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« on: September 11, 2010, 03:50:21 PM »
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Hi BMP,

Okay, you've piqued my curiosity. You forced me to perform some very in-depth research—read "scanned Wikipedia"—and what I found is fairly interesting though I am having trouble with certain aspects, especially Plutarch's assertion that it was located five days off the coast of Britain, if that is indeed the accurate interpretation. That would almost coincide with Iceland. (Don't read this ciggy. Stop)
Hi Doug.

Iceland is not a lost continent as big as Libya and Asia combined so I think Iceland doesn't qualify whereas Antarctica does.

Homer and Herodotus both say the island is 10 days journey from the Pillars/Libya.

"An island, Ogygia, lies far off on the sea.
Atlas' daughter lives there, crafty fair-haired Calypso,
a dread goddess. No one mixes with her,
neither gods nor mortal men.
But a divine one led this wretched one, me, to her hearth
alone, after Zeus impeded and split my swift ship
with white lightning in the midst of the wine-dark sea.
All the rest of my good comrades perished there,
but in my arms I grabbed the double-curved ship's keel
and for nine days I was carried. On the tenth dark night
the gods brought me to the island of Ogygia
." -- Homer, Odyssey, Book VII, 244-254, 8th century B.C.

"'Nine days I was carried from there, and on the tenth night
the gods brought me to the island of Ogygia
.'" -- Homer, Odyssey, Book XII, 447-448, 8th century B.C.

"After this at a distance of ten days' journey there is another hill of salt and spring of water, and men dwell round it. Near this salt hill is a mountain named Atlas, which is small in circuit and rounded on every side; and so exceedingly lofty is it said to be, that it is not possible to see its summits, for clouds never leave them either in the summer or in the winter. This the natives say is the pillar of the heaven. After this mountain these men got their name, for they are called Atlantians; and it is said that they neither eat anything that has life nor have any dreams." -- Herodotus, historian, History, Book IV, 440 B.C.

As for the claim of Plutarch, he is referring to the exact same Ogygia as Homer.  Therefore ten days journey from Libya.

However, let us keep in mind that the Phaeacian ships returned Odysseus from Scheria to Ithaka in exactly one day so it depends on ones rate of travel.

Therefore Plutarch is not wrong when he says five days west of Britain, simply misleading. 

So let us not get caught up on that detail.

We should however focus on everything else Plutarch says about Ogygia.

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The great mainland, by which the great ocean is encircled, while not so far from the other islands, is about five thousand stades from Ogygia, the voyage being made by oar, for the main is slow to traverse and muddy as a result of the multitude of streams. The streams are discharged by the great land-mass and produce alluvial deposits, thus giving density and earthiness to the sea, which has been thought actually to be congealed. On the coast of the mainland Greeks dwell about a gulf which is not smaller than the Maeotis and the mouth of the Caspian sea. These people consider and call themselves continentals and the inhabitants of this land islanders because the sea flows around it on all sides; and they believe that with the peoples of Cronus there mingled at a later time those who arrived in the train of Heracles and were left behind by him and that these latter so to speak rekindled again to a strong, high flame the Hellenic spark there which was already being quenched and overcome by the tongue, the laws, and the manners of the barbarians. Therefore Heracles has the highest honours and Cronos the second. Now when at intervals of thirty years the star of Cronus, which we call 'Splendent' but they, our author said, call 'Night-watchman,' enters the sign of the Bull, they, having spent a long time in preparation for the sacrifice and the expedition, choose by lot and send forth a sufficient number of envoys in a correspondingly sufficient number of ships, putting aboard a large retinue and the provisions necessary for men who are going to cross so much sea by oar and live such a long time in a foreign land. Now when they have put to sea the several voyagers meet with various fortunes as one might expect; but those who survive the voyage first put in at the outlying islands, which are inhabited by Greeks, and see the sun pass out of sight for less than an hour over a period of thirty days, and this is night, though it has a darkness that is slight and twilight glimmering from the west. There they spend ninety days regarded with honour and friendliness as holy men and so addressed, and then winds carry them across to their appointed goal. Nor do any others inhabit it but themselves and those who have been dispatched before them, for, while those who have served the god together for the stint of thirty years are allowed to sail off home, most of them usually choose to settle in the spot, some out of habit and others because without toil or trouble they have all things in abundance while they constantly employ their time in sacrifices and celebrations or with various discourse and philosophy, for the nature of the island is marvellous as is the softness of the circumambient air. Some when they intend to sail away are even hindered by the divinity which presents itself to them as to intimates and friends not in dreams only or by means of omens, but many also come upon the visions and the voices of spirits manifest. For Cronus himself sleeps confined in a deep cave of rock that shines like gold the sleep that Zeus has contrived like a bond for him , and birds flying in over the summit of the rock bring ambrosia to him, and all the island is suffused with fragrance scattered from the rock as from a fountain; and those spirits mentioned before tend and serve Cronus, having been his comrades what time he ruled as king over gods and men. Many things they do foretell of themselves, for they are oracular; but the prophecies that are greatest and of the greatest matters they come down and report as dreams of Cronus, for all that Zeus premeditates Cronus sees in his dreams and the titanic affections and motions of his soul make him rigidly tense until sleep restores his repose once more and the royal and divine element is all by itself, pure and unalloyed. Here then the stranger was conveyed, as he said, and while he served the god became at his leisure acquainted with astronomy, in which he made as much progress as one can by practising geometry, and with the rest of philosophy by dealing with so much of it as is possible for the natural philosopher. Since he had a strange desire and longing to observe the Great Island (for so, it seems, they call our part of the world...

