HOMER'S GEOGRAPHY                                           download PDF



It is difficult to get a coherent picture of the Fenicians and their homeland, because the data are very scattered in Homer and they were known by several names. With the exception of Hanno's Periplous and numerous inscriptions around the world, they themselves have left no writings. Their cosmogony, described by Sanchoniaton and preserved through Eusebios, gives us clues about their origins. There is a striking analogy between their gods and those of the Atlantic world. They would, like the Atlants, originate from a marriage between Uranus and Gaia and come from the north of Gaul. Compare the Introduction Thebes, in which the northern French city of Dieppe is equated with Thebes, and the discussion about St. Omer below. In Caesar's time, Veneti lived in Brittany, possessing a formidable fleet of heavy oak ships with decks, with which Caesar fought a difficult battle he could only win because the wind dropped and the Venetian ships were no longer manoeuverable. According to Strabo 5, the Venetes on the Adriatic Sea were settlers of these Atlantic Veneti. The Veneti must be equated with the Fenicians (common softening of -f- in -v-). The name Veneti can be derived from the Gallo-Germanic venten, vendre that means "trading, selling", the "core business" of the Fenicians. Compare this with the following: in Southern England, where the Belgians had founded colonies, their capital was called Venta Belgarum, which means "Trading town of the Belgians". It is the present-day Winchester that is a corruption of Venta-castrum or Win(st)-castrum (=Trade fortification).

Tur and Sidon
The most striking is that the Fenicians have called their main cities in the Levant Tur (Tyr) and Sidon, because these are in fact the names of two port cities on either side of the Channel, Dover and St. Omer. Dover can be traced to 'deur, door, thür' and was and is the door or gate to England. The old name can be recognized in Durovernum, the current Canterbury, the name of which is composed of duro (-door) and wernum - 'weer, fort'. Canterbury was built as a fortress in defence of Duro (Dover). Another, Latin name for Canterbury is Cantwaria, which can be translated as Kantweer or Coast Fort, the same as Door Fort (Durovernum). Door /Thür/deur corresponds to the Greek Tur-os. In Greek, "door" is also thura. Tur was the gateway to Fenicia as Dover was the gateway to England.

The city of St.Omer on the French side used to be the port city of Sithium/Sithiu/Sithuin that changed into Sithon/Sidun/Sidon. The meaning is again Gallo-Germanic, namely "sea-dune, seeduin". A dune is a barricade or fence. Sidon in Lebanon is built on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, just like Sithium on the Channel. Both names, Dover and Sithium, were apparently brought to the Levant by later Fenician emigrations from Western Europe. So, in general, we have to conclude that the traditional image of the Fenicians being the people of Turos and Sidon in today's Lebanon, similar to the Canaanites, needs to be revised.1 "One must seriously wonder whether the traditional textbook that the Fenicians would have come overland from Mesopotamia can still be maintained" (Rawlinson 21 ff.). It appears from many passages in the Odyssey that long before the Trojan War, Fenicians were not only widely present on the Atlantic Ocean and had branches on the Baltic Sea, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, on the Isles of Scilly, in Cornwall and on all kinds of islands that were known under the term "Islands of the Blessed" (Insulae Fortunatae), such as the Canary Islands, Madeira, Azores, but also regularly made the transatlantic crossing to fetch purple fabrics or living murex on the east coast of Central America  with which to dye the fabrics purple at home. Gold and silver from South America also formed their merchandise.
This is absolutely not in line with the traditional view that the Fenicians only around 1000 BC ventured in the western Mediterranean, around 800 founding Carthage, still later establishing cities on the east coast of Spain and finally venturing out into the Atlantic Ocean. The reality was completely different. Already from 2000 BC ships of the "Sea Peoples" carried tin, amber, ivory, and other merchandise along the shores of the ocean, committed piracy and carried out raids on enemy territories. These Sea People were Achains, Trojans, Teucrians, Danaans, Pelasgans, Siculians, Fenicians, Hebrews, Scythes and others. See Introduction Piracy.
As ships know no boundaries and discovery voyages were regularly organized from Ireland, Iberia, Scandinavia, Egypt and Fenicia, already at an early stage the Caribbean islands such as Cuba and Jamaica had been discovered with the help of trade winds, or possibly already in early Stone Age through a northern route along the North American coast. Recently, startling books have been published about these connections.2 Settlements had been established on the southern route along the African coast too and Fenician ships (eg from Cadiz) even sailed around South Africa to Aden and India. The centre of the Fenicians must, therefore, be sought in Western Europe, on the Spanish east and south coasts and on the Balearic Islands, from where the Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea could be sailed. Only later around 1200 BC did they settle in Turos and Bublos in Lebanon, when their trade routes had long been established.

Proofs of these propositions can be found in the text of Homeros between the lines of myths and legends. We will discuss five of them.

1. Sidon and Fenicia
In the following excerpt, Menelaos tells Telemachos about his own seven year "Odyssey":

..... because I really suffered and wandered a lot,
before I returned home with my riches. I was gone for seven years;
I ended up in Kupros, Foinika and also in Aiguptos,
I visited Ethiopians, Sidonians and Erembans,
and Libye too, where newborn lambs already wear horns. (4.81)

He had visited Foinika and the Sidonians, but Sidon is located in Lebanese Fenicia. In this excerpt, however, the Sidonians are mentioned as a separate destination of Menelaos alongside or opposite to Foinika, so that these Sidonians may not have been the Fenicians of the Levant. A good explanation could be that they are the Sitones (Tac. Germ.45), also referred to as Sideni and Sithones, who lived in Norway and Sweden on the Baltic Sea, where amber and silver could be obtained, but of course also a lot of fish (stockfish)! The Fenician word sidon means "fish", so the name Sidonians possibly means "Fishermen" (Rawlinson 21). In 4,618 Menelaos promises Telemachos to give him a silver tripod from Sidonia. Eumaios tells in 15,468 that while his father, King of Menorca, was attending a political meeting, his mother and her slaves were busy discussing the value of the gold and amber chain that a Fenician trader offered (v.460).

