Atlantis, the Antediluvian World, by Ignatius Donnelly, , at sacred-texts.com
WE have seen that beyond question Spain and France owed a great part of their population to Atlantis. Let us turn now to Ireland.
We would naturally expect, in view of the geographical position of the country, to find Ireland colonized at an early day by the overflowing population of Atlantis. And, in fact, the Irish annals tell us that their island was settled prior to the Flood. In their oldest legends an account is given of three Spanish fishermen who were driven by contrary winds on the coast of Ireland before the Deluge. After these came the Formorians, who were led into the country prior to the Deluge by the Lady Banbha, or Kesair; her maiden name was h'Erni, or Berba; she was accompanied by fifty maidens and three men--Bith, Ladhra, and Fintain. Ladhra was their conductor, who was the first buried in Hibernia. That ancient book, the "Cin of Drom-Snechta," is quoted in the "Book of Ballymote" as authority for this legend.
The Irish annals speak of the Formorians as a warlike race, who, according to the "Annals of Clonmacnois," "were a sept descended from Cham, the son of Noeh, and lived by pyracie and spoile of other nations, and were in those days very troublesome to the whole world."
Were not these the inhabitants of Atlantis, who, according to Plato, carried their arms to Egypt and Athens, and whose subsequent destruction has been attributed to divine vengeance invoked by their arrogance and oppressions?
The Formorians were from Atlantis. They were called Fomhoraicc, F'omoraig Afraic, and Formoragh, which has been rendered into English as Formorians. They possessed ships, and the uniform representation is that they came, as the name F'omoraig Afraic indicated, from Africa. But in that day Africa did not mean the continent of Africa, as we now understand it. Major Wilford, in the eighth volume of the "Asiatic Researches," has pointed out that Africa comes from Apar, Aphar, Apara, or Aparica, terms used to signify "the West," just as we now speak of the Asiatic world as "the East." When, therefore, the Formorians claimed to come from Africa, they simply meant that they came from the West--in other words, from Atlantis--for there was no other country except America west of them.
They possessed Ireland from so early a period that by some of the historians they are spoken of as the aborigines of the country.
The first invasion of Ireland, subsequent to the coming of the Formorians, was led by a chief called Partholan: his people are known in the Irish annals as "Partholan's people." They were also probably Atlanteans. They were from Spain. A British prince, Gulguntius, or Gurmund, encountered off the Hebrides a fleet of thirty ships, filled with men and women, led by one Partholyan, who told him they were from Spain, and seeking some place to colonize. The British prince directed him to Ireland. ("De Antiq. et Orig. Cantab.")
Spain in that day was the land of the Iberians, the Basques; that is to say, the Atlanteans.
The Formorians defeated Partholan's people, killed Partholan, and drove the invaders out of the country.
The Formorians were a civilized race; they had "a fleet of sixty ships and a strong army."
The next invader of their dominions was Neimhidh; he captured one of their fortifications, but it was retaken by the Formorians under "Morc." Neimhidh was driven out of the
country, and the Atlanteans continued in undisturbed possession of the island for four hundred years more. Then came the Fir-Bolgs. They conquered the whole island, and divided it into five provinces. They held possession of the country for only thirty-seven years, when they were overthrown by the Tuatha-de-Dananns, a people more advanced in civilization; so much so that when their king, Nuadha, lost his hand in battle, "Creidne, the artificer," we are told, "put a silver hand upon him, the fingers of which were capable of motion." This great race ruled the country for one hundred and ninety-seven years: they were overthrown by an immigration from Spain, probably of Basques, or Iberians, or Atlanteans, "the sons of Milidh," or Milesius, who "possessed a large fleet and a strong army." This last invasion took place about the year 1700 B.C.; so that the invasion of Neimhidh must have occurred about the year 2334 B.C.; while we will have to assign a still earlier date for the coming of Partholan's people, and an earlier still for the occupation of the country by the Formorians from the West.