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Anyway, should you get the chance, I think it would be great if you could start a new topic on this subject. It definitely shares some aspects related to Atlantis. If you do start the topic, please post a reply here with a link.

Thanks,
Doug
What should the topic be?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2010, 04:28:25 PM by B.M.P. »
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2010, 05:05:46 PM »
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Hello BMP,

The topic would be just Ogygia or Ogygia as Atlantis I suppose.

As for getting caught up in details, I just don't wish to overlook any.

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Phaeacian ships returned Odysseus from Scheria to Ithaka in exactly one day

This is only an 80 mile trip. Based on other material I have read the ancient Greeks could travel up to roughly 140 miles in a 24-hour day.
 
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But now that we have spoken about Sardinia at sufficient length we shall discuss the islands in the order in which they lie. After those we have mentioned there comes first an island called Pityussa, the name being due to the multitude of pine-trees (pityes) which grow throughout it. It lies out in the open sea and is distant from the Pillars of Heracles a voyage of three days and as many nights, from Libya a day and a night, and from Iberia one day; and in size it is about as large as Corcyra. - Diodorus Siculus

But you are absolutely right about variance of speed with unknown factors coming into play like currents, wind and vessel type.

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"After this at a distance of ten days' journey there is another hill of salt and spring of water, and men dwell round it. Near this salt hill is a mountain named Atlas, which is small in circuit and rounded on every side; and so exceedingly lofty is it said to be, that it is not possible to see its summits, for clouds never leave them either in the summer or in the winter. This the natives say is the pillar of the heaven. After this mountain these men got their name, for they are called Atlantians; and it is said that they neither eat anything that has life nor have any dreams." -- Herodotus, historian, History, Book IV, 440 B.C.

This appears to be relating the continuation of an overland journey at about 50 miles a day and lead to a point well inside the African continent, not an island.

Still, pretty good info to return in such a short time. You surprised me. I've got to go for now, but I do want to look into this further later.

Thanks again,
Doug

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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2010, 06:40:23 PM »
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Hello BMP,

The topic would be just Ogygia or Ogygia as Atlantis I suppose.

As for getting caught up in details, I just don't wish to overlook any.
This is only an 80 mile trip. Based on other material I have read the ancient Greeks could travel up to roughly 140 miles in a 24-hour day.

80 miles from Scheria to Ithaca? Source.

I think it would be more like 7,960 miles!

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This appears to be relating the continuation of an overland journey at about 50 miles a day and lead to a point well inside the African continent, not an island.