Amber chain, Hallein, 6e century BC

According to De Grave, the Sithonians emigrated from Sithon (= St. Omer on the Aa in the north of France) to Scandinavia.3 He quotes Cluverius (I, 18), according to whom the Sitons sailed the northern seas between Iceland and Norway long before Pliny's time! Incidentally, there are also Sithonians and Moriseni living in Thrace, who, just like the Sithonians of the north, must have been emigrants from Western European Sithium and the Morini.4
Vinci sees a connection between these Sidonians and the Kudonians of Kreta and the cities of Cedynia on the Oder and Gdynia in Poland (see Introduction Kreta). He also sees a remnant of the Fenician (or Fennian) Sidon in Sidinge and the Sidingefjord in Northern Sjaelland (p.53). Furthermore, the grave of Kivik, Bredarör, is a remarkable Bronze Age monument with its drawings of chariot warriors, dancers, wheels etc that point to a highly developed civilization in these Sidonian (Fenician?) areas.

Which Foinika does Menelaos mean in this fragment? In addition to Turos and Sidon, the Fenicians also owned areas on the east coast of Spain and the Balearic Islands, but it is unlikely that Menelaos would have passed his own town of Lagos (Lakedaimon) to roam the Mediterranean. On the Baltic coast, however, is a country called Fennia (Tacitus), which appears on ancient maps and can be derived from Foinia (Foinika). So a good option for this excerpt is to read Fennika or Fennians, who inhabited Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) and possibly were relatives or settlers of the Fenicians of Spain.
In 14.288, in his second fictional story, Odysseus speaks of a Foinician man who takes him from the Seinemouth (Aiguptos-Egypt) to Foinika, which must lie near Libye. A little further is Kreta (Scandinavia). Since Libye can be identified with Northern Germany and Poland (4,85), the whole story must take place in these northern waters and Foinika is again the aforementioned Fennika or Fennia.

Menelaos' seven year world voyage
In summary: Menelaos visited the Sidonians in Norway or Sweden (or the Cedynians in Poland) and the Fennians (Foinika) in Latvia etc., see map.

2.Turos and Tur
An important Fenician city in the Levant is Turos. However, Homeros does not mention Turos once. According to the Greeks, the Fenicians of the Levant were those who took tin from distant lands, but Herodotos, who deliberately visited Turos to find out the truth (3,115),  declares not to know what the name of the tin island is or even if there is a sea behind Europe, which means that the FenicianTurians in 450 BC didn't even know it themselves! It must, therefore, have been the Fenicians from the Turia in Spain and not from the Levant who controlled this trade (OC 202).
Turos, however, occurs in an entirely different context in 11,235 ff.:

Know then, the first I saw was Turo, a woman of noble birth,
who claimed to be the daughter of proud Salmoneus
and also the wife of Kretheus, Aiolos' son.
She had fallen in love with the god of River Enipeus,
most beautiful of all rivers on earth.  
So she used to wander by Enipeus' lovely stream.
The Earth-shaker, who embraces the earth, took his appearance
and slept with her at the mouth of the river with it's tidal floods.
A purple wave, mountain-high, rose around them,
curled over them and hid the god and the mortal woman.
He broke through her hymen and sealed her eyes in sleep.

Odysseus sees a lady Turo walking in the underworld, who had been in love with the river Enipeus. According to ancient sources, there is an island of Tur located in the mouth of the Guadiana, the border river of Spain and Portugal, which together with the coast formed an inhabited area (PH 160-179). Which region is it? Enipeus can be traced to Eni-ippos = Ana-ebbe, the tidal river the Ana, the Gua-di-ana. Various sources bear witness to ancient ruins on the spot. Kretheus, the husband of Turo, is another name for the Baetis, while the name of her father Salmoneus may live on in the place named Zalamea in the province of Huelva, of which the Ana is the border river. What happened? The myth recalls times long ago when the island of Tur and the coastal area were flooded by a tsunami, expressed by Poseidon with the curled purple wave, and largely disappeared into the sea (Tartessos?).5 Since then, Turo has been sleeping, that is, she has become a sandbar. Perhaps Turos in the Levant has been founded as a reminder of this Tur. Ana is also equal to Ino, the river goddess that Odysseus helped with her headscarf (5,333 ff.). The purple of the purple wave is also an indication that we are in Fenician territory. The sons of Turo and Poseidon are Neleus and Pelias. Neleus was Nestor's father and was banished because of a fight with Pelias. He then founded Pulos (= Palos), rich in sand, on the banks of the Rio Tinto.
Lakedaimon (Sparta), which is called "hollow" and is identified as Lagos in southern Portugal, has a harbour that was already excavated in Fenician times. Hence the term "hollow", which must refer to the harbour basin. The entire south coast of Spain, therefore, consisted of  Fenicians settlements: Lagos, Tur (Tartessos), Pulos, Cadiz, see Introductions Pulos, Ithaka and Sparta. Ezekiel 27.2 says of Turos that it "lies at the gateway to the Sea, a trading city for peoples from many coasts." Obviously, this cannot indicate Turos in the Levant, which is not an "entry gate", but Tur (Tartessos) in southern Spain, which forms the entrance to the Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and indeed went down according to Ezekiel's prediction. The prophet also says the Turos purple came from the shores of Elisha, a place that is mentioned together with Tharsis, whose cargo ships transported their freights by sea. There is a place called Tharsis in Spain, namely in the Homeric Elis (Elisa), which we have identified as Huelva in Introduction Pulos!