In the Irish historic tales called "Catha; or Battles," as given by the learned O'Curry, a record is preserved of a real battle which was fought between the Tuatha-de-Dananns and the Fir Bolgs, from which it appears that these two races spoke the same language, and that they were intimately connected with the Formorians. As the armies drew near together the Fir-Bolgs sent out Breas, one of their great chiefs, to reconnoitre the camp of the strangers; the Tuatha-de-Dananns appointed one of their champions, named Sreng, to meet the emissary of the enemy; the two warriors met and talked to one another over the tops of their shields, and each was delighted to find that the other spoke the same language. A battle followed, in which Nunda, king of the Fir-Bolgs, was slain; Breas succeeded him; he encountered the hostility of the bards, and was compelled to resign the crown. He went to the court of his father-in-law, Elathe, a Formorian sea-king or pirate; not being
well received, he repaired to the camp of Balor of the Evil Eye, a Formorian chief. The Formorian head-quarters seem to have been in the Hebrides. Breas and Balor collected a vast army and navy and invaded Ireland, but were defeated in a great battle by the Tuatha-de-Dananns.
These particulars would show the race-identity of the Fir-Bolg and Tuatha-de-Dananns; and also their intimate connection, if not identity with, the Formorians.
The Tuatha-de-Dananns seem to have been a civilized people; besides possessing ships and armies and working in the metals, they had an organized body of surgeons, whose duty it was to attend upon the wounded in battle; and they had also a bardic or Druid class, to preserve the history of the country and the deeds of kings and heroes.
According to the ancient books of Ireland the race known as "Partholan's people," the Nemedians, the Fir-Bolgs, the Tuatha-de-Dananns, and the Milesians were all descended from two brothers, sons of Magog, son of Japheth, son of Noah, who escaped from the catastrophe which destroyed his country. Thus all these races were Atlantean. They were connected with the African colonies of Atlantis, the Berbers, and with the Egyptians. The Milesians lived in Egypt: they were expelled thence; they stopped a while in Crete, then in Scythia, then they settled in Africa (See MacGeoghegan's "History of Ireland," p. 57), at a place called Gæthulighe or Getulia, and lived there during eight generations, say two hundred and fifty years; "then they entered Spain, where they built Brigantia, or Briganza, named after their king Breogan: they dwelt in Spain a considerable time. Milesius, a descendant of Breogan, went on an expedition to Egypt, took part in a war against the Ethiopians, married the king's daughter, Scota: he died in Spain, but his people soon after conquered Ireland. On landing on the coast they offered sacrifices to Neptune or Poseidon"--the god of Atlantis. (Ibid., p. 58.)
The Book of Genesis (chap. x.) gives us the descendants
of Noah's three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. We are told that the sons of Japheth were Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. We are then given the names of the descendants of Gomer and Javan, but not of Magog. Josephus says the sons of Magog were the Scythians. The Irish annals take up the genealogy of Magog's family where the Bible leaves it. The Book of Invasions, the "Cin of Drom-Snechta," claims that these Scythians were the Phnicians; and we are told that a branch of this family were driven out of Egypt in the time of Moses: "He wandered through Africa for forty-two years, and passed by the lake of Salivæ to the altars of the Philistines, and between Rusicada and the mountains Azure, and he came by the river Monlon, and by the sea to the Pillars of Hercules, and through the Tuscan sea, and he made for Spain, and dwelt there many years, and he increased and multiplied, and his people were multiplied."
From all these facts it appears that the population of Ireland came from the West, and not from Asia--that it was one of the many waves of population flowing out from the Island of Atlantis-and herein we find the explanation of that problem which has puzzled the Aryan scholars. As Ireland is farther from the Punjab than Persia, Greece, Rome, or Scandinavia, it would follow that the Celtic wave of migration must have been the earliest sent out from the Sanscrit centre; but it is now asserted by Professor Schleicher and others that the Celtic tongue shows that it separated from the Sanscrit original tongue later than the others, and that it is more closely allied to the Latin than any other Aryan tongue. This is entirely inexplicable upon any theory of an Eastern origin of the Indo-European races, but very easily understood if we recognize the Aryan and Celtic migrations as going out about the same time from the Atlantean fountain-head.
There are many points confirmatory of this belief. In the first place, the civilization of the Irish dates back to a vast
antiquity. We have seen their annals laying claim to an immigration from the direction of Atlantis prior to the Deluge, with no record that the people of Ireland were subsequently destroyed by the Deluge. From the Formorians, who came before the Deluge, to the Milesians, who came from Spain in the Historic Period, the island was continuously inhabited. This demonstrates (1) that these legends did not come from Christian sources, as the Bible record was understood in the old time to imply a destruction of all who lived before the Flood except Noah and his family; (2) it confirms our view that the Deluge was a local catastrophe, and did not drown the whole human family; (3) that the coming of the Formorians having been before the Deluge, that great cataclysm was of comparatively recent date, to wit, since the settlement of Ireland; and (4) that as the Deluge was a local catastrophe, it must have occurred somewhere not far from Ireland to have come to their knowledge. A rude people could scarcely have heard in that day of a local catastrophe occurring in the heart of Asia.
