Wednesday, November 05, 2003

In the spirit of Dr. Koyzis' Atlantis posts:

Afro-Atlantean Theories

Colonel Braghine also believes that the ancient Ethiopians were in some way related to the lost continent of Atlantis. This is by no means a novel hypothesis, and we shall have something to say about it. The Greek historian, Proclus, tells of the the visit of a certain Krantor to the Temple of Neith in Sais, a famous Eyptian city. The priests showed Krantor columns of hieroglyphs telling the story of Atlantis and its peoples. Proclus cited as another authority on the history of Atlantis, The Ethiopian History of an ancient writer named Marcellus. Skylax of Karyanda, a famous Carian navigator, told of how Phoenician mariners traded with the Ethiopians of the Island of Cerne, in the Atlantic Ocean. At a later time Diodorus Siculus specifically stated that western Ethiopia was inhabited by Atlanteans. The German scholar, Eugen Georg, a keen student of the Atlantis question, seems to think that the Atlanteans were Ethiopians, for he tells us, "The new age that began after the disappearance of Atlantis was marked by the world-wide dominance of Ethiopian representatives of the black race. They were supreme in Asia and Africa . . . According to occult tradition, Semitic peoples developed wherever the immigrating white colonists from the north were subjugated by the black ruling class, and intermixture occurred, as in oldest Egypt, Chaldea, Arabia and Phoenicia." (The Adventure of Mankind, pp. 121-22, by Eugen Georg.)

Professor Leo Frobenius held that there was an ancient Atlantean culture, but he did not believe there was actually an island in the Atlantic Ocean, known as Atlantis. Frobenius located Atlantis on the West Coast of Africa; for he unearthed ruins of palaces and beautiful statuary in Yorubaland, a territory between the Niger River and the Atlantic Ocean; and he heard among the Yorubans legends of an ancient royal city and its palace with walls of gold, which in the long ago had sunk between the waves. "Yoruba, with its channeled network of lakes on the coast and the reaches of the Niger; Yoruba whose peculiarities are not inadequately depicted in the Platonic account - this Yoruba, I assert is Atlantis, the home of Poseiden's posterity, the Sea God by them named Olokun; the land of peoples whom Solon declared: `They had even extended their lordship over Egypt and Tyrrhene!'" (The Voice of Africa, Vol. I, p. 345, by Leo Frobenius.) This learned Africanist also speculated that the ancient Yorubans had cultural links with the ancient Mayas of Central America. "I cannot finish," to cite his own words, "without devoting a word or two to a certain symptomatic conformity of the Western Atlantic civilization with its higher manisfestations in America. Its cognate features are so striking that they cannot be overlooked, and as the region of the Atlantic African culture is Yoruba . . . it seems to be a present question, whether it might not be possible to bring the marvelous Maya monuments, whose dates have been deciphered by our eminent American archaeologists, into some prehistoric connection with those of Yoruba." (The Voice of Africa, Vol. I, p. 248.)

It has been suggested by the editor of the revised edition of Donnelly's Atlantis tha thirteen thousand years ago, before the destruction of the Atlantean continent, "the West and Central African civilization must have been a magnificent spectacle." (Atlantis: the Antediluvian World, p. 223, by Ignatius Donnelly, edited by Egerton Sykes.) If the conclusions of Frobenius have any validity, ancient West Africa was Atlantis. "This tradition of western situation of Ethiopia survived into the Middle Ages," Colonel Braghine notes, "at least we observe that one of the medieval maps calls the Southern Atlantic Oceanus Ethiopicus." (The Shadow of Atlantis, p. 214, by Colonel A. Braghine.) That this is a fact, we have no doubt, for on page 16 of Africa's Gift to America, the author has reproduced a copy of a map published in 1650, which shows the South Atlantic as "The Ethiopic Ocean."

- From John G. Jackson's Introduction to African Civilizations

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