An unjustified assumption in my opinion.  Nowhere does Homer or Herodotus refer to an overland journey in reference to Ogygia/Atlantis.  In fact, Homer says the exact opposite, namely that Odysseus was at sea.

"For at one moment he [Polybius] quotes the words of the poet, 'Thence for nine whole days was I borne by baneful winds'; and at another moment he suppresses statements. For Homer says also: 'Now after the ship had left the river-stream of Oceanus'; and 'In the island of Ogygia, where is the navel of the sea,' going on to say that the daughter of Atlas lives there; and again, regarding the Phaeacians, 'Far apart we live in the wash of the waves, the farthermost men, and no other mortals are conversant with us.' Now all these incidents are clearly indicated as being placed in fancy in the Atlantic Ocean; but Polybius by suppressing them destroys what the poet states in expressing them. In so doing he is wrong ...." -- Strabo, geographer, The Geography, 7

Furthermore, the distance would be more like 7,400 miles.
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2010, 09:29:00 PM »
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80 miles from Scheria to Ithaca? Source.

I acquired the measurement the old-fashion way, I measured it...but on Google Earth.

But I just googled and found this:
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Many ancient and modern interpreters favour identification of Scheria with the island of Corfu, which is within 80 miles of Ithaca." - Wikipedia



Quote from: B.M.P.
from Scheria to Ithaca...I think it would be more like 7,960 miles!
Quote from: B.M.P.
Phaeacian ships returned Odysseus from Scheria to Ithaka in exactly one day
Are you saying Odysseus traveled 7,960 miles in one day, or am I missing something here?



Quote from: B.M.P.
An unjustified assumption in my opinion.  Nowhere does Homer or Herodotus refer to an overland journey in reference to Ogygia/Atlantis.

I believe Herodotus was indeed describing an overland journey staged in ten day intervals across a "raised belt of sand" spanning North Africa, which we know as the Sahara Desert. Here's the overland progession in actual context:
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Above the wild-beast region there stretches a raised belt of sand, extending from Thebes of the Egyptians to the Pillars of Heracles. In this belt at intervals of about ten days' journey there are fragments of salt in great lumps forming hills...

After the Ammonians, as you go on along the belt of sand, at an interval again of ten days' journey there is a hill of salt like that of the Ammonians, and a spring of water, with men dwelling about it; and the name of this place is Augila. To this the Nasamonians come year by year to gather the fruit of the date-palms. 183.

From Augila at a distance again of ten days' journey there is another hill of salt and spring of water and a great number of fruit-bearing date-palms, as there are also in the other places: and men dwell here who are called the Garmantians, a very great nation...

From the Garmantians at a distance again of ten days' journey there is another hill of salt and spring of water, and men dwell round it called Atarantians...

After this at a distance of ten days' journey there is another hill of salt and spring of water, and men dwell round it. Near this salt hill is a mountain named Atlas, which is small in circuit and rounded on every side; and so exceedingly lofty is it said to be, that it is not possible to see its summits, for clouds never leave them either in the summer or in the winter. This the natives say is the pillar of the heaven. After this mountain these men got their name, for they are called Atlantians.

As far as these Atlantians I am able to mention in order the names of those who are settled in the belt of sand; but for the parts beyond these I can do so no more. However, the belt extends as far as the Pillars of Heracles and also in the parts outside them: and there is a mine of salt in it at a distance of ten days' journey from the Atlantians, and men dwelling there" - The History of Herodotus Book IV


This makes it clear that the Atlantians Herodotus is describing resided in the Sahara, "a raised belt of sand, extending from Thebes of the Egyptians to the Pillars of Heracles."

-Doug

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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2010, 10:14:00 PM »
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I acquired the measurement the old-fashion way, I measured it...but on Google Earth.
The Homeric Scheria is not the island of Corfu. 

Corfu is in the Mediterranean Sea!

The Homeric Scheria is not in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Homeric Scheria is beyond the Pillars of Hercules.

