Elysian - Elysium - The Elysian Fields - Is This The Lost City of Atlantis Or A Greek Myth

Elysian Fields
Elysian Fields

Elysian, a word from Greek Mythology relating to Elysium, meaning;

 Blissful, blessed, celestial, heavenly, ethereal.

An adjective describing something peaceful and perfect, something divinely inspired something beautifully creative.

 “Being of such surpassing excellence as to suggest inspiration by the gods”

According to Greek mythology Elysium was, to some extent, paradise, a resting place for pure souls, but a paradise reserved only for heroes, or for those chosen by the Gods for their righteousness.

What does this magical place look like?
To some, it maybe a sunny beach, a carefree place, to others the heights of a solitary mountain, peaceful and still.

I'm from Yorkshire, God's own county, the best place in the world!
In my minds eye, I see Elysium as the emerald green fields, and as the unique dells and dales, of my beloved Yorkshire!

Swaledale. Yorkshire

Here these heroes would remain, after death, in Elysium, in this Utopia, composing poetry, singing and dancing, basically having the time of their life!

 A second one that is, and then a third!

The lucky ones allowed entrance into this mythical wonderland, were reincarnated three times, and had to be judged three times by the three judges of death;
 Aeacus, Minos and Rhadamanthus.

The three judges of death.  Aeacus, Minos and Rhadamanthus.
The three judges of death - Aeacus, Minos and Rhadamanthus.

Homer, in The Odyssey, names Rhadamanthus, one of these three judges, as the ruler of Elysium, while Pindar and Hesiod state that it is Cronus, ruler of the heavens and King of the Gods, son of Zeus and Europa.

Take your pick, I’ll go with Cronus!

Cronus Peter Paul Reubens
Peter Paul Reubens

How did these righteous souls reach this heavenly place?

Were they ferried across the Styx by Charon?


Did they pass through the gates of Hades, (Rumoured to be found in Epirus, Northern Greece, on the River Acheron ) into this glorious underworld, thankful not to be arriving in Tartarus, the most horrifying, darkest and deepest corner of Hades?

The Gates of Hades River Acheron .Epirus. Northern Greece.
The Gates of Hades - River Acheron -Epirus. Northern Greece.

Most importantly, where is this idyllic place, where are these Elysian Fields?

 In Greek Ἠλύσιον πεδίον, Ēlýsion pedíon

For some it truly could be Paris!

Paris” you say, “Why Paris?”

The most famous of all Elysian Fields in the world, is right at the heart of Paris; we all know it, but maybe by another name, the French version:

  The Champs-Élysées!

The Champs Elysees. Paris
The Champs-Élysées

Amazing as the city is, this city of light, Paris is not the Elysian Fields mentioned in Greek mythology.

Homer liked to think that Elysium could be found on the Western edge of Earth, by the stream of Okeanos, situated at the Equator, in which floated the habitable hemisphere.

The Stream of Okeanos takes its name from the Greek word; ecumene or oecumene meaning habitable.

This is an ancient Greek term for the known world, later, in Roman times, the civilized world.

Elysium or Elysian fields were also known as The Fortunate Islands or Isles of the Blessed, located in the Atlantic sea, and said to be two in number.

In Greek mythology, (According to Hesiod, the ancient Greek poet), these legendary, winter-less, heavenly islands are said to be inhabited only by heroes.

Are we looking for the lost city of  Atlantis, The Sea of Atlas, in Greek mythology, Atlas being the Titan God who held up the sky, standing at the ends of the Earth, in the West.

Are Elysium and Atlantis one and the same?

Atlas Image; Howard David Johnson
Image; Howard David Johnson

Atlas, a true hero indeed, has been connected with many places, but is mostly associated with the Atlas Mountains in Northwest Africa, modern day Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

Here’s a summary of what we have so far; islands in the Atlantic, on the western edge of Earth, near the Equator with no winter season.

 More locations mentioned in connection with Elysium or Atlantis are:


 Aeolian Islands ( Αιολίδες Νήσοι in Greek, Aiolides Nisoi are a volcanic archipelego in the Tyrrhenian Sea, north of Sicily, named after the demigod of the winds Aeolus).

 Aegadian Islands (Aegatae Nisoi, in Greek Αιγάται Νήσοι, meaning the islands of goats, are a group of five small mountainous islands in the Mediterranean Sea, off the northwest coast of Sicily, near the cities of Trapani and Marsala).


 Canary Islands


  Cape Verde



In his book “Greek Religion” Walter Burkert connects Elysium with Mount Teide on Tenerife, called the White Isle by explorers, owing to the mountain’s snow covered peak.

Walter Burkert makes the connection of Elysium to Tenerife and the White Isle as a result of a reference to an Elysium, in a tale set in Mesopotamia (Modern day Iraq), “The Epic of Gilgamesh”.

Dilmun is mentioned in this epic, “A place where the sun rises in the land of the living, where heroes were taken by Gods to live forever”

Dilmun is associated with a white isle.

Surely another Elysium?

Mount Teide Tenerife The highest mountain In Spain.
Mount Teide Tenerife The highest mountain In Spain.

All the hundreds and thousands of holiday makers, having the time of their lives, living it up on heavenly Tenerife, thinking that they have found paradise, where they never really feel the chill of winter, are they really holidaying on Atlantis or maybe in Elysium?

I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

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