🏷  Greek Semitic pun recommended · name   —   by Gerry · Nov 2018 · 1743 words

Atlantis may be a pun with Greek ἀτάλαντος atalantos meaning “balance” & “debt”, but also with λανθάνω lanthano meaning “hidden” & “unnoticed”.

Atlantis puns in a nutshell

Like most ancient stories, the Atlantis story seems to be composed of elements that are puns with the word Atlantis. Most importantly, Atlantis is loosely similar to θαλαττα thalatta “sea”, so it’s a story about a sea kingdom.

In Greek (and Roman) etymology, for two successive consonants, the first one sometimes disappears. Consequently, my reasearch experience is that these consonants are also sometimes omitted for puns, like the N in Atlantis. Since Atlantis is officially named after Atlas, you can probably even omit a T.

Overall, my impression is that the Atlantis story, like most other spook stories, had existed previously in other forms, as a parable with punny wordplay & poetry, but without the spooky meanings. Plato’s version likely retold that story with an entire new spook layer. I haven’t decrypted the text yet, but my guess is that it’s also not about some actual kingdom, but yet another introduction to spookery in general.

Atlantis as a pun with lanthano for “unnoticed” & “hidden”

The official derivation for Atlantis is from “island of Atlas”. It’s usually explained by saying that in ancient times, all oceans where interpreted as one surrounding ocean, so all were called “Atlas” or “Atlantic”. But the Greek empires were founded on top of older Phoenician empires, with circumnavigation of Africa and possible pre-Columbian knowledge of America, so the “Atlantic” explanation looks like nonsense.

Since Atlantis is a superpower and gets destroyed in the story, a better pun would be with ἄτα ata for “doom”, and τέλος telos for “supreme power” & “end of life”.

The word that sounds closest to Atlantis is ἀτάλαντος atalantos meaning “same weight” or “balanced”. It comes from Greek talent meaning “weight”, “burden”, “suffering”. The giant Atlas is also derived from this word for “carrying” the world and “suffering” eternally. The same word also means “financial debt”, so Atlantis could mean “indebted”.

The most spooky word that’s close is λανθάνω lanthano for “unnoticed”, “unknown”, “hidden”. The prefix could be ἄτη ate for “mischief” & “deception”, making the whole expression something like ἄτη-λανθάνω ate-lanthano meaning “unnoticed mischief”, the specialty of the spooks.

Greek lanthano = unnoticed, unknown, hidden

λᾰνθᾰ́νω lanthánō : to escape notice ; to cause to forget; to forget; Alternative forms: λήθω (lḗthō) – especially in compounds — Ancient Greek (Wikt)

λανθάνων lanthánon : latent, hidden, underlying; From Ancient Greek λανθάνων (lanthánōn) — Greek (Wikt)

λανθάνω lanthánō : escape notice or detection; unawares, without being observed; unseen; forget; forget purposely, pass over — Ancient Greek (

λανθάνω lanthanó : escaped notice, without knowing, hidden, concealed, lie hid, concealment, unconsciously — Ancient Greek (Strong)

Greek ate = mischief, delusion, deception

ἄτη ā́tē : disaster, misfortune, ruin; delusion, folly; error, fault, mischief — Ancient Greek (Wikt)

ἄτη ate : bewilderment, infatuation; the goddess of mischief; reckless guilt or sin, deceptions — Ancient Greek (

If we judge from the Bible and other sources, Atlantis is probably not an actual place, but a veiled parable about cryptocracy, i.e. the concealed rulership by a hidden aristocracy that is still in place today.

Atlas as “hidden”, his brother Eumelos as “obscured”

Plato states that Atlantis was named after its king Ἄτλας Atlas, and that his younger twin-brother was called Εὔμελος Eumelos in Greek, but Γάδειρος Gadeiros in the “native tongue”. But Gadeiron is a Phoenician name. It’s the name of the Phoenician-founded city Gadir or Agadir in Spain, today’s Cádiz. (Other Phoenician cities even had the same name, such as Mogador). If Atlantis were grounded in reality to some degree, then the “native tongue” of Atlantis would be Phoenician! Yet no one makes that connection to Plato’s “native tongue” of Atlantis.

I personally believe that Atlantis and its kings are just parables, because of their punny names. The story describes a virtual hidden empire, and not a real place. But this nonetheless proves that the Greek elites understood Semitic puns.

Hübner also argued, that Agadir is etymologically related to the semitic g-d-r and probably to Plato's Gadir. The semitic g-d-r means enclosure, fortification and sheep fold. The meaning of enclosure, sheep fold corresponds to the Greek translation of the name Gadeiros (Crit. 114b) which is Eumelos = Rich in Sheep.

Wikipedia: Location hypotheses of Atlantis

But the Semitic root גדר gdr does not mainly mean “sheepfold”. Rather, it generally means “cutting off” or “restraining”. Agadir was very likely named that way because it was founded to put a chokehold on the Strait of Gibraltar, for “cutting off” the Atlantic from the Mediterranean and creating a monopoly for the globalized overlords.

The term εὔμηλος eumelos is officially translated “rich in sheep”, from εὔ- eu- for “well” and μῆλον melon for “sheep”. However, it can equally be constructed with μέλας melas for “obscure”, and would then mean “well obscured”.

The meaning “well-obscured” fits Plato’s “native tongue” translation “Gadeiros”, and is also fitting for a “younger brother” of Atlas as a pun for “unknown” & “hidden”.

