Sunday, 21 February 2016

07. Outta Here

There is no doubt problems existed among the Atlanteans but for such a successful nation to suddenly implode there must have been a catalyst. A couple of possibilities spring to mind. The obvious one would be half the island sinking beneath the waves. The Deucalion Flood, like most depictions of a great deluge, was supposed to be sent as a punishment but this is of course nonsense. So too was the destruction of Atlantis deemed punitive. Divine retribution might be nonsense but we should instead be looking at why it could be considered a punishment. What did they do that was so wrong?

According to Plato they waged war on everyone else and were only repelled by Athens. In the Critias Dialogue ancient Athens represents the perfect society, whilst Atlantis represented the antithesis of the 'perfect' traits described in Plato's Republic. Obviously a sweetener but still getting across the Socratic message. Could there be any truth in the suggestion of a war between Athens and Atlantis? I don't doubt there may have been some kind of conflict due to migratory patterns as sea-levels continued to rise. So how can we put a time on this when there is so much doubt and contradictory information.

There is evidence that Corinth was destroyed by a major earthquake in 2000 BCE, and this is likely to have had knock-on effects for the rest of the Aegean peoples. This is a convenient date as it also begins the Middle Helladic Period. There had been a steady stream of evacuees from the Aegean landmass up until that point but the next 350 years would see a mass exodus.

Prior to the Middle Helladic Period, the indigenous people of mainland Greece were the Pelasgians or autochthons (of the Earth). These are mentioned by Hesiod and Asius of Samos who describes Pelasgus as the first man, a common belief among many ancient Greeks. Other accounts have Pelasgus as the father of king Lycaon who founded the dynasty of Arcadian kings. Ties to the Peloponnese and in particular Argos, recur. There is also mention by Herodotus that the people of Attica were originally Pelasgians. He describes them as having a non-Hellenistic 'barbarian' language.

The Minyans suddenly 'appeared' during the Middle Helladic Period. They are set apart from the Pelasgians and had ties to Lemnos and Santorini (Atlantis). The name is eponymous with Minyas the ancestor of the Boeotians and indicates an Aoelian origin. Heracles is linked to Erginus who waged war on Thebes to avenge his father's death. The genealogy surrounding Erginus, Clymenus, and Orchomenus is distorted but Minyas is said to be a son of Poseidon.

We saw the generally accepted migratory patterns (below left) around the Aegean coast. This of course makes no allowance for an Aegean landmass. My version with the landmass included makes a lot more sense.  I've left blanks as much, particularly the Peloponnese peninsular, needs further explanation. The maps are constructed from dialects still evident today. The Peloponnese appears to have 'changed hands' a number of times in antiquity, only the Arcadians in the middle of the peninsular were a constant.

If you were to do a search you would get a result similar to this:-

Traditions recounted that, during the Greek Dark Ages, Attica had become the refuge of the Ionians, who belonged to a tribe from the northern Peloponnese. Supposedly, the Ionians had been forced out of their homeland by the Achaeans, who had been forced out of their homeland by the Dorian invasion. It is said, the Ionians integrated with the ancient Atticans, who, afterwards, considered themselves part of the Ionian tribe and spoke the Ionian dialect. Many Ionians later left Attica to colonize the Aegean coast of Asia Minor and to create the twelve cities of Ionia.

There are a number of issues with this and people still ignore what appears painfully obvious. We will look at things more in depth in due course but for now, in brief, here are a few of things I find contentious.
  • The Greek Dark Ages are dated between 1200-800 BC yet sources state the Ionians had fully integrated with the Atticans by 2000 BC. Even without this source, the final nail in the coffin of Atlantis was in 1450 BC when Santorini erupted for the third and (as yet) final time.
  • If integrated with the Atticans it is reasonable to believe the Ionians would spread further, especially as land was still being lost to the sea. However, the northern Peloponnese peninsular couldn't be considered their 'homeland' if they were residing on the Attican peninsular. It is more likely they arrived from Euboea. 
  • The Dorian Invasion is loosely dated around 1200 BC by some sources and 1100 BC by others. It fits in nicely with the statement above yet this is another example of people missing the obvious. It is commonly thought the Dorians came from the north, but there is much confusion surrounding this. I will be looking more at the Dorians but suffice to say the Dorian Invasion is also known as the Return of the Heracleidae. You can see by our map the migration pattern.
  • The article also states many Atticans migrated to Asia Minor but again our map disputes this was a migration from Attica, and was instead a direct migration from 'Atlantis' by other Ionians.
During the early migrations the people from the Aegean landmass were most likely welcomed and became leaders or wise men. As things in the region deteriorated, migrants would be less welcome and regarded as competition for food and resources. The Atticans boasted they were 'original people' (not from anywhere else) which seemed a curious statement, suggestive of large scale migration by others. There is much evidence of such migrations around the eastern Mediterranean but the origin of these people is considered a mystery.

Whilst his sons / grandsons have obvious connections to a hypothetical Aegean landmass, Hellen himself was said to have taken up residence in Thessaly (also known as Aeolia after his son Aeolus). At the time Thessaly incorporated both Mount Othrys in the south and Mount Olympus in the north. Aeolus became king and on his death, nephew Achaeus moved to Thessaly. The Achaean dialect survived in the north of the Peloponnese and in the central region of Arcadia. The story of the settlement on the Peloponnese peninsular is complex.

It seems likely the last to abandon the Aegean island were the Dorians. The Dorians are linked with Zeus and Poseidon in various ways, yet 'historians' still struggle to explain evidence of the Dorians on Crete. The tardy evacuation by the remaining Dorians caused a lot of problems on the mainland but the divisions on the island had begun long before.

By 1450 BC the island home of Atlantis had sunk beneath the waves leaving just groups of islands that were formally high ground on the landmass. Principle city Atlantis (Santorini) being the most noteworthy.

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