The Aryan Colonies From Atlantis


By Ignatius Donnelly

WE come now to another question: "Did the Aryan or Japhetic race come from Atlantis?"

If the Aryans are the Japhetic race, and if Japheth was one of the sons of the patriarch who escaped from the Deluge, then assuredly, if the tradition of Genesis be true, the Aryans came from the drowned land, to wit, Atlantis. According to Genesis, the descendants of the Japheth who escaped out of the Flood with Noah are the Ionians, the inhabitants of the Morea, the dwellers on the Cilician coast of Asia Minor, the Cyprians, the Dodoneans of Macedonia, the Iberians, and the Thracians. These are all now recognized as Aryans, except the Iberians.

"From non-Biblical sources," says Winchell, "we obtain further information respecting the early dispersion of the Japhethites or Indo-Europeans--called also Aryans. All determinations confirm the Biblical account of their primitive residence in the same country with the Hamites and Semites. Rawlinson informs us that even Aryan roots are mingled with Presemitic in some of the old inscriptions of Assyria. The precise region where these three families dwelt in a common home has not been pointed out." ("Preadamites," p. 43.)

I have shown in the chapter in relation to Peru that all the languages of the Hamites, Semites, and Japhethites are varieties of one aboriginal speech.

The centre of the Aryan migrations (according to popular opinion) within the Historical Period was Armenia. Here too is Mount Ararat, where it is said the ark rested--another identification with the Flood regions, as it represents the usual transfer of the Atlantis legend by an Atlantean people to a high mountain in their new home.

Now turn to a map: Suppose the ships of Atlantis to have reached the shores of Syria, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, where dwelt a people who, as we have seen, used the Central American Maya alphabet; the Atlantis ships are then but two hundred miles distant from Armenia. But these ships need not stop at Syria, they can go by the Dardanelles and the Black Sea, by uninterrupted water communication, to the shores of Armenia itself. If we admit, then, that it was from Armenia the Aryans stocked Europe and India, there is no reason why the original population of Armenia should not have been themselves colonists from Atlantis.

But we have seen that in the earliest ages, before the first Armenian migration of the historical Aryans, a people went from Iberian Spain and settled in Ireland, and the language of this people, it is now admitted, is Aryan. And these Iberians were originally, according to tradition, from the West.

The Mediterranean Aryans are known to have been in Southeastern Europe, along the shores of the Mediterranean, 2000 B.C. They at that early date possessed the plough; also wheat, rye, barley, gold, silver, and bronze. Aryan faces are found depicted upon the monuments of Egypt, painted four thousand years before the time of Christ. "The conflicts between the Kelts (an Aryan race) and the Iberians were far anterior in date to the settlements of the Ph�nicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and Noachites on the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea." ("American Cyclop�dia," art. Basques.) There is reason to believe that these Kelts were originally part of the population and Empire of Atlantis. We are told (Rees's "British Encyclop�dia," art. Titans) that "Mercury, one of the Atlantean gods, was placed as ruler over the Celt�, and became their great divinity." F. Pezron, in his "Antiquity of the Celt�," makes that the Celt� were the same as the Titans, the giant race who rebelled in Atlantis, and "that their princes were the same with the giants of Scripture." He adds that the word Titan "is perfect Celtic, and comes from tit, the earth, and ten or den, man, and hence the Greeks very properly also called them terrigin�, or earth-born." And it will be remembered that Plato uses the same phrase when he speaks of the race into which Poseidon intermarried as "the earth-born primeval men of that country."

The Greeks, who are Aryans, traced their descent from the people who were destroyed by the Flood, as did other races clearly Aryan.

"The nations who are comprehended under the common appellation of Indo-European," says Max M�ller--"the Hindoos, the Persians, the Celts, Germans, Romans, Greeks, and Slavs--do not only share the same words and the same grammar, slightly modified in each country, but they seem to have likewise preserved a mass of popular traditions which had grown up before they left their common home."

"Bonfey, L. Geiger, and other students of the ancient Indo-European languages, have recently advanced the opinion that the original home of the Indo-European races must be sought in Europe, because their stock of words is rich in the names of plants and animals, and contains names of seasons that are not found in tropical countries or anywhere in Asia." ("American Cyclop�dia," art. Ethnology.)

