such is the Truth. The Phoenicians, and specially the Tyrians, had great fleets. So had the Carthaginians their colony, which is yet further West. Towards the east the shipping of Egypt, and of Palestine was likewise great. China also, and the great Atlantis, (that you call America) which have now but junks, and canoes, abounded then in tall ships. At the same time, and an Age after, or more, the inhabitants of the great Atlantis did flourish…..Yet so much is true, that the said country of Atlantis, as well that of Peru then called Coya, and that of Mexico then called Tyrambel, were mighty and proud kingdoms, in arms, shipping, and riches so mighty as at one time (or at least within the space of 10 years) they both made two great expeditions, they of Tyrambel through the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea, and they of Coya through the South Sea…..But whether it were the ancient Athenians, that had the glory of the Repulse, and resistance of these forces, I can say nothing. But certain it is, there never came back, either ship, or man, from that voyage. But the Divine revenge overtook not long after those proud enterprises. For within less than the space of one hundred years, the Great Atlantis was utterly lost and destroyed not by a great earthquakes as your man saith (for that whole tract is little subject to earthquakes); but by a particular Deluge or Inundation. Those countries having, at that day, far greater rivers, and far higher mountains, to pour down waters, than any part of the Old World. But it is true, that the same inundation was not deep; not past forty feet in most places from the ground. So that although it destroyed man and beast generally, yet some few wild inhabitants of the wood escaped. For as for men, although they had buildings in many places, higher than the depth of the water, yet that inundation, though it were shallow, had a long continuance: whereby they of the Vale, that were not drowned, perished for want of food, and other things necessary. So as marvel you not at the thin population of America, nor at the rudeness and ignorance of the people…..and having in their mountain regions been used to clothe themselves with the skins of tigers, bears and great hairy goats, when after they came down into the valley, they found the intolerable heats which are there, and knowing no means of lighter apparel they were forced to begin the custom of going naked, which continueth to this day. Only they take great delight in the feathers of birds. So you see, by this main accident of Time, we lost our trafick with the Americas, with whom we had most commerce." Extracted from "New Atlantis" by Sir Francis Bacon, published posthumously in 1627.

It seems very improbable that the 10,000 chariots and 1200 ships would have set out from the Altiplano, and we have seen above how these numbers tie in with the Persian forces attacking Athens. But since Atlantis controlled a great empire, in the earlier stages of the war it could have dispatched ships and men from other parts of the empire and it is remarkable how Sir Francis Bacon describes two great fleets setting out from Peru and Mexico respectively and separated by the space of only 10 years - remarkably similar to the time scale for the invasions of the "Sea Peoples".

And how could Sir Francis Bacon know all these details about Atlantis being destroyed and cut off by a great inundation and its people leaving the mountains to come down into the valleys as well as the details of the two great invasiosns separeated by the space of 10 years? Well, the great Spanish historian Sarmiento de Gamboa who wrote the official "History of the Incas" was at one time captured by a ship belonging to Sir Walter Raleigh and subsequently brought to England where he was presented at the English Court. It seems probable that he would have met Francis Bacon and passed on his histories of South America and the Incas, incidentally also inspiring Sir Walter Raleigh who set out for that continent in his own quest to find "El Dorado".

The inclusion by Sir Francis Bacon of Mexico is very interesting because of the plots of 10 x 10 stades (similar to Plato's description) found there. The fleet from Mexico would have sailed through the Mediterranean, but the fleet from Peru would probably have landed in the Persian Gulf, adding to the forces of King Memnon - the very same who built the circular defences at Susa and was a nephew of the King of Troy and is said to have come to the aid of the King of Troy with a confederation of nations…..

Sarmiento de Gamboa was of the opinion that South America was "the Atlantic Island" also called "Atlanticus" or "Atlantis". He also tells us that in Peru, Viracocha after a great flood adopted five pairs of twin sons. And he was of the opinion that the end or war of Atlantis took place ... "when Aod governed Israel in 1320 BC … According to all the chronicles Solon lived in the time of King Tarquinius Priscus, King of Rome, Josiah being King of Israel at Jerusalem in 610 BC. And from this period to the time when the Atlanteans put the blockade upon the Athenians was 9,000 lunar years, which referring to solar years comes to 869 years. And both added together is the aforementioned date." In other words, Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa specifically spells out 1320 BC as the date for the end of Atlantis using a calendar of lunar months. I am completely surprised that of all the many investigators and academics who have studied the subject, none to my knowledge has picked up on this before. In fact, Gamboa does not even discuss the possibility that Plato might really mean nine thousand solar years since it is so obvious to him that lunar years are intended, and I think it is important to give him credit as an astronomer and classical historian who, living in the Renaissance age, knew the difference between solar and lunar years and what was intended in Plato's text.