Tharsis and her mines

After the destruction of Tur, Tharsis no longer had a harbour, says Isaiah 23.1, which means that Elis and Tharsis no longer had a good harbour because of the destruction of Tur. Another Bible text states that the ships of Tharsis made a voyage that lasted three years, which cannot indicate anything else than a voyage across the ocean to America.6 It is inevitable to identify Turos with the drowned island of Tur. Herodotos also unintentionally confirms this identification, because he says in 1.1 that the Fenicians are descended from the Erythre Sea, while he calls the island of Cadiz where Herakles would have lived  Erytheia (4.8). The designation Erythre (Red) seems to be a mistake by Herodotos: he means the Erytheia Sea, the sea around Cadiz, since a southern descent of the Fenicians somewhere from the coast of Africa near the Red Sea is no longer accepted by anyone.

3. Balearic Islands and the East Coast of Spain

There's an island called Suria, you may have heard of  it,
east of cape Ortugia, where the sun turns in its course.
It is not very densely populated, yet it is a fine land,
rich in flocks and herds, yielding plenty of wine and wheat.
Famine never hits the country, and no other
dreadful disease attacks wretched mortals.
So, as generations of men grow old in the city,
Apollo with his silver bow visits them together with Artemis,
and strikes and slays them with his gentle arrows.
There are two cities: everything is divided for them in two. (15,402 et seq.)

In this excerpt, Eumaios talks about his native country, Suria, from where he had been kidnapped by a Fenician house-maid. The identifications of Suria by Cailleux and Wilkens are completely different. According to Cailleux it is the island of Menorca, but according to Wilkens (p.183) it is Ireland with the two parts Tara in the north and Waterford in the south. Wilkens, however, gives hardly any arguments that refer to the text of Homeros, with the exception of the name of the river Suir (pronounced Suur) that would remind us of Suria. The fact that Ireland was already inhabited in the Stone Age is no argument for the identification of Suria with Erin (Ireland).

Cailleux's arguments are more convincing (PA 306 ff.). The details of the text are:
- Suria is an island, not too large or densely populated, but a good and fertile country (r.402-3);
- people are never sick there, indicating a healthy climate;
- it consists of two parts;
- Eumaios' father was king of both parts;
- it is opposite Ortugia, in the extreme east (kathuperthen), where the turning points of the sun are;
- Apollo and Artemis shoot people with their arrows, which indicates a soft death;
- Fenician merchants pass by on a ship;
- the distance Ithaka-Suria is six to seven days sailing with a favourable wind;
- the ship, led by wind and current, ends up in Ithaka (15,482).
According to Cailleux (OC 307), all of this information cannot indicate anything other than the island of Menorca. Suria can be derived from the Fenician sirach, which means "rising sun". This name has to do with the extremely eastern location of Menorca as part of the Balearic Islands, the tribal land of the Fenicians, and with the eastern tip of the island itself where a tower of Bel stood, from which the sun positions were observed in order to determine the solstices which were of great importance for the calendar and which are referred to here as the tropai helioio (sun turns) (r.404). According to Virgil, the Carthaginians descend from Bel and, according to the Roman writer Ennius, come from Sarra. The northern gate of Valencia is still called Las Torres de Serranos, so that the two Roman writers indicate that the Carthaginians respectively come from the Balearic (=Bel) Islands and from Suria (Menorca). For example, purple is called  Sarranum ostreum by Vergilius and by Juvenalis Sarrana purpura. Pay attention to the famous Spanish Serrano ham too! The name Balears, the land of Bel, was popularly derived from or associated with Greek belos (pijl- arrow), creating the legend that people never got sick there but were killed by Apollo's arrows. The two parts of Menorca were, according to Pliny, Mago and Jamnia, now Port Mahon and Ciutadella de Minorca. The name Mago, which in Gallo-Germanic has an association with "maagd" (-virgin), would then be the basis of the story of the Fenician maid by whom Eumaios was kidnapped.
The geographical location is specified by the words 'far east of Ortugia'. Compare the location of Menorca in the Balearic Islands: from the coast to the east one successively finds Ibiza-Mallorca-Menorca. Wilkens identifiesOrtugia with Ortigueira and Cape Ortegal in Gallicia, Northern Spain, the center of Celtic folklore.  Cailleux has a better explanation. Ortugia is derived by him from Horthoek (litt.: Garden Corner), which can be identified with Cap d'Horta near Alicante or with Huerta de Denia (= Cape San Antonio) near Denia, where the hemeroskopos was built on mount Dianeum. See the details in Introduction Achilleus. In Cailleux' time, remains of the tower were still visible on Mount Dianeum. Remarkably, if you draw a straight line on the map from Cadiz (Ithaka) across Denia to the Balearic Islands, you will exactly end up in Mahon, Menorca. Cape Dianeum is called Cape Artemision in Greek, which may be expressed in the text by the story of the Fenician girl collapsed in the hold by way of Artemis' arrow, which may be a geographical indication of this event. The distance Menorca-Cadiz is approximately 1100 km, a distance that can easily be done in six days with an average speed of 6 kn. In addition, the current is explicitly mentioned (r.482), which indicates, on the Menorca-Cadiz route, the westward ebb current along the north coast of the Strait of Gibraltar, which together with the eastern wind gives a ship speed, while currents on the Atlantic Ocean have no special influence on the Ireland-Cadiz route, as Wilkens has it.7
If the original Foinikia (derived from foinix- palm) is Palma on Mallorca and Menorca was called Suria, the consequence is that Foinikia in Lebanon and neighbouring Syria (formerly called Aram) have been settlements of Fenicians from the Balearic Islands. Palm leaves on Turos coins refer to Palma de Mallorca. The Tauro mountain on Menorca then gave the name to the Taurus Mountains in the former, now Turkish part of Syria. The Syrians also call themselves descendants of Bel, that is: of the Bel Islands (=Balears) (PA 306-310).
However, the question is whether it is likely that in this Fenician-oriented Menorca a Fenician girl could be a slave. In 417 she is called Foinissa and in r.425 it is said that she comes from Sidon where very much copper is mined. Now Levantine Sidon is not known for its rich copper layers so that this Sidon again will refer to the Sithonians in Scandinavia (see above), where indeed copper was available, while "Foinissa" again indicates "Fennian" (from Fennia, Baltic Sea).