By the study of comparative philology, or the seeking out of the words common to the various branches of the Aryan race before they separated, we are able to reconstruct an outline of the civilization of that ancient people. Max M�ller has given this subject great study, and availing ourselves of his researches we can determine the following facts as to the progenitors of the Aryan stock: They were a civilized race; they possessed the institution of marriage; they recognized the relationship of father, mother, son, daughter, grandson, brother, sister, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law, and had separate words for each of these relationships, which we are only able to express by adding the words "in-law." They recognized also the condition of widows, or "the husbandless." They lived in an organized society, governed by a king. They possessed houses with doors and solid walls. They had wagons and carriages. They possessed family names. They dwelt in towns and cities, on highways. They were not hunters or nomads. They were a peaceful people; the warlike words in the different Aryan languages cannot be traced back to this original race. They lived in a country having few wild beasts; the only wild animals whose names can be assigned to this parent stock being the bear, the wolf, and the serpent. The name of the elephant, "the beast with a hand," occurs only twice in the "Rig-Veda;" a singular omission if the Aryans were from time immemorial an Asiatic race; and "when it does occur, it is in such a way as to show that he was still an object of wonder and terror to them." (Whitney's "Oriental and Linguistic Studies," p. 26.) They possessed nearly all the domestic animals we now have--the ox and the cow, the horse, the dog, the sheep, the goat, the hog, the donkey, and the goose. They divided the year into twelve months. They were farmers; they used the plough; their name as a race (Aryan) was derived from it; they were, par excellence, ploughmen; they raised various kinds of grain, including flax, barley, hemp, and wheat; they had mills and millers, and ground their corn. The presence of millers shows that they had proceeded beyond the primitive condition where each family ground its corn in its own mill. They used fire, and cooked and baked their food; they wove cloth and wore clothing; they spun wool; they possessed the different metals, even iron: they had gold. The word for "water" also meant "salt made from water," from which it might be inferred that the water with which they were familiar was saltwater. It is evident they manufactured salt by evaporating salt-water.

They possessed boats and ships. They had progressed so far as to perfect "a decimal system of enumeration, in itself," says Max M�ller, "one of the most marvellous achievements of the human mind, based on an abstract conception of quantity, regulated by a philosophical classification, and yet conceived, nurtured, and finished before the soil of Europe was trodden by Greek, Roman, Slav, or Teuton."

The Egyptian Plough

And herein we find another evidence of relationship between the Aryans and the people of Atlantis. Although Plato does not tell us that the Atlanteans possessed the decimal system of numeration, nevertheless there are many things in his narrative which point to that conclusion "There were ten kings ruling over ten provinces; the whole country was divided into military districts or squares ten stadia each way; the total force of chariots was ten thousand; the great ditch or canal was one hundred feet deep and ten thousand stadia long; there were one hundred Nereids," etc. In the Peruvian colony the decimal system clearly obtained: "The army had heads of ten, fifty, a hundred, five hundred, a thousand, ten thousand. . . . The community at large was registered in groups, under the control of officers over tens, fifties, hundreds, and so on." (Herbert Spencer, "Development of Political Institutions," chap. x.) The same division into tens and hundreds obtained among the Anglo-Saxons.

Where, we ask, could this ancient nation, which existed before Greek was Greek, Celt was Celt, Hindoo was Hindoo, or Goth was Goth, have been located! The common opinion says, in Armenia or Bactria, in Asia. But where in Asia could they have found a country so peaceful as to know no terms for war or bloodshed;--a country so civilized as to possess no wild beasts save the bear, wolf, and serpent? No people could have been developed in Asia without bearing in its language traces of century-long battles for life with the rude and barbarous races around them; no nation could have fought for ages for existence against "man-eating" tigers, lions, elephants, and hyenas, without bearing the memory of these things in their tongue. A tiger, identical with that of Bengal, still exists around Lake Aral, in Asia; from time to time it is seen in Siberia. "The last tiger killed in 1828 was on the Lena, in latitude fifty-two degrees thirty minutes, in a climate colder than that of St. Petersburg and Stockholm."