There are many evidences that the Old World recognized Ireland as possessing a very ancient civilization. In the Sanscrit books it is referred to as Hiranya, the "Island of the Sun," to wit, of sun-worship; in other words, as pre-eminently the centre of that religion which was shared by all the ancient races of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. It is believed that Ireland was the "Garden of Phbus" of the Western mythologists.
The Greeks called Ireland the "Sacred Isle" and "Ogygia."
"Nor can any one," says Camden, "conceive why they should call it Ogygia, unless, perhaps, from its antiquity; for the Greeks called nothing Ogygia unless what was extremely ancient." We have seen that Ogyges was connected by the Greek legends with a first deluge, and that Ogyges was "a quite mythical personage, lost in the night of ages."
It appears, as another confirmation of the theory of the Atlantis origin of these colonies, that their original religion
was sun-worship; this, as was the case in other countries, became subsequently overlaid with idol-worship. In the reign of King Tighernmas the worship of idols was introduced. The priests constituted the Order of Druids. Naturally many analogies have been found to exist between the beliefs and customs of the Druids and the other religions which were drawn from Atlantis. We have seen in the chapter on sun-worship how extensive this form of religion was in the Atlantean days, both in Europe and America.
It would appear probable that the religion of the Druids passed from Ireland to England and France. The metempsychosis or transmigration of souls was one of the articles of their belief long before the time of Pythagoras; it had probably been drawn from the storehouse of Atlantis, whence it passed to the Druids, the Greeks, and the Hindoos. The Druids had a pontifex maximus to whom they yielded entire obedience. Here again we see a practice which extended to the Phnicians, Egyptians, Hindoos, Peruvians, and Mexicans.
The Druids of Gaul and Britain offered human sacrifices, while it is claimed that the Irish Druids did not. This would appear to have been a corrupt after-growth imposed upon the earlier and purer sacrifice of fruits and flowers known in Atlantis, and due in part to greater cruelty and barbarism in their descendants. Hence we find it practised in degenerate ages on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Irish Druidical rites manifested themselves principally in sun worship. Their chief god was Bel or Baal--the same worshipped by the Phnicians--the god of the sun. The Irish name for the sun, Grian, is, according to Virgil, one of the names of Apollo--another sun-god, Gryneus. Sun-worship continued in Ireland down to the time of St. Patrick, and some of its customs exist among the peasantry of that country to this day. We have seen that among the Peruvians, Romans, and other nations, on a certain day all fires were extinguished throughout the kingdom, and a new fire kindled at the
chief temple by the sun's rays, from which the people obtained their fire for the coming year. In Ireland the same practice was found to exist. A piece of land was set apart, where the four provinces met, in the present county of Meath; here, at a palace called Tlachta, the divine fire was kindled. Upon the night of what is now All-Saints-day the Druids assembled at this place to offer sacrifice, and it was established, under heavy penalties, that no fire should be kindled except from this source. On the first of May a convocation of Druids was held in the royal palace of the King of Connaught, and two fires were lit, between which cattle were driven, as a preventive of murrain and other pestilential disorders. This was called Beltinne, or the day of Bel's fire. And unto this day the Irish call the first day of May "Lha-Beul-tinne," which signifies "the day of Bel's fire." The celebration in Ireland of St. John's-eve by watch-fires is a relic of the ancient sun-worship of Atlantis. The practice of driving cattle through the fire continued for a longtime, and Kelly mentions in his "Folk-lore" that in Northamptonshire, in England, a calf was sacrificed in one of these fires to "stop the murrain" during the present century. Fires are still lighted in England and Scotland as well as Ireland for superstitious purposes; so that the people of Great Britain, it may be said, are still in some sense in the midst of the ancient sun-worship of Atlantis.
We find among the Irish of to-day many Oriental customs. The game of "jacks," or throwing up five pebbles and catching them on the back of the hand, was known in Rome. "The Irish keen (caoine), or the lament over the dead, may still be heard in Algeria and Upper Egypt, even as Herodotus heard it chanted by the Libyan women." The same practice existed among the Egyptians, Etruscans, and Romans. The Irish wakes are identical with the funeral feasts of the Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans. (Cusack's "History of Ireland," p. 141.) The Irish custom of saying "God bless you!" when one sneezes, is a very ancient practice; it was known to the Romans,
and referred, it is said, to a plague in the remote past, whose first symptom was sneezing.
