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TRACY R. TWYMAN | Operation Odyssey Dawn: The Birth of a New Atlantean Empire?

Poseidon, father of the Atlanteans

The name of the new war being launched by coalition forces in North Africa, “Operation Odyssey Dawn,” is quite fascinating. Libya in fact is the third stop on the voyages of the hero Odysseus in Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. In that story it was described as the land of the Lotus Eaters, where Odysseus and his men consumed mind-altering substances that made them forget their mission to return home. This is quite interesting, considering that Gaddafi early on complained that the citizen uprising taking place in his country was the result of teenagers being dosed surreptitiously with hallucinogenic drugs by the CIA.

The Voyages of Odysseus, with Libya as the land of the Lotus Eaters

Homer says that Odysseus was a descendant of Zeus through Euyodia. The country of Libya is called after the goddess of the same name. Libya was a descendant of Zeus and Io, a wife of Poseidon, and an ancestor of Hercules. She is also the grandmother of Aegyptus, whom the country of Egypt is named after. Thus Libya was a blood relative of Odysseus, a descendant of Zeus and Euyodia.

The Odyssey crew in the land of the Lotus Eaters

It is interesting to note that, according to Plato’s Dialogues, the territories of both Libya and Egypt were at one point the frontiers of a vast international empire, held together by military might and centered on the island of Atlantis. The timing of both the modern invasion of Libya, and the political revolution in Egypt, is interesting because Atlantis may very well have just been discovered finally by archeologists, directly in front of the Straights of Gibraltar (the Pillars of Hercules), as revealed in a program that aired on television just a few days ago. Here is Plato’s account of the creation of Atlantis (as told to him second-hand by the philosopher Solon, paraphrasing something he was told by an Egyptian philosopher):

Many great and wonderful deeds are recorded of your State in our histories; but one of them exceeds all the rest in greatness and valor; for these histories tell of a mighty power which was aggressing wantonly against the whole of Europe and Asia, and to which your city put an end. This power came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable; and there was an island situated in front of the straits which you call the Columns of Heracles: the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from the islands you might pass through the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbor, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and the surrounding land may be most truly called a continent. Now, in the island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire, which had rule over the whole island and several others, as well as over parts of the continent; and, besides these, they subjected the parts of Libya within the Columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. The vast power thus gathered into one, endeavored to subdue at one blow our country and yours, and the whole of the land which was within the straits.

Frontispiece to The New Atlantis by Sir Francis Bacon, featuring the Pillars of Hercules. Bacon saw the American continent as the site of a future revival of the Atlantean empire.

Note also that Poseidon, the husband of Libya, was also the husband of Cleito and the father of Atlas, whom the island of Atlantis was allegedly built for (by Poseidon himself), as the seat of an empire that would be thought of as the center of the Earth, the pole that upholds the heavens (like Atlas himself is said to). So here we have the region of the Atlantean empire, and the region of the adventures of Odysseus, now as the center of a military conflict named after the hero himself, being spearheaded by an international military empire (the USA) that can in some ways be compared to that of Atlantis. Odysseus was also a character in Homer’s account of the Trojan war, The Iliad, in which he is credited with devising the plot of the Trojan Horse. Perhaps an ominous hint of things to come, if we consider that the naming of this particular military operation may be purposely intended to evoke memories of these ancient stories. The symbolic significance to modern geopolitics will require further examination, however.


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