The fathers of the Aryan race must have dwelt for many thousand years so completely protected from barbarians and wild beasts that they at last lost all memory of them, and all words descriptive of them; and where could this have been possible save in some great, long-civilized land, surrounded by the sea, and isolated from the attack of the savage tribes that occupied the rest of the world? And if such a great civilized nation had dwelt for centuries in Asia, Europe, or Africa, why have not their monuments long ago been discovered and identified? Where is the race who are their natural successors, and who must have continued to live after them in that sheltered and happy land, where they knew no human and scarcely any animal enemies? Why would any people have altogether left such a home? Why, when their civilization had spread to the ends of the earth, did it cease to exist in the peaceful region where it originated?

Savage nations cannot usually count beyond five. This people had names for the numerals up to one hundred, and the power, doubtless, of combining these to still higher powers, as three hundred, five hundred, ten hundred, etc. Says a high authority, "If any more proof were wanted as to the reality of that period which must have preceded the dispersion of the Aryan race, we might appeal to the Aryan numerals as irrefragable evidence of that long-continued intellectual life which characterizes that period." Such a degree of progress implies necessarily an alphabet, writing, commerce, and trade, even as the existence of words for boats and ships has already implied navigation.

In what have we added to the civilization of this ancient people? Their domestic animals were the same as our own, except one fowl adopted from America. In the past ten thousand years we have added one bird to their list of domesticated animals! They raised wheat and wool, and spun and wove as we do, except that we have added some mechanical contrivances to produce the same results. Their metals are ours. Even iron, the triumph, as we had supposed, of more modern times, they had already discovered. And it must not be forgotten that Greek mythology tells us that the god-like race who dwelt on Olympus, that great island "in the midst of the Atlantic," in the remote west, wrought in iron; and we find the remains of an iron sword and meteoric iron weapons in the mounds of the Mississippi Valley, while the name of the metal is found in the ancient languages of Peru and Chili, and the Incas worked in iron on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

A still further evidence of the civilization of this ancient race is found in the fact that, before the dispersion from their original home, the Aryans had reached such a degree of development that they possessed a regularly organized religion: they worshipped God, they believed in an evil spirit, they believed in a heaven for the just. All this presupposes temples, priests, sacrifices, and an orderly state of society.

We have seen that Greek mythology is really a history of the kings and queens of Atlantis.

When we turn to that other branch of the great Aryan family, the Hindoos, we find that their gods are also the kings of Atlantis. The Hindoo god Varuna is conceded to be the Greek god Uranos, who was the founder of the royal family of Atlantis.

In the Veda we find a hymn to "King Varuna," in which occurs this passage:

"This earth, too, belongs to Varuna, the king, and this wide sky, with its ends far apart. The two seas are Varuna's loins; he is contained also in this drop of water."

Again in the Veda we find another hymn to King Varuna:

"He who knows the place of the birds that fly through the sky; who on the waters knows the ships. He, the upholder of order, who knows the twelve months with the offspring of each, and knows the month that is engendered afterward."

This verse would seem to furnish additional proof that the Vedas were written by a maritime people; and in the allusion to the twelve months we are reminded of the Peruvians, who also divided the year into twelve parts of thirty days each, and afterward added six days to complete the year. The Egyptians and Mexicans also had intercalary days for the same purpose.

But, above all, it must be remembered that the Greeks, an Aryan race, in their mythological traditions, show the closest relationship to Atlantis. At-tika and At-hens are reminiscences of Ad, and we are told that Poseidon, god and founder of Atlantis, founded Athens. We find in the "Eleusinian mysteries" an Atlantean institution; their influence during the whole period of Greek history down to the coming of Christianity was extraordinary; and even then this masonry of Pre-Christian days, in which kings and emperors begged to be initiated, was, it is claimed, continued to our own times in our own Freemasons, who trace their descent back to "a Dionysiac fraternity which originated in Attika." And just as we have seen the Saturnalian festivities of Italy descending from Atlantean harvest-feasts, so these Eleusinian mysteries can be traced back to Plato's island. Poseidon was at the base of them; the first hierophant, Eumolpus, was "a son of Poseidon," and all the ceremonies were associated with seed-time and harvest, and with Demeter or Ceres, an Atlantean goddess, daughter of Chronos, who first taught the Greeks to use the plough and to plant barley. And, as the "Carnival" is a survival of the "Saturnalia," so Masonry is a survival of the Eleusinian mysteries. The roots of the institutions of to-day reach back to the Miocene Age.

