Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Monday, February 28, 2011

Aristotle on America: the "island" of the Carthaginians

A mysterious island in the Atlantic, is it America?
See Index on all my posts on Phoenicians in America.
Aristotle on America and Carthage
Aristotle, his text on the mysterious island of the Carthaginians in the Atlantic: America. From [1].

Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC, in the book that is attributed to him, "De mirabilibus auscultationibus", wrote the following:

In the sea outside the Pillars of Hercules [beyond Gibraltar, that is, in the Atlantic Ocean] they say that an island was discovered by the Carthaginians, desolate, having wood of every kind, and navigable rivers, [this can only be America as no other island in the Atlantic has navigable rivers] and admirable for its fruits besides, but distant several days' voyage from them. But when the Carthaginians often came to this island because of its fertility, and some even dwelt there [a Colony], the magistrates of the Carthaginians gave notice that they would punish with death those who should sail to it, and destroyed all the inhabitants. lest they should spread the report about it, or a large number might gather together to the island in their time, get possession of the authority, and destroy the prosperity of the Carthaginians. [1]

This is very similar to Diodorus' version. And referrs to a Carthaginian colony in America.

I would like to point out however that the work is certainly not by Aristotle, and may even include additions dating to the second century AD. Nevertheless a very curious and useful compendium of ancient myths.


Aristotle, De mirabilibus auscultationibus. Dowdall, Laurence. (1909) Oxford : Clarendon Press

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia
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