sir Francis Bacon

Sarmiento de Gamboa was not the only one to think that the events Plato described took place around the time of the Trojan War. Sir Isaac Newton had a similar opinion and tells us that the Atlantis events took place two generations before the Trojan War, and that the Egyptians exagerated the date to give more antiquity to their own nation, while the Greeks, not knowing where the island continent was, assumed it to have sunk. The details are given in his The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms "The time therefore when these things were done is by Solon limited to the age of Neptune, the father of Atlas; for Homer tells us, that Ulysses presently after the Trojan war found Calypso the daughter of Atlas in the Ogygian Island, perhaps Gadir; and therefore it was but two Generations before the Trojan war. This is that Neptune, who with Apollo or Orus fortified Troy with a wall, in the Reign of Laomedon the father of Priamus, and left many natural children in Greece, some of which were Argonauts, and others were contemporary to the Argonauts; and therefore he flourished but one Generation before the Argonautic expedition, and by consequence about 400 years before Solon went into Egypt: but the Priests of Egypt in those 400 years had magnified the stories and antiquity of their Gods so exceedingly, as to make them nine thousand years older than Solon, and the Island Atlantis bigger than all Africa and Asia together, and full of people; and because in the days of Solon this great Island did not appear, they pretended that it was sunk into the sea with all its people: thus great was the vanity of the Priests of Egypt in magnifying their antiquities."

Isaac Newton by the way tells us that the Phoenicians came originally from the Red Sea and were originally Edomites who were a red colour, thus, "The Red Sea had its name not from its colour, but from Edom and Erythra, the names of Esau, which signify that colour". When they were conquered by King David of Israel, some of them fled to Egypt, others to Phoenicia, and others to the Persian Gulf which also became known as the Erythrian Sea. They were credited with knowledge of writing, mathematics, astronomy and ship building and many places were subsequently called Erythria. "And this flight gave occasion to the Philistims to call many places Erythra, in memory of their being Erythreans or Edomites, and of their coming from the Erythrean Sea."

To quote Newton again, "These Edomites who fled to the Mediterranean, translating the word Erythrća into that of Phśnicia, give the name of Phśnicians to themselves, and that of Phśnicia to all the sea-coasts of Palestine from Azoth to Zidon. And hence came the tradition of the Persians, and of the Phśnicians themselves, mentioned by Herodotus, that the Phśnicians came originally from the Red Sea, and presently undertook long voyages on the Mediterranean.

So the Erythrian Sea means the sea from which the Red Men came and some people think that the Erythrian Sea might also have been an early name for the Atlantic Ocean. We should note also that Erythia is described as being a red island... "Geryon (or Geryones) was a three-bodied, four-winged giant who dwelt on the red island of Erytheia in the westernmost reaches of the earth-encircling River Ocean." And when Hercules quote "reached Erytheia he camped on Mount Atlas." So Mount Atlas was according to some writers, located on the red island of Erythia on the western side of the Ocean.....

As pointed out by R. Cedric Leonard, Plato was not the first to use the name Atlantis since it occurs also in Herodotus.

The Atlantic was called after Atlantis as the sea containing the island of Atlantis and Atlas the first King of Atlantis. But Atlas was mentioned about 400 years before Herodotus by two famous Greek writers, namely Homer and Hesiod. We find Atlas mentioned by Homer in the Odyssesy. After the war of Troy, Ulysses goes on a long voyage and finds himself on a lonely island far away in the middle of the Sea. The island is well-wooded and a goddess lives there, the child of the malevolent Atlas, who knows the sea in all its depths and with his own shoulders supports the great columns that hold earth and sky apart."

He is also mentioned by Hesiod, "Now Iapetus took to wife the neat-ankled maid Clymene, daughter of Ocean, and went up with her into one bed. And she bare him a stout-hearted son, Atlas ... And Atlas through hard constraint upholds the wide heaven with unwearying head and arms, standing at the borders of the earth before the clear-voiced Hesperides; for this lot wise Zeus assigned to him."

So it appears that Atlantis may have been written about in other ancient accounts, only it was referred to by different names so has gone unrecognised, also that the island where Atlas held up the roof of the world was South America and the pillars supporting the Heavens were the Andes mountains, but at a later date the name of Atlas was given to the mountain chain now in Morrocco.

So we can track Plato's geography of Atlantis to South America and the Altiplano and we can track Plato's war between Atlantis and Athens to events in the eastern Mediterranean between about 1260BC to 480BC, the combination of these two making up the composite story of Atlantis

J.M. Allen
page drafted Dec 2010

sailing to atlantis