We have seen that Zeus, the king of Atlantis, whose tomb was shown at Crete, was transformed into the Greek god Zeus; and in like manner we find him reappearing among the Hindoos as Dyaus. He is called "Dyaus-pitar," or God the Father, as among the Greeks we have Zeus-pater," which became among the Romans "Jupiter."

The strongest connection, however, with the Atlantean system is shown in the case of the Hindoo god Deva-Nahusha.

We have seen in the chapter on Greek mythology that Dionysos was a son of Zeus and grandson of Poseidon, being thus identified with Atlantis. "When he arrived at manhood," said the Greeks, "he set out on a journey through all known countries, even into the remotest parts of India, instructing the people, as be proceeded, how to tend the vine, and how to practise many other arts of peace, besides teaching them the value of just and honorable dealings. He was praised everywhere as the greatest benefactor of mankind." (Murray's "Mythology," p. 119.)

In other words, be represented the great Atlantean civilization, reaching into "the remotest parts of India," and "to all parts of the known world," from America to Asia. In consequence of the connection of this king with the vine, he was converted in later times into the dissolute god Bacchus. But everywhere the traditions concerning him refer us back to Atlantis. "All the legends of Egypt, India, Asia Minor, and the older Greeks describe him as a king very great during his life, and deified after death. . . . Amon, king of Arabia or Ethiopia, married Rhea, sister of Chronos, who reigned over Italy, Sicily, and certain countries of Northern Africa." Dionysos, according to the Egyptians, was the son of Amon by the beautiful Amalthea. Chronos and Amon had a prolonged war; Dionysos defeated Chronos and captured his capital, dethroned him, and put his son Zeus in his place; Zeus reigned nobly, and won a great fame. Dionysos succeeded his father Amon, and "became the greatest of sovereigns. He extended his sway in all the neighboring countries, and completed the conquest of India. . . . He gave much attention to the Cushite colonies in Egypt, greatly increasing their strength, intelligence, and prosperity." (Baldwin's "Prehistoric Nations," p. 283.)

When we turn to the Hindoo we still find this Atlantean king.

In the Sanscrit books we find reference to a god called Deva-Nahusha, who has been identified by scholars with Dionysos. He is connected "with the oldest history and mythology in the world." He is said to have been a contemporary with Indra, king of Meru, who was also deified, and who appears in the Veda as a principal form of representation of the Supreme Being.

"The warmest colors of imagination are used in portraying the greatness of Deva-Nahusha. For a time he had sovereign control of affairs in Meru; he conquered the seven dwipas, and led his armies through all the known countries of the world; by means of matchless wisdom and miraculous heroism he made his empire universal." (Ibid., p. 287.)

Here we see that the great god Indra, chief god of the Hindoos, was formerly king of Meru, and that Deva-Nahusha (De(va)nushas--De-onyshas) had also been king of Meru; and we must remember that Theopompus tell us that the island of Atlantis was inhabited by the "Meropes;" and Lenormant has reached the conclusion that the first people of the ancient world were "the men of Mero."

We can well believe, when we see traces of the same civilization extending from Peru and Lake Superior to Armenia and the frontiers of China, that this Atlantean kingdom was indeed "universal," and extended through all the "known countries of the world."

"We can see in the legends that Pururavas, Nahusha, and others had no connection with Sanscrit history. They are referred to ages very long anterior to the Sanscrit immigration, and must have been great personages celebrated in the traditions of the natives or Dasyus. . . . Pururavas was a king of great renown, who ruled over thirteen islands of the ocean, altogether surrounded by inhuman (or superhuman) personages; he engaged in a contest with Brahmans, and perished. Nahusha, mentioned by Maull, and in many legends, as famous for hostility to the Brahmans, lived at the time when Indra ruled on earth. He was a very great king, who ruled with justice a mighty empire, and attained the sovereignty of three worlds." (Europe, Africa, and America?) "Being intoxicated with pride, he was arrogant to Brahmans, compelled them to bear his palanquin, and even dared to touch one of them with his foot" (kicked him?), "whereupon be was transformed into a serpent." (Baldwin's "Prehistoric Nations," p. 291.)