Greek eumelos = rich in sheep, well obscured

εὔμηλος eumelos : rich in sheep — Ancient Greek (

εὐ- eu- : good, well; Prefix form of εὖ (, “well”). — Ancient Greek (Wikt)

μῆλον mêlon : sheep, goat, beast — Ancient Greek (Wikt)

μέλας mélās : evil, black, dark, obscure, indistinct — Ancient Greek (Wikt)

Aramaic, Hebrew gdr = wall up, close off, fence in

גדר gdr : fence in, wall up, enclose, restrain; boast, distinguish, define — Hebrew (Klein)

גדר gdr : to cut, to harvest, cut down; fence in; to limit, control, ward off; to be guarded, to guard one’s self; to cut one’s self off from others, to distinguish one’s self, to excel — Hebrew (Jastrow)

גדר gdr : to wall up or off, to build a wall; close up, fence up, hedge, enclose — Old Hebrew (Strong)

גדר gdr : stone fence or wall; cistern; sheepfold — Aramaic (CAL)

גדר gdr : to distinguish oneself — Aramaic (CAL)

התגדרות htgdrwt : haughtiness, conceit; setting a fence around; distinction — Hebrew (Klein)

… who had for his portion the extremity of the island near the pillars of Heracles up to the part of the country now called Gadeira after the name of that region, was Eumelus in Greek, but in the native tongue Gadeirus, — which fact may have given its title to the country. And of the pair that were born next he called the one Ampheres and the other Evaemon; and of the third pair the elder was named Mneseus

τότε Ἄτλας: τῷ δὲ διδύμῳ μετ᾽ ἐκεῖνόν τε γενομένῳ, λῆξιν δὲ ἄκρας τῆς νήσου πρὸς Ἡρακλείων στηλῶν εἰληχότι ἐπὶ τὸ τῆς Γαδειρικῆς νῦν χώρας κατ᾽ ἐκεῖνον τὸν τόπον ὀνομαζομένης, Ἑλληνιστὶ μὲν Εὔμηλον, τὸ δ᾽ ἐπιχώριον Γάδειρον, ὅπερ τ᾽ ἦν ἐπίκλην ταύτῃ ὄνομ᾽ ἂν παράσχοι. τοῖν δὲ δευτέροιν γενομένοιν τὸν μὲν Ἀμφήρη, τὸν δὲ Εὐαίμονα ἐκάλεσεν: τρίτοις δέ, Μνησέα μὲν τῷ προτέρῳ γενομένῳ,

Critias 114b

Plato admits you can easily lie about the unknown

Plato himself opens his work Critias about Atlantis with a preamble, saying that you can get away with almost any degree of misrepresentation & deception, if your audience knows nothing about the subject. He says about portraits done by painters that…

… in respect of the ease or difficulty with which they succeed in imitating their subjects in the opinion of onlookers, we shall notice in the first place that as regards the earth and mountains and rivers and woods and the whole of heaven, with the things that exist and move therein, we are content if a man is able to represent them with even a small degree of likeness; and further, that, inasmuch as we have no exact knowledge about such objects, we do not examine closely or criticize the paintings, but tolerate, in such cases, an inexact

ἴδωμεν ῥᾳστώνης τε πέρι καὶ χαλεπότητος πρὸς τὸ τοῖς ὁρῶσιν δοκεῖν ἀποχρώντως μεμιμῆσθαι, καὶ κατοψόμεθα ὅτι γῆν μὲν καὶ ὄρη καὶ ποταμοὺς καὶ ὕλην οὐρανόν τε σύμπαντα καὶ τὰ περὶ αὐτὸν ὄντα καὶ ἰόντα πρῶτον μὲν ἀγαπῶμεν ἄν τίς τι καὶ βραχὺ πρὸς ὁμοιότητα αὐτῶν ἀπομιμεῖσθαι δυνατὸς ᾖ, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις, ἅτε οὐδὲν εἰδότες ἀκριβὲς περὶ τῶν τοιούτων, οὔτε ἐξετάζομεν οὔτε ἐλέγχομεν τὰ γεγραμμένα,

Critias 107c

and deceptive sketch. On the other hand, whenever a painter tries to render a likeness of our own bodies, we quickly perceive what is defective because of our constant familiar acquaintance with them, and become severe critics of him who fails to bring out to the full all the points of similarity. And precisely the same thing happens, as we should notice, in the case of discourses: in respect of what is celestial and divine we are satisfied if the account pocesses even a small degree of likelihood, but we examine with precision …

σκιαγραφίᾳ δὲ ἀσαφεῖ καὶ ἀπατηλῷ χρώμεθα περὶ αὐτά: τὰ δὲ ἡμέτερα ὁπόταν τις ἐπιχειρῇ σώματα ἀπεικάζειν, ὀξέως αἰσθανόμενοι τὸ παραλειπόμενον διὰ τὴν ἀεὶ σύνοικον κατανόησιν χαλεποὶ κριταὶ γιγνόμεθα τῷ μὴ πάσας πάντως τὰς ὁμοιότητας ἀποδιδόντι. ταὐτὸν δὴ καὶ κατὰ τοὺς λόγους ἰδεῖν δεῖ γιγνόμενον, ὅτι τὰ μὲν οὐράνια καὶ θεῖα ἀγαπῶμεν καὶ σμικρῶς εἰκότα λεγόμενα, τὰ δὲ θνητὰ καὶ ἀνθρώπινα ἀκριβῶς ἐξετάζομεν. ἐκ δὴ τοῦ παραχρῆμα

Critias 107d

The Atlantic ocean “hiding” something

Since the Atlantic ocean is named with the same word root as Atlantis, it may be the same pun. Since the ocean itself is hardly “hidden”, this may mean that the Greek elites knew something else was conveniently “hidden” behind it, perhaps the American continent. This single pun is hardly a proof, but other geographic puns may provide more evidence.

🏷  Greek Semitic pun recommended · name