"For at one moment he [Polybius] quotes the words of the poet, 'Thence for nine whole days was I borne by baneful winds'; and at another moment he suppresses statements. For Homer says also: 'Now after the ship had left the river-stream of Oceanus'; and 'In the island of Ogygia, where is the navel of the sea,' going on to say that the daughter of Atlas lives there; and again, regarding the Phaeacians, 'Far apart we live in the wash of the waves, the farthermost men, and no other mortals are conversant with us.' Now all these incidents are clearly indicated as being placed in fancy in the Atlantic Ocean; but Polybius by suppressing them destroys what the poet states in expressing them. In so doing he is wrong ...." -- Strabo, geographer, The Geography, 7

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Are you saying Odysseus traveled 7,960 miles in one day, or am I missing something here?
That is correct.  However, it is certain that the distances were less in the past due to tectonics.

Quote
I believe Herodotus was indeed describing an overland journey staged in ten day intervals across a "raised belt of sand" spanning North Africa, which we know as the Sahara Desert.
Believing something doesn't make it true.

Quote
Here's the overland progession in actual context:
This makes it clear that the Atlantians Herodotus is describing resided in the Sahara, "a raised belt of sand, extending from Thebes of the Egyptians to the Pillars of Heracles."

-Doug
Herodotus never uses the word overland and never makes any reference to land travel.  He simply says ten days journey from Libya as does Homer.

Atlantis is an island as Herodotus was no doubt well aware since he calls the Atlantic Ocean the Atlantis Sea in Book I.

Herodotus's correct claim that Atlanteans from Atlantis settled in Libya's belt of sand simply confirms Plato's account that the Atlanteans had subjected Libya.

"Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia." -- Plato, Timaeus, 360 B.C.
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2010, 12:50:50 PM »
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Hi BMP,

How do you arrive at the 7,960 and 7,400-mile distances?

-Doug

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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2010, 01:19:13 PM »
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Hi BMP,

How do you arrive at the 7,960 and 7,400-mile distances?

-Doug
Hi Doug.

Those are the modern distances from the White Island continent (Atala/Ogygia/Atlantis/Aztlan), the island of Atlas that holds the world on it's shoulders, the navel of the sea that knows the depths of every sea, to Ithaca and Libya (Morocco) respectively.
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2010, 02:20:06 PM »
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Thanks BMP,

That is much appreciated. Anyway, your posts have been very informative, intriguing and enlightening. When I have time I do intend to look further into the island of Ogygia. There is a lot there to consider, especially the points you've already highlighted.

-Doug

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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2010, 06:02:54 AM »
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"and see the sun pass out of sight for less than an hour over a period of thirty days, and this is night, though it has a darkness that is slight and twilight glimmering from the west."

To me this clearly suggests one of the polar regions!

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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2010, 01:48:06 PM »
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"and see the sun pass out of sight for less than an hour over a period of thirty days, and this is night, though it has a darkness that is slight and twilight glimmering from the west."

To me this clearly suggests one of the polar regions!

Exactly. This and the travel time from Britain seem to point toward an area above the Arctic Circle. BMP places it in the Antarctic, but unless I am missing something, we would have to accept Homer's account that Phaeacian ships were controlled by thought and could travel much faster than modern ships.

Plutarch's description of island distances and arrangement is a bit confusing and even more difficult to reconcile to actual islands positioned relative to Britain, but it comes close to placing Newfoundland as the "the great mainland, by which the great ocean is encircled." This would be in line with my theory that the Greeks misunderstood North America to be "the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean." (Atlantis: The Continent That Solon Sank)

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An isle, Ogygia, lies far out at sea, a run of five days off from Britain as you sail westward; and three other islands equally distant from it and from one another lie out from it in the general direction of the summer sunset...The great mainland, by which the great ocean is encircled, while not so far from the other islands, is about five thousand stades from Ogygia, the voyage being made by oar. - The Face in the Moon, Plutarch


-Doug

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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2010, 02:50:36 AM »
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If placed in the Antarctic, it would match my Terra Australis theory. Although I have not studied the background to BMPs post in detail, I agree that the distances are confusing.

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