The Egyptians placed Dionysos (Osiris) at the close of the period of their history which was assigned to the gods, that is, toward the close of the great empire of Atlantis.

When we remember that the hymns of the "Rig-Veda" are admitted to date back to a vast antiquity, and are written in a language that had ceased to be a living tongue thousands of years ago, we can almost fancy those hymns preserve some part of the songs of praise uttered of old upon the island of Atlantis. Many of them seem to belong to sun-worship, and might have been sung with propriety upon the high places of Peru:

"In the beginning there arose the golden child. He was the one born Lord of all that is. He established the earth and the sky. Who is the god to whom we shall offer sacrifice?

"He who gives life; He who gives strength; whose command all the bright gods" (the stars?) "revere; whose light is immortality; whose shadow is death. . . . He who through his power is the one God of the breathing and awakening world. He who governs all, man and beast. He whose greatness these snowy mountains, whose greatness the sea proclaims, with the distant river. He through whom the sky is bright and the earth firm. . . . He who measured out the light in the air... Wherever the mighty water-clouds went, where they placed the seed and lit the fire, thence arose He who is the sole life of the bright gods. . . . He to whom heaven and earth, standing firm by His will, look up, trembling inwardly. . . . May he not destroy us; He, the creator of the earth; He, the righteous, who created heaven. He also created the bright and mighty waters."

This is plainly a hymn to the sun, or to a god whose most glorious representative was the sun. It is the hymn of a people near the sea; it was not written by a people living in the heart of Asia. It was the hymn of a people living in a volcanic country, who call upon their god to keep the earth "firm" and not to destroy them. It was sung at daybreak, as the sun rolled up the sky over an "awakening world."

The fire (Agni) upon the altar was regarded as a messenger rising from the earth to the sun:

"Youngest of the gods, their messenger, their invoker. . . . For thou, O sage, goest wisely between these two creations (heaven and earth, God and man) like a friendly messenger between two hamlets."

The dawn of the day (Ushas), part of the sun-worship, became also a god:

"She shines upon us like a young wife, rousing every living being to go to his work. When the fire had to be kindled by man, she made the light by striking down the darkness."

As the Egyptians and the Greeks looked to a happy abode (an under-world) in the west, beyond the waters, so the Aryan's paradise was the other side of some body of water. In the Veda (vii. 56, 24) we find a prayer to the Maruts, the storm-gods: "O, Maruts, may there be to us a strong son, who is a living ruler of men; through whom we may cross the waters on our way to the happy abode." This happy abode is described as "where King Vaivasvata reigns; where the secret place of heaven is; where the mighty waters are . . . where there is food and rejoicing . . . where there is happiness and delight; where joy and pleasure reside." (Rig-Veda ix. 113, 7.) This is the paradise beyond the seas; the Elysion; the Elysian Fields of the Greek and the Egyptian, located upon an island in the Atlantic which was destroyed by water. One great chain of tradition binds together these widely separated races.

"The religion of the Veda knows no idols," says Max M�ller; "the worship of idols in India is a secondary formation, a degradation of the more primitive worship of ideal gods."

It was pure sun-worship, such as prevailed in Peru on the arrival of the Spaniards. It accords with Plato's description of the religion of Atlantis.

"The Dolphin's Ridge," at the bottom of the Atlantic, or the high land revealed by the soundings taken by the ship Challenger, is, as will be seen, of a three-pronged form--one prong pointing toward the west coast of Ireland, another connecting with the north-east coast of South America, and a third near or on the west coast of Africa. It does not follow that the island of Atlantis, at any time while inhabited by civilized people, actually reached these coasts; there is a strong probability that races of men may have found their way there from the three continents of Europe, America, and Africa; or the great continent which once filled the whole bed of the present Atlantic Ocean, and from whose d�bris geology tells us the Old and New Worlds were constructed, may have been the scene of the development, during immense periods of time, of diverse races of men, occupying different zones of climate.

