Of all the locations mentioned in the Odyssey, one of the most disputed is probably that of Ogygia. To put it in the words of Odyssey, it was a land “over so great space of salt sea-water, great past telling…” In this place, Odysseus spent seven years, with the nymph goddess Calypso. The return voyage lasted 18 days, of which 17 were on the open seas. (Oddisey V 277-281)
According to Greek mythology, Calypso was the daughter of Atlas. The first recorded mention of the term “Atlantic” sea comes from Stesichorus, around mid-sixth century BC.
Nowadays, the most common theory is that the term “Atlantic” comes from the Atlas mountains. However, for ancient Greek authors, Atlantis meant “the daughter of Atlas”, and it related to none other than Calypso.
Therefore, we can draw a conclusion that Atlantis is “the land of Calypso”, or in Homeric terms, the same as Ogygia.
Where is Ogygia?
For ancient Greek geographers, Ogygia was in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. For example, Strabo calls it “the navel of the sea, where the daughter of Atlas lives”. But even more controversial is the opinion of Plutarch. He claims that Ogygia lies to the west of Britain, eight days of sailing on the open seas. He also mentions the great continent, surrounded by seas from all sides. It lies “five thousand stadia from Ogygia”. But the sea is dangerous for a rowing galley. There are strong currents and muddy lands there.
Ogygia as Atlantis
Plutarch’s statement is quite reminiscent of Plato’s description of Atlantis. In his 360 BC, “Timaeus”, he mentions a mighty nation that came from a “distant point in the Atlantic ocean”. The ocean at this time “was navigable”. The goal of this nation was to conquer the “whole of Europe and Asia”.
As for the location of their homeland, Atlantis, Plato locates it beyond the pillars of Heracles. He claims that it is an island, “larger than Libiya (Africa) and Asia together”. He adds that this island is in fact “in the fullest and truest sense, a continent.”
Somewhat later, Plato explains that this great continent sank after massive earthquakes and floods, in one single day. The sea became impassable, as there is too much mud underneath the water – the remains of the said continent.
Plato dates this cataclysmic event to roughly around the 10th millennium BC. And indeed, this is when the last ice age ended. The melting ice had surely caused enormous amounts of excess water, although Plato could not have been aware of this fact.
But if the great deluge took place in the 10th millennium BC, then the Oggygia from the Odyssey of the 2nd millennium BC cannot be the same place? Or could it be?
In fact, besides “Ogygia” from the Odyssey, there is another episode in Greek mythology that mentions this term. The oldest of all ancient Greek flood myths is the Ogygian flood.
Apparently, this flood has nothing to do with Ogygia, the continent It owes its name to king Ogyges, a primeval mythological ruler of Boetia, ancient Greece. He lived in such an ancient time, that the term “Ogygian” still means “primeval, primal,” or “from earliest ages”. In other words, “from the great flood”. He is equated with Okeanos, the great world ocean.
The story of king Ogyges is not very different from any other Indo-European flood myth. In a nutshell, there was a great worldwide flood, where most of the world’s population perished. The king survived, together with only a few lucky ones who managed to reach the high mountain peaks. But Greece was so depopulated, that after his death Attica was without kings for 189 years.
The parallels between the Ogygian flood and that of Noah become even more interesting when we know that the Old Testament mentions a giant Og (or Ogias the Giant). He helped Noah to build his ark.
But these are all known facts. And in order to further support the antiquity of this myth, I will add my personal discovery. Namely, both etymologies of Oggygia and Ogyges are classified as “unknown”. I believe that the ending “gia” or “gea” could translate as “land”. For the translation of the first part we can perhaps use Sanskrit:
Now, the adventures of Odyssey were surely not based on the events that took place in the 10th millennium BC. But it seems that collective memory of these catastrophic events remained in oral history, as the modern science confirms Plato’s dating.
Long before Plato was born, in the second millennium BC, people of the Mediterranean were already the masters of the seas. No doubt, The Odyssey is a relic of this precise period in time. And if some brave sailor indeed managed to cross the Atlantic ocean, it is very likely that he would remember the ancient tradition of the continent that was reachable before the flood. (!)
I have already proposed a theory that Mesoamerica was reachable by the means of ocean currents. It seems that the voyage would take anything between two and four weeks. And in the case of Odysseus, it was 18 days before the first island.
Odysseus in Mesoamerica
If Odysseus really reached Mesoamerica, one would expect to see some scientific proofs. And maybe we have some, but the scholars are ignoring them. There are many “out of place” objects in Mesoamerican archaeology. But for our story, the most important ones would be the Mayan figurines wearing a Phrygian cap, or the numerous “bearded men” depictions. These figurines are interesting not only because they look Caucasian, but also due to the fact that the native genetics does not support such a long beard.
There are many other articles on this website where you can see these figurines. Here we will focus only on one. The Calixtlahuaca-Tecaxic “Roman Head” was discovered in 1933. It was part of burial offerings, lying three floors beneath a pyramid. The burial site appeared undisturbed and dates between 1476 and 1510 AD. In other words, it predates the Spanish conquest of 1519.
The figurine has caused controversy ever since its discovery. Some authors believe that it represents Hermes / Mercury. However, it also has a striking resemblance to Odysseus from ancient Greek coins.
But even if we see this figurine as a head of “Mercury”, we are still on the same track. Namely, it was Mercury who saved Odysseus from Ogygia. And there is already an entire article on the connection between Mercury and Mesoamerica below: