Who really discovered America?

 Is it possible the ancient Greeks knew of the New World thousands of years ago? Courtesy Christos A. Djonis

Who Really Discovered America? The Legendary Hyperborea and the Ancient Greeks

Who Really Discovered America?

The Legendary Hyperborea and the Ancient Greeks

Is it possible the ancient Greeks knew of the New World thousands of years ago? Courtesy Christos A. Djonis

By: Christos A. Djonis

In his story of Atlantis, written at around 360 BC, Plato mentioned a grand island or continent across the Atlantic, one larger than Libya and Asia combined. This continent was so enormous, he said, “it encompassed (wrapped around) that veritable ocean”. Is it possible that Plato was talking about the American continent and not that of Atlantis, as many automatically assume when they read that story for the first time?

Let’s not ignore that many scholars and researchers also show that proper translation of Plato’s text places Atlantis in the Mediterranean and not in the Atlantic, or some other exotic location. Aside from those claims though, is it conceivable to accept that the ancient Greeks, around the 4th century BC, knew of the American continent across the Atlantic? Interestingly, several clues suggest that this may not be such an outlandish assumption after all.

Roughly twenty years ago, in 1996, Mark McMenamin, a professor of geology at Mount Holyoke College in the United States, discovered and interpreted a series of enigmatic markings on the reverse side of a Carthaginian gold coin, minted circa 350 BC, as an ancient map of the world. In the center of this world map there is a clear depiction of the Mediterranean basin. An image to the right of it is interpreted to represent Asia, while the image to the left is interpreted to represent the American continent. Professor McMenamin also found that all known specimens of this type of coin formed the same type of “world” map. This was an interesting discovery, no doubt; however, what is most interesting about this find, is that this particular Carthaginian coin was minted within the same decade when Plato unveiled the story of Atlantis and revealed that there was a large continent across from the Pillars of Hercules.

Carthaginian coins from circa 310–290 BC. Representational image only. (Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. http://www.cngcoins.com / CC BY-SA 2.5)

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2 responses to “Who really discovered America?

    • And so do I. I try to post a variety of stories here that I have picked up. That is a good question: Just who do discover America? Certainly wasn’t Christopher Columbus. He didn’t get near mainland America. This story is a good one.

      Like

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