We find many points of resemblance between the customs of the Irish and those of the Hindoo. The practice of the creditor fasting at the door-step of his debtor until be is paid, is known to both countries; the kindly "God save you!" is the same as the Eastern "God be gracious to you, my son!" The reverence for the wren in Ireland and Scotland reminds us of the Oriental and Greek respect for that bird. The practice of pilgrimages, fasting, bodily macerations, and devotion to holy wells and particular places, extends from Ireland to India.
All these things speak of a common origin; this fact has been generally recognized, but it has always been interpreted that the Irish camp, from the East, and were in fact a migration of Hindoos. There is not the slightest evidence to sustain this theory. The Hindoos have never within the knowledge of man sent out colonies or fleets for exploration; but there is abundant evidence, on the other hand, of migrations from Atlantis eastward. And how could the Sanscrit writings have preserved maps of Ireland, England, and Spain, giving the shape and outline of their coasts, and their very names, and yet have preserved no memory of the expeditions or colonizations by which they acquired that knowledge?
Another proof of our theory is found in "the round-towers" of Ireland. Attempts have been made to show, by Dr. Petrie and others, that these extraordinary structures are of modern origin, and were built by the Christian priests, in which to keep their church-plate. But it is shown that the "Annals of Ulster" mention the destruction of fifty-seven of them by an earthquake in A.D. 448; and Giraldus Cambrensis shows that Lough Neagh was created by an inundation, or sinking of the laud, in A.D. 65, and that in his day the fishermen could
"See the round-towers of other days
In the waves beneath them shining."
Moreover, we find Diodorus Siculus, in a well-known passage, referring to Ireland, and describing it as "an island in the ocean over against Gaul, to the north, and not inferior in size to Sicily, the soil of which is so fruitful that they mow there twice in the year." He mentions the skill of their harpers, their sacred groves, and their singular temples of round form.
We find similar structures in America, Sardinia, and India. The remains of similar round-towers are very abundant in the Orkneys and Shetlands. "They have been supposed by some," says Sir John Lubbock, to be Scandinavian, but no similar buildings exist in Norway, Sweden, or Denmark, so that this style of architecture is no doubt anterior to the arrival of the
THE BURGH OF MOUSSA, IN THE SHETLANDS.
[paragraph continues] Northmen." I give above a picture of the Burgh or Broch of the little island of Moussa, in the Shetlands. It is circular in form, forty-one feet in height, open at the top; the central
space is twenty feet in diameter, the walls about fourteen feet thick at the base, and eight feet at the top. They contain a staircase, which leads to the top of the building. Similar structures are found in the Island of Sardinia.
In New Mexico and Colorado the remains of round-towers are very abundant. The illustration below represents one
ROUND-TOWER OF THE CANYON OF THE MANCOS, COLORADO, U.S.
of these in the valley of the Mancos, in the south-western corner of Colorado. A model of it is to be found in the Smithsonian collection at Washington. The tower stands at present, in its ruined condition, twenty feet high. It will be seen that it resembles the towers of Ireland, not only in its circular form but also in the fact that its door-way is situated at some distance from the ground.
It will not do to say that the resemblance between these prehistoric and singular towers, in countries so far apart as Sardinia, Ireland, Colorado, and India, is due to an accidental coincidence. It might as well be argued that the resemblance
between the roots of the various Indo-European languages was also due to accidental coincidence, and did not establish any similarity of origin. In fact, we might just as well go back to the theory of the philosophers of one hundred and fifty years ago, and say that the resemblance between the fossil forms in the rocks and the living forms upon them did not indicate relationship, or prove that the fossils were the remains of creatures that had once lived, but that it was simply a way nature had of working out extraordinary coincidences in a kind of joke; a sort of "plastic power in nature," as it was called.
We find another proof that Ireland was settled by the people of Atlantis in the fact that traditions long existed among the Irish peasantry of a land in the "Far West," and that this belief was especially found among the posterity of the Tuatha-de-Dananns, whose connection with the Formorians we have shown.
The Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg, in a note to his translation of the "Popol Vuh," says:
"There is an abundance of legends and traditions concerning the passage of the Irish into America, and their habitual communication with that continent many centuries before the time of Columbus. We should bear in mind that Ireland was colonized by the Phnicians (or by people of that race). An Irish Saint named Vigile, who lived in the eighth century, was accused to Pope Zachary of having taught heresies on the subject of the antipodes. At first he wrote to the pope in reply to the charge, but afterward he went to Rome in person to justify himself, and there be proved to the pope that the Irish had been accustomed to communicate with a transatlantic world."
"This fact," says Baldwin, "seems to have been preserved in the records of the Vatican."
The Irish annals preserve the memory of St. Brendan of Clonfert, and his remarkable voyage to a land in the West, made A.D. 545. His early youth was passed under the care of St. Ita, a lady of the princely family of the Desii. When
he was five years old he was placed under the care of Bishop Ercus. Kerry was his native home; the blue waves of the Atlantic washed its shores; the coast was full of traditions of a wonderful land in the West. He went to see the venerable St. Enda, the first abbot of Arran, for counsel. he was probably encouraged in the plan he had formed of carrying the Gospel to this distant land. "He proceeded along the coast of Mayo, inquiring as he went for traditions of the Western continent. On his return to Kerry he decided to set out on the important expedition. St. Brendan's Hill still bears his name; and from the bay at the foot of this lofty eminence be sailed for the 'Far West.' Directing his course toward the southwest, with a few faithful companions, in a well-provisioned bark, he came, after some rough and dangerous navigation, to calm seas, where, without aid of oar or sail, he was borne along for many weeks." He had probably entered upon the same great current which Columbus travelled nearly one thousand years later, and which extends from the shores of Africa and Europe to America. He finally reached land; he proceeded inland until he came to a large river flowing from east to west, supposed by some to be the Ohio. "After an absence of seven years he returned to Ireland, and lived not only to tell of the marvels he had seen, but to found a college of three thousand monks at Clonfert." There are eleven Latin MSS. in the Bibliothèque Impériale at Paris of this legend, the dates of which vary from the eleventh to the fourteenth century, but all of them anterior to the time of Columbus.
The fact that St. Brendan sailed in search of a country in the west cannot be doubted; and the legends which guided him were probably the traditions of Atlantis among a people whose ancestors had been derived directly or at second-hand from that country.
This land was associated in the minds of the peasantry with traditions of Edenic happiness and beauty. Miss Eleanor C. Donnelly, of Philadelphia, has referred to it in her poem, "The
Sleeper's Sail," where the starving boy dreams of the pleasant and plentiful land:
"'Mother, I've been on the cliffs out yonder,
Straining my eyes o'er the breakers free
To the lovely spot where the sun was setting,
Setting and sinking into the sea.
"'The sky was full of the fairest colors
Pink and purple and paly green,
With great soft masses of gray and amber,
And great bright rifts of gold between.
"'And all the birds that way were flying,
Heron and curlew overhead,
With a mighty eagle westward floating,
Every plume in their pinions red.
"'And then I saw it, the fairy city,
Far away o'er the waters deep;
Towers and castles and chapels glowing
Like blesséd dreams that we see in sleep.
"'What is its name?' 'Be still, acushla
(Thy hair is wet with the mists, my boy);
Thou hast looked perchance on the Tir-na-n'oge,
Land of eternal youth and joy!
"'Out of the sea, when the sun is setting,
It rises, golden and fair to view;
No trace of ruin, or change of sorrow,
No sign of age where all is new.
"'Forever sunny, forever blooming,
Nor cloud nor frost can touch that spot,
Where the happy people are ever roaming,
The bitter pangs of the past forgot.'
This is the Greek story of Elysion; these are the Elysian Fields of the Egyptians; these are the Gardens of the Hesperides; this is the region in the West to which the peasant of Brittany looks from the shores of Cape Raz; this is Atlantis.
The starving child seeks to reach this blessed land in a boat and is drowned.
"High on the cliffs the light-house keeper
Caught the sound of a piercing scream;
Low in her hut the lonely widow
Moaned in the maze of a troubled dream;
"And saw in her sleep a seaman ghostly,
With sea-weeds clinging in his hair,
Into her room, all wet and dripping,
A drownéd boy on his bosom bear.
"Over Death Sea on a bridge of silver
The child to his Father's arms had passed!
Heaven was nearer than Tir-na-n'oge,
And the golden city was reached at last."