There are many indications that there were three races of men dwelling on Atlantis. Noah, according to Genesis, had three sons--Shem, Ham, and Japheth--who represented three different races of men of different colors. The Greek legends tell us of the rebellions inaugurated at different times in Olympus. One of these was a rebellion of the Giants, "a race of beings sprung from the blood of Uranos," the great original progenitor of the stock. "Their king or leader was Porphyrion, their most powerful champion Alkyoneus." Their mother was the earth: this probably meant that they represented the common people of a darker line. They made a desperate struggle for supremacy, but were conquered by Zeus. There were also two rebellions of the Titans. The Titans seem to have had a government of their own, and the names of twelve of their kings are given in the Greek mythology (see Murray, p. 27). They also were of "the blood of Uranos," the Adam of the people. We read, in fact, that Uranos married G�a (the earth), and had three families: 1, the Titans; 2, the Hekatoncheires; and 3, the Kyklopes. We should conclude that the last two were maritime peoples, and I have shown that their mythical characteristics were probably derived from the appearance of their ships. Here we have, I think, a reference to the three races: 1, the red or sunburnt men, like the Egyptians, the Ph�nicians, the Basques, and the Berber and Cushite stocks; 2, the sons of Shem, possibly the yellow or Turanian race; and 3, the whiter men, the Aryans, the Greeks, Kelts, Goths, Slavs, etc. If this view is correct, then we may suppose that colonies of the pale-faced stock may have been sent out from Atlantis to the northern coasts of Europe at different and perhaps widely separated periods of time, from some of which the Aryan families of Europe proceeded; hence the legend, which is found among them, that they were once forced to dwell in a country where the summers were only two months long.

From the earliest times two grand divisions are recognized in the Aryan family: "to the east those who specially called themselves Arians, whose descendants inhabited Persia, India, etc.; to the west, the Yavana, or the Young Ones, who first emigrated westward, and from whom have descended the various nations that have populated Europe. This is the name (Javan) found in the tenth chapter of Genesis." (Lenormant and Chevallier, "Ancient History of the East," vol. ii., p. 2.) But surely those who "first emigrated westward," the earliest to leave the parent stock, could not be the "Young Ones;" they would be rather the elder brothers. But if we can suppose the Bactrian population to have left Atlantis at an early date, and the Greeks, Latins, and Celts to have left it at a later period, then they would indeed be the "Young Ones" of the family, following on the heels of the earlier migrations, and herein we would find the explanation of the resemblance between the Latin and Celtic tongues. Lenormant says the name of Erin (Ireland) is derived from Aryan; and yet we have seen this island populated and named Erin by races distinctly. connected with Spain, Iberia, Africa, and Atlantis.

There is another reason for supposing that the Aryan nations came from Atlantis.

We find all Europe, except a small corner of Spain and a strip along the Arctic Circle, occupied by nations recognized as Aryan; but when we turn to Asia, there is but a corner of it, and that corner in the part nearest Europe, occupied by the Aryans. All the rest of that great continent has been filled from immemorial ages by non-Aryan races. There are seven branches of the Aryan family: 1. Germanic or Teutonic; 2. Slavo-Lithuanic; 3. Celtic; 4. Italic; 5. Greek; 6. Iranian or Persian; 7. Sanscritic or Indian; and of these seven branches five dwell on the soil of Europe, and the other two are intrusive races in Asia from the direction of Europe. The Aryans in Europe have dwelt there apparently since the close of the Stone Age, if not before it, while the movements of the Aryans in Asia are within the Historical Period, and they appear as intrusive stocks, forming a high caste amid a vast population of a different race. The Vedas are supposed to date back to 2000 B.C., while there is every reason to believe that the Celt inhabited Western Europe 5000 B.C. If the Aryan race had originated in the heart of Asia, why would not its ramifications have extended into Siberia, China, and Japan, and all over Asia? And if the Aryans moved at a comparatively recent date into Europe from Bactria, where are the populations that then inhabited Europe--the men of the ages of stone and bronze? We should expect to find the western coasts of Europe filled with them, just as the eastern coasts of Asia and India are filled with Turanian populations. On the contrary, we know that the Aryans descended upon India from the Punjab, which lies to the north-west of that region; and that their traditions represent that they came there from the west, to wit, from the direction of Europe and Atlantis.

Chapter 10, Atlantis, the Antediluvian World by Ignatius, Donnelly [1882]