4. Ships
The Gallo-Germans and especially the Fenicians had become rich through their navigational abilities, shipping and world trade. It is all gold, silver, bronze, ivory, purple and amber with which the treasures of Menelaos, Nestor, Odysseus etc. are filled. The god who supervises this world trade is Hermes (Mercury) whose title "granting wealth" is used repeatedly by Homeros. The main god of Ithaka (Jerez, Cadiz) was Hermes Kullenios. The seafarers had various types of ships at their disposal: cargo ships, which could be used not only for their merchandise but also for troop transport, as the ship catalogue of Iliad II shows us. The average ship could have about 50 to 60 crew members, like all Odysseus' ships, but there were ships with more than a hundred people on board too, such as those of the Boeotians. In addition, there were faster ships for light transports or missions, such as the ship that Telemachos used to search for traces of his father, but these ships too could transport horses without interfering with rowers (4,636).

They were on a half-wind course and the dark waves
hissed loudly around the bow as the ship went through.
It ran over the waves as it completed the journey quickly. (2,427 ff.)

This excerpt states that the route from Jerez to Palos is covered quickly. The distance Cadiz-Palos is about 100 km, which took them one night and morning, that is about 8 hours, which amounts to a speed of 6 to 7 knots, easily achievable with an almost half-wind course. It says the ship "ran over the waves" which is usually not understood and is translated in neutral terms: "cut through the waves". Yet this very term is another indication that we are in a Fenician environment, because Fenician fast, lightweight ships had the figurehead of a running horse. Penelope, therefore, calls them "seahorses or sea-horse-cars" (4,708) with which people cross the large pool of water! Eudoxos from Kyzikos discovered around 130 BC on the Red Sea coast near Aden a ship from Cadiz with a horse as an emblem, after which he decided to make a trip to the south, which the Fenicians apparently had been doing for a long time! These Fenician ships were even called "horses."8 The name "sea horse" is undoubtedly derived from the image that one had of Poseidon flying over the oceans with his sea horse carriage to his undersea stable in Aigai (5,371). In any case, all these fragments indicate a Fenician-Atlantic setting. The Faiakans also have ships that like a four-in-hand with stallions drag the ship over the waves, faster than a falcon can fly (13.81), see Introduction Faiakans. According to Cailleux (PA 151), such a figurehead or mark is called a 'vaen'. Sailors who sailed with a vaen were called Fenni, Veneti, Fenicians. Among the Gallo-Germans, this "vaen" was a statue of Nehalennia, a picture of Herta in the Baltic Sea area, of Isis in Egypt and a horse on Fenician ships, that is also a symbol of the tides of the ocean and therefore of the old religion of rebirth. See Introduction to Religion (H.O.).

5. Destinations
If we study the Odyssey thoroughly in the Atlantic setting, unexpected destinations pop up. Logical argumentation makes it possible to obtain a coherent picture of seafaring in the Bronze Age. Successively we see Odysseus after the Trojan War sailing from The Wash through the Channel, visiting Brittany and arriving in Senegal, Cameroon, (or Cape Verde or Madeira), Saba or Corvo (Azores), Havana, Zeeland, Isle of Thanet, Mt. St. Michael, Cornwall, Azores (S. Miguel) and /id16.htm" Lanzarote. All destinations are discussed in (also in English).
Here follow four destinations, which in particular have points of contact with the Fenicians: S.Miguel (Azores), Sidonia, Sikelia and Ethiopia.

1. S.Miguel, Azores, where the nymph Kalupso inhabits a large cave (5.57).
In the northeast of San Miguel is a large, wide cave, where in the past stélai were found with Fenician inscriptions. The cave opening is 3.5 m high with the same width, the two stélai found were approx. 4 m high and 1.50 m wide. It had two large snakes and the following inscriptions: on both stones at the top MUTSAL; further on one SARAHAL and on the other TALBIZ.9 These words can be traced to Muth's Cave (Muth is the Fenician death god) = Death Cave, Sor-cave = lizard cave (saurus-lizard) and Teel-biss = rebirth snake. All three indicate a function in the rebirth religion. The script used indicates that there were relations between the Azores and the Fenicians. A professor and three assistants who went into the cave to study it never returned, nor did a group of slaves that went and looked for them. Since then they have bricked up the cave. In Cailleux's time, it was still a mess. Who is this Kalupso? Her name is related to the Greek word kalupto- to cover. She is a numfé, a nymph, a word associated with the Fenician num-sleeping, and she resides in vaulted caves. She is, therefore, a "covered cave-sleeper", a mummy, a ghost. Apparently the remote location of the Azores inspired Gallo-Germanic poets to come up with fairy-tale stories, as a result of which this cave-sleeper has been upgraded to an enchanting fairy with a beautiful braid, a goddess who tries to win over Odysseus with promises of immortality.

