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Olof Rudbeck's Atlantis

Installed some time prior to Jul 31, 2007. Latest update 29 Nov 2015.
Changes and additions are in bold.

As part of his first Earth-Venus global catastrophe, Immanuel Velikovsky dated the innundation of Atlantis at approximately 1500 B.C.E. He thought the event must have occurred only 900 years (instead of 9,000 years) prior to Solon's trip to Egypt, as described by Plato. 1500 BC is also the date that Olof Rudbeck (based on archaeological evidence) assigned for the innundation of his proposed location for Atlantis in Sweden (see below). [Added 27 Nov 2008.]

Swedish physician turned archaeologist Olof Rudbeck (1630-1702) came to hold the opinion that ancient Sweden was Atlantis and published his archaeological and historical researches that supported that opinion in his multi-volume book Atlantica.(1)

According to David King, "By 1702, Atlantica had swelled to four and a half colossal volumes, and many scholars believed this work had revolutionized the understanding of the ancient past..." "Avid readers were Leibniz, Montesquieu, and the famous skeptic Pierre Bayle. Even Sir Isaac Newton wrote to request a personal copy."(2)

King does an excellent job of informing the reader just what it was that Rudbeck had done (and paid dearly for) but he appears to be of the same mind of Rudbeck's university detractors by concluding that the man had gone mad in his quest. (Having said that, I still highly recommend King's book.)

The attacks on Rudbeck by many of his contemporaries (They were pushing a more tame Swedish history, based on more recent writings.) would have been enough to drive most men mad, but I see no fault with his thesis, and so far, no contradiction with what is known of Swedish ancient history and Baltic geography.

Thanks to Geneva Borod for calling David King's book to my attention.

The Siljan meteorite crater is located 121 miles (198 km) northwest of Uppsala. Physicist, Thomas Gold describes drilling in Siljan crater in search of deep abiogenic hydrocarbons.(3)

Map of Sweden

Rudbeck found extremely tall (giant-like) human bodies in burial mounds at Old Uppsala, which he had become convinced was the capital of Atlantis. Today the mounds are about one half the height as those shown in the image below.

Old Uppsala Burial Mounds
Burial Mounds at Old Uppsala (1690-1710)
Looking Southeast. The Uppsala Castle can be seen between the two trees on the right.
Uppsala Cathedral is partially hidden behind the right-most tree.
Erik Dahlberg, Svecia Antiqua et Hodiema, facimile, 1983

Uppsala Cathedral, Castle,
and Burial Mounds - (c) Google Earth
Google Earth image of present day Uppsala showing locations of the Cathedral, Castle and Ancient Mounds.

The burial mounds, located just west of Gamla Uppsala are 2.7 miles (4.3 km) North of the Uppsala Cathedral. They may have also been beefed up as high water retreats. The red outline in the image foreground corresponds to the approximate boundaries of Uppsala in the 17th century. (See the city drawing on Page 8 in King's book.)

It would be of interest to find out if the Straits of Denmark were ever made non-navigable by mud, say back around 1500 B.C.E. If so, are there any historical records to the effect that the rivers and precipitation which feed the Baltic sea broke through the hypothetical mud flats?

denmark water ways
Map showing waterways in and around Denmark

In the Archaeology section of the Wikipedia article on Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala) it is stated: "People have been buried in Gamla Uppsala for 2,000 years, since the area rose above water." A different possibility is that water covering the land receded. I speculate that the recession might have been associated with the final unplugging of the mud flats mentioned above. (Added 18 Nov 2008.)

Was Goliath an Atlantean?

[Added 13 Jan 2009.]

In Atlantica, Rudbeck expressed the idea that the ancient Swedes (A.K.A. Atlanteans) held sway over most of what is now Europe and the countries bounding the Mediterranean sea. He even suggested that the Greek and Hebrew alphabets were derivations from that of the Atlanteans.

One suggestion of such a relation is found in the Old Testament. I Samuel 17:3-4 (KJV) says:

(3) And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.
(4) And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

Here, I have underlined the word Gath to suggest a possible relation to the Swedish island province of Gotland, which some hold to be the original home of the Goths.

Goliath was known as a giant. His described height equates to his being ten feet tall. He was not, however, a unique freak of nature. He was apparently a member of a race of giants living in Caanan.

Seafaring Giants Further East?

The following passages about early inhabitants of Guam (Chamorros) are from the book A Complete History of Guam.(4)

"Despite the lack of definite information, it appears that the first settlements on Guam resulted from mass migrations that occurred earlier in both Europe and Asia. ... Authorities on the subject are not certain why these people left their established homes and moved out into the Pacific islands. ... Whatever their reasons for doing so, these great seafaring people established island homes throughout the entire Pacific region. ... The greatest period of migration seems to have begun around 2000 B.C. and to have ended by A.D. 500. ... The ancient Chamorros, according to early reports, were tall, robust, and well built, and apparently of great strength. ... Early reports stress the physical strength and the athletic prowess of the Chamorros. According to Mendoza, the natives were light complexioned people like Europeans,' although in their bodies they do not resemble the latter for they are as large as giants, and of such great strength, that it has actually happened that one of them, while standing on the ground, has laid hold of two Spaniards of good stature, seizing each of them by one foot with his hands, and lifting them thus as easily as if they were children. They were also expert swimmers who spend much of every day in the water. ... While they appeared, at first glance, to be simple, humble people, they were in reality 'inordinately vain, considering themselves to be men of the greatest genius and wisdom in the world, in comparision with whom all other nations were contemptible.' " [Added 29 Nov 2015.]


(1) Rudbeck, Olof, Atlantica, University of Uppsala (1679 with additional volumes thru 1700), (In Latin and Old Swedish).

(2) King, David, Finding Atlantis: A True Story of Genius, Madness, and an Extraordinary Quest for a Lost World, Harmony Books, New York, (2005) ISBN 1-4000-4752-8, Page 5.

(3) Gold, Thomas, Deep Hot Biosphere, Springer, (1998).

(4) Carano, Paul and Sanchez, Pedro, A Complete History of Guam, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo, Japan (1964), pp. 14-20.

Send comments/questions to Bob Fritzius at fritzius@bellsouth.net
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