In addition to S. Miguel, six prehistoric caves were discovered on Terceira, which probably served as a sanctuary. There are channels for water supply, water basins and water drainage, while the openings are directed to the western islands of Pico and S.Jorge, where the sun sets during the spring and autumn equations. Water for baptism and purifying rituals was an indispensable element in the Fenician sanctuaries where the goddess Astarte was worshipped, the moon goddess who took care of purification and rebirth, which also explains the shape of the cave: they were made in the form of a womb. These shrines are a surrogate for baptism in tidal rivers such as the Rhine, the Somme, the Seine etc. The water that symbolizes the flood is poured into channels from above, flows over the head and body of the initiate or novice and flows like a purifying ebb stream out of the cave. The shape of the caves is a trapezoid, a symbol of the Fenician goddess Tanit / Astarte, who was also worshipped in the Canary Islands. A boulder of volcano stone has also been found, which apparently served as a pedestal for a vanished statue of the gods, with an inscription in a readable alphabet but in an unknown Indo-European language. Cairns has been found on Pico, sometimes 10 metres high, reminiscent of a necropolis.10

   Tanit symbol       Sardinia, St.Christina, trapezoidal Tanit shrine and source

2. Sidonia
In 13,285, Odysseus tells Eumaios a fictional story, in which he says that Fenicians took him on board in Kreta and eventually dropped him off in Ithaka (Cadiz). They would then have sailed on to Sidonia. Wilkens (p.150) considers the city of Medina Sidonia in Andalusia as Sidonia, a thriving trading place founded by the Fenicians before 1200. On the other hand, this mountain town Medina Sidonia is in the middle of the country and has no other port nearby than Cadiz, from where the Fenicians have just left! In addition, it is likely that this mountain, which was later called Medina Sidonia, was referred to as the Neriton mountain in the Odyssey (9.23). Perhaps we should read Sidonia as "Sidonian city", a city on the east coast of Spain such as Algeciras, Malaga, Carthage or Carthagena, but Sidon on the Levant is not excluded. So it seems that the fictitious route of the Fenician (or Fennian) ship with Odysseus on board was like this: it sails from Kreta (Scandinavia) via the Channel and the Celtic Sea and around Cape Malea towards Pulos (Palos) or Elis (Huelva), lands in Ithaka (Cadiz) and sails on to a Mediterranean city Sidonia).

3. Ethiopia

However, he was far away visiting the Ethiopians,
who are divided into two and live at the end of the world -
one group where Uppersun sets, the rest where he rises -
to receive a sacrifice of a hundred bulls and rams. (1.22 ff.)

In this excerpt, Homeros tells us about the reason for Poseidon's absence during a meeting of the gods in Olumpos. This god does not participate in their deliberation, because he has a dinner with the Ethiopians. Where those Ethiopians live is clearly stated by Homeros: far away on the edge of the world. They live in two groups, in the east and in the west: "the one where Upper-sun sets, the rest where he rises." That this is not the current Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa is clear, because that country until the 4th century AD  was called Aksum and the sun does not rise there either. Vergil places the Ethiopians in the west of Africa, where the sun sets (Aeneis, 4,480) and in Iliad I, 432, Zeus leaves for Okeanos where the Ethiopians live, that is, in the west. On maps of Blaeu (1662) and Stieler (1862), the South Atlantic Ocean is still called the Ethiopian Sea. These are arguments for Wilkens (p.191) to place Ethiopia in Africa, in particular in West Africa. A common etymology of Ethi-ops is therefore "hot country", Africa.
However, a different perspective makes more sense because we have to study all geographical indications from an Atlantic point of view. Seen from the Gallo-Germanic world, the "far east where the sun rises" is the Far East, that is, the Pacific countries where the sun rises, and the "far west where the sun sets" could be nothing else than the countries on the western Atlantic, that is, America (south, middle, north). Logic tells us to think in that way, but this theory is supported by the discovery of Fenician inscriptions in the Azores and in various places in the Americas and by the fact that the purple snail, the murex, through which the Fenicians have become known and rich, lives almost exclusively on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and, therefore, must have been transported across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe, s. below "Purple".11 Poseidon's visit to the Ethiopians could therefore concern this part of America.
In 4,187 Memnon, the son of Eos (= Dawn) is mentioned. While Homeros gives no further indications about Memnon, the man plays an important role in one of the epics of the Epic Cycle, the Aethiopis.12 The voyage of Memnon and his Ethiopians to Troy, where he came to help Priamos, must have taken place across the sea. As mentioned above, Ethiopians are generally the Celtic Africans on the west coast of the Oceanus Ethiopicus. So, in the Atlantic setting, Memnon would have come from the west coast of Africa with a mass of Celtic and Fenician settlers to the aid of the Trojans.13

4. Sikelia

But please, listen to me - it would be much more useful!
We throw those strangers in the hold of a ship with many oars and
send them to the Sikeli, where you can make a worthwhile profit from them. (20,381 ff.)

In this excerpt, Telemachos is advised by some suitors to send his guests, the filthy beggar Odysseus and the seer Theoklumenos, to the Sikeli and to sell them as slaves. Another place where this name appears is 24,211: there the old woman, wife of Dolios, who takes care of the old Laërtes, is called a Sikelian. Where is Sikelia?
Wilkens (p.190 and  343, n. 103) places Sikelia, generally equated with Sikania mentioned in 24,307, in the Charente, France, because there are a number of place names that begin with Sic- or Seg-. However, according to Cailleux, Sikelia (= Sikania) means Sicily (PA 305). His theory seems most likely to me, since the Cadiz-Sicily route was maintained by Fenicians, who also engaged in slave trade. The old lady who helps Laërtes had also been kidnapped from Sicily as a slave. Moreover, according to Thucydides (6.2), Sicily was first inhabited by the Sikanians, "who were originally Iberians from the banks of the Iberian river Sikanos from where they were driven out by the Liguans " (=Ligurians, a Gallo-Germanic people). The island was named Sikania after them. The Sikanians, therefore, came from somewhere in Spain. Furthermore, the Homeros text probably arrived in Greece from Iberia via Sicily, namely via Syracuse (Introduction to Homeros in H.O.). This means that there was indeed a strong link between Spain and Sicily.
The "original" Sikania is, according to Cailleux (PH 164), the south of Spain, where the Zigaunes (= Gypsies, bohemians with their orgies) lived around the mouth of the Sikanos, which according to him was the Baetis (=Gaudalquivir). Apart from this dubious etymology, he hardly puts forward any arguments.14 According to others, the Sikanos means the Rio Segre (a tributary of the Ebro) or the Rio Jucar (near Valencia). The Rio Segre offers the best perspectives because Segre has the root seg- and at the headwaters is an area named Segan.
However, there is a problem. In 24,307, in his last fictional story to his father Laërtes, Odysseus mentions Sikania as his homeland and Alubas as his hometown. Which Sikania is meant here: the Charente (Wilkens), Andalusia (Cailleux), Sicily (Thucydides), or Northern Spain (Janssen et al.)? In my opinion, the last three identifications here are practically impossible, since Sikania on the Baetis in Andalusia is too close to Ithaka to be able to speak of serious wind blows, caused by a demon. and at this time the area was inhabited by Athenians (see Introduction Athens), while the other two possibilities, Sikania as Sicily or as Cataluña, would mean that Odysseus would have sailed past his homeland to Sicily or to the east coast of Spain, even though it must be admitted that this is a fantasy story so that the latter identifications could be defended. In fact, only the Charente option remains for Sikania. The traditional assimilation of Sikania to Sikelia, based on Thucydides' text, is not supported by any passage in Homeros and is therefore probably incorrect. In view of the above, Odysseus' Sikania seems to indicate the Charente region in western France, as Wilkens assumed and where he also identifies Alubas with Albas near Luzech on the Lot. There is also Siecq, which he equates with Sikyon (Il., 23,299) and in which a reminiscent of Sikania can be read.
Wilkens (p.405) further believes that the name Shikala, one of the Sea Peoples mentioned on the walls of the Temple of Ramses, indicates Siculi, located by him in the Charente, western France. Based on the arguments of Cailleux and myself, this name would fit better with the Siculi in Sicily.
The conclusion must be that Sikelia is Sicily and Sikania the Charente around Siecq. The wave of emigration of Sikanians seems to have gone from Sikania in France to northern Spain (Rio Segre) and from there to Sicily, which may have been called Sikania in ancient times.

From Homeros' data, we can conclude that the centre of the Fenicians was around the Balearic Islands and southeast Spain. Sidonians are probably the Sithones from Scandinavia or Northern Poland, while the name "Fenicians" sometimes refers to the Fennians of Fennika in the east of the Baltic Sea. The Fenician Turos is possibly a settlement of Fenicians of Tur from southern Spain, the old Tartessos. The ships of the Fenicians had a racing horse as an emblem, which is indicated by Homeros in several places. During his wanderings, Odysseus visits different places that exhibit Fenician features, such as the Azores where archaeological remains indicate their presence, while regions such as Sidonia, Sikelia, and Ethiopia all seem to have ties with Fenicians.


The history of the purple trade is closely linked to the Fenicians. Since, as said, the purple snail/fish, the murex, practically only occurs on the coasts of Nicaragua and Costa Rica on the Pacific Ocean, where the indigenous Borucas still practice this dyeing technique, the conclusion must be that the Fenicians had the raw wool dyed across the ocean or imported huge numbers of living murex (Plicopurpura pansa) in amphoras to their locations in our world, for example in the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean.
murex Plicopurpura pansa

That is why many murex shells have been found, but never one living murex Plicopurpura. Mislin writes, for example, that there was no murex anywhere on the Lebanese coast.15 Moreover, other peoples would, of course, have turned to this lucrative purple dyeing if these shellfish had been found in the Mediterranean. It is possible that fabrics already having been dyed purple once again had a dye bath in Turos ('twice dyed purple ') in the excretion of a shellfish that does occur in the Mediterranean Sea, the Hexaplex trunculus, which produces a more indigo colour that is less durable. The technique that the Borucas use is simple: the animals that are plucked from the rocky coasts (see image) excrete a yellowish substance when one blows into the shell. The excretion is immediately dripped onto the yarn and mixed with it; moments later it turns green and the next day the colour has turned purple. The animals are then returned to the sea, which forms an ecologically responsible extraction. Exactly the same technique used by the indigenous people of western Panama was already described in 1732 in L'Histoire universelle des Anglais (part II, p.78). Other techniques used by the Fenicians, according to some authors, to elicit purple from snailfish in the depths of the Mediterranean would require a lot of chemical hassle and assume a huge amount of murex farms on rafts in the sea with baskets on tens of metres of rope, like our mussel and oyster farms work in the Scheldt estuary.16 However, there is no mention of this type of large-scale nurseries in the literature and no archaeological evidence has been found.
From Greek times onwards the city of Turos has been associated with purple, but that was because of its function as a trading centre from which purple fabrics were spread throughout Asia. The centre of purple, however, was the western Mediterranean basin, where the Etruscan kings wore purple, the Spaniards wore purple tunics and the Romans wore toga's with a purple brim. Thus, according to Strabo III, the purple came from Carteia (Cathagena) close to Gibraltar and according to the German geographer Büsching from the murex of Almeria, both places on the east coast of Spain. However, we know now that both Strabo and Büsching were mistaken since the murex came from Cartago in Costa Rica and was only processed in Spain! In Ezekiel (27.7) the prophet says that the purple of Turos came from the coasts or islands of Elishah, see above. This also indicates that purple was brought from Costa Rica to the ports of southern Spain, such as Tur, Huelva (Elis), Cadiz. The term "Turic purple" may have also been created by a confusion with the Spanish word tira- border. A tira purpurea, a purple border, thus became purple from Tira> Turos. (OC 51). However, it is more likely that the name is related to Tur (Tartessos) or to the Turia that flows through Fenician territory. Cailleux substantiated the logical conclusion from the absence of the murex and the presence of purple, namely that it proves the existence of Atlantic routes, with an enormous amount of facts (OC thèse 20 and 21), the most impressive of which I'll mention here.

-Herodotos had little idea of the meaning of his words in 4.42, in which he says that the Egyptian king Neko (ca. 600 BC) sent Fenicians out of the Red Sea on boats with the instruction to return via the Pillars of Herakles up to the Sea in the north (of Egypt) and te reach Egypt in that way: "So when the Fenicians had departed from the Red Sea, they sailed the South Sea. Every time autumn came, they went ashore to sow the soil, wherever they were during their journey, and then waited for the next harvest. If they had mowed the grain, they continued, so that it took them two years to complete the journey. In the third year they rounded the Pillars of Herakles and arrived in Egypt. They also told me something that does not seem credible to me, but perhaps it does to another, that they had the sun on the left during the trip around Libye." It is clear that at that time the Fenicians sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, but also that they had already done so before since otherwise, there would have been no Fenician ships in the Red Sea at all! The purpose of this expedition was apparently to find fertile land for possible settlements from Egypt.
This expedition was repeated by Hanno, about a century later, but then from Carthage in the opposite direction and aimed to transfer settlers (30,000 people) to already explored sites. The possibilities of sailing are grossly underestimated by most traditional scientists. Expeditions of three years were no problem at all, let alone that it would be a problem to sail in two to four months with the trade winds to the Caribbean and America and back via the Azores with westerly winds in the same time. The shortest connections are around 3500-4500 km. See also Introduction Shipping.
That is why so many place names in the Americas remind of the Fenicians, such as the Panuco River in Mexico where they landed to go to the world's richest mines in Anahuac (now Monterrey), names derived from the Latin name for Fenicians Punici and Edre Anak, as they called themselves (Plautus Poenulus 5.2). Cartago is located in the middle of Costa Rica, halfway between both oceans. On the west coast in the bay of Nicoya the murex was captured for the purple extraction, and on the east coast the Fenician ships landed to load things up. In Central America there are many places and rivers with North-African names, such as Tequila (Tegula), Rio Tilapa (Tilabarum), Mitla (Midla), Catoche (Catuza), Mulhuacan (Mulucha), Irasu (Irasa), Mixco (Mizigita) etc. (OC 455).

-The Queen of Saba came from Ofir and brought King Solomon gold, precious stones, perfumes and sandalwood. This queen was named Nicausis, which is related to Nicoya in Costa Rica. Panama can be traced to Poeni-hem, place of the Punians. There lie the Pearl Islands, a translation of the Fenician al iofar (al jofar Sp. -pearl), after which Ofir is apparently named. Also in this area, you can find names that remind us of Carthage: Carthagena, Punta Gallinas (Ad Gallum Gallinacium, now La Goulette). Punic names can also be found in Colombia, Peru, Chile and Brazil: Puno, Isla Puná, Puna (Bolivia), Carthage, Tunja (Tunis), Simiti (Simitu), Popayan (Pappua), Gurupi (Curubi) etc. (OC 457). The Spaniards later took loads of gold, silver and precious stones from these areas. Through the Amazon, the Fenicians reached the diamond areas of the Rio Zingu and Araguay, where the nomadic Tupis lived, Indians named after the word top, Fenician for maraca (= samba balls) made from gourds used for ritual purposes. So they are a kind of gipsies, Zingari (after the Rio Zingu).

-To make such transatlantic journeys, knowledge of navigation and stars is essential. According to Caesar, the druids already in ancient times had this astronomical knowledge and taught it in their schools. It is remarkable, however, that studying the stars was also practised everywhere in America. On the pyramid of Mecamecan stands a man sculpted with a rabbit at his feet and with constellations around him, while he is looking at the sky with kind of telescope.17 The same sort of silver image of a man with a telescope has been found in Peru and in remains from the tumulus builders in North America: 'Mr. Schoolcraft gives this account of a discovery made in West Virginia: “Antique tube: telescopic device. In the course of excavations made in 1842 in the easternmost of the three mounds of the Elizabethtown group, several tubes of stone were disclosed, the precise object of which has been the subject of various opinions. The longest measured twelve inches, the shortest eight. Three of them were carved out of steatite, being skillfully cut and polished. The diameter of the tube externally was one inch and four tenths; the bore, eight tenths of an inch.(...) By placing the eye at the diminished end, the extraneous light is shut from the pupil, and distant objects are more clearly discerned.”'(from Baldwin)

The reasoning of Cailleux (OC 450) is then that when peoples more inland, who are not seafaring peoples, practice astronomy, such as for example the Persians or the Indians, they have continued these studies, which have no practical use for them, apparently because of religious  considerations and thereby prove that they are descended from marine peoples and therefore originally from the Atlantic.

-How did the Fenicians come up with the idea of sailing across the Ocean? Diodorus Siculus (Biblioth. 5,19 ff.) says that there is a huge and fertile island near Africa far away in the ocean at a distance of several days sailing with many navigable rivers, forests with all kinds of trees, freshwater in abundance and with a sea full of fish. Fenician ships exploring the coast of Africa were driven into the ocean by strong winds and reached this island after many days. When they were back, they told everyone. So the Turrenians (Etruscans or Turians from Turia, Spain?), who were then lord and master at sea, decided to send a colony there. The Carthaginians, however, put a stop to it because, in case of an emergency, they wanted to reserve a piece of land for themselves where they could sail with all their ships to build a new life.
Diodorus is undoubtedly referring to America, which, according to him, had apparently been discovered in the time of the Etruscans (around 1000 BC), but the location of which the Carthaginians kept secret. Could it be that after the destruction of their city by the Romans (146 BC), the Carthaginians fled en masse in that direction with their ships and thus contributed to the development of civilizations in the Americas? In Central America, we do not find so many tumuli, mummies and dolmens, but pyramids in brick, palaces, mosaics, hieroglyphics, in short, a Fenician civilization (OC 84)! The Fenicians have certainly not disappeared from history, because after the stagnation caused by Romans and Arabs, the new continent has been "rediscovered" by the descendants of the same Fenicians in Spain.
Proofs of the transatlantic routes are widely found on the Atlantic islands, the Canary Islands, Azores and Madeira, in the form of initiation caves, burial caves with mummies embalmed with aromatics that can only be found in Mexico, Fenician inscriptions, an equestrian statue on Corvo, Carthaginian and Kyrenian coins. Furthermore, the distance from the Azores to the fishing grounds of Newfoundland is only 1600 km, a little more than a week's sailing, an area that has been known to Europeans since the last ice age, in particular, to those of northern Spain and the Bay of Biscay18. Even before Columbus, this area was marked on a 1436 map by André Bianco under the name Stokafixa, which of course refers to the stockfish, the cod, which was caught there in massive quantities and traded in France, England, Denmark and elsewhere. The 1380 map of the Zeno brothers from Venice named this country Frisland, see below.

Map Zeno, 1380 AD

The fact that Fenicians also came to this area is proven by Fenician inscriptions in rocks found in Massachusetts. They even penetrated the Mississippi River, since Fenician and Libyan inscriptions have also been discovered in Tennessee.19 All these and several more details mentioned by Cailleux (OC 480 ff.) show that from Stone Age there were numerous transatlantic relations between the continents.

The purple trade, an important pillar of Fenician prosperity, was concentrated in the western part of the Mediterranean Sea around, among others, Elis (Huelva), Almeria, Carthagena, where the purple fabrics were traded or fabrics were dyed with material transported across the Ocean from Costa Rica. This is because there the purple fish still occurs in large quantities, which in itself is proof of Atlantic shipping. Not only did Fenician ships sail to America, but also around the Cape of Good Hope to Aden, with help of a network of settlements on the coasts. The astronomical knowledge needed for such journeys was present in the Bronze Age and was taught at druid schools and elsewhere.

1. For more details, see De Grave I, 108 et seq.
2. For example Stanford D.J./. Bradley B.A Across Atlantic Ice.
3. De Grave R.d.C.E II p.97 and 147 and I, 108 ff. Sithiu is the name of the old abbey of St. Omer.
4. Verg. Aeneis, 8,727: extremini hominum Morini, Rhenusque bicornis - "the Morini, on the far edge of the world, and the Rhine with its two horns." They lived on the coast of Belgium and northern France. See also Introduction Kreta.
5. According to Rawlinson p.69, Tartessos was not the name of a city but of the entire coastal area of southern Spain. The "turic tuna" from the coast of Tartessos, which was famous in ancient times (Rawlinson 67), seems to indicate an identification of Tartessos and Tur.
6. 1 Kings 10.22.
7. The distance Ireland-Cadiz (Wilkens) is about 2,200 km, too far for 6 days of sailing! Moreover, the influence of the currents on an Atlantic route Cadiz-Ireland is not important for the speed of a ship.
8. W.Bitaubé l'Odysseé, Paris 1785 and L.Casson The Ancient Mariners, p.79 Princeton 1991.
9. Source: A. Thévet Cosmographie universelle, 1575, XXIII, 7 and PA 249 ff.
10. N.Ribeiro and A. Joaquinito, et al. Proto-historic and Historical Atlantic Navigation: Unpublished Archaeological Sites in Azores and Archaeoastro-nominal Orientation of some Monuments. (download)
11. See also Wilkens p.440 and B.Fell America BC, Ancient Settlers in the New World
12. For more details, I refer to Dictys Diary of the Trojan War IV, 4-6 with notes.
13. See notes 1,121, 4,187 (H.O.).
14. It is noteworthy that the cippi, the conical stones that enjoyed great worship as phallus symbols in the Fenician temples, were called baitulis, indicating that this phallus worship came from the Baetis, but it says nothing about the Sikanians.
15. Mislin Les saints lieux XIII, Paris 1858
16. G. Rawlinson p.275 ff..
17. D.Baldwin Ancient America, Mass. 1871.
18. D.J. Stanford / B.A. Bradley Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America's Clovis Culture, Berkeley 2013.
19. Wilkens p.441 and Fell passim.

Abbreviations used for the books of Th. Cailleux (1878):
OC  Origine celtique de la civilisation de tous les peuples
PH  Poésies d' Homère
PA   Pays Atlantiques, decrit par Homère
Citations of Homer: Roman cyphers = Ilias, e.g. XX,345; Arabic cyphers = Odyssey, e.g. 13,34.

Bibliography Atlantic authors:
Homeros Odyssee, by Gerard Janssen, Leeuwarden 2018 = H.O.
Gideon E. Troje lag in Engeland, Deventer 1991, reprint of Homerus, zanger der Kelten, 1973
Grave Ch.J. De  République des Champs Élysées, Gent 1806, 3 parts.
Vinci F. The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales, 2005
Wilkens I.J. Where Troy once stood, 1990,
                   Dutch: Waar eens Troje lag, 2015 Leeuwarden.