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Poseidon carved the mountain where his love dwelt into a palace and enclosed it with three circular moats of increasing width, varying from one to three stadia and separated by rings of land proportional in size. The Atlanteans then built bridges northward from the mountain, making a route to the rest of the island. They dug a great canal to the sea, and alongside the bridges carved tunnels into the rings of rock so that ships could pass into the city around the mountain; they carved docks from the rock walls of the moats.

Every passage to the city was guarded by gates and towers, and a wall surrounded each ring of the city. The walls were constructed of red, white, and black rock, quarried from the moats, and were covered with brass , tin , and the precious metal orichalcum , respectively. According to Critias, 9, years before his lifetime a war took place between those outside the Pillars of Hercules at the Strait of Gibraltar and those who dwelt within them.

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The Atlanteans had conquered the parts of Libya within the Pillars of Hercules, as far as Egypt, and the European continent as far as Tyrrhenia , and had subjected its people to slavery. The Athenians led an alliance of resistors against the Atlantean empire, and as the alliance disintegrated, prevailed alone against the empire, liberating the occupied lands.

But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island. The logographer Hellanicus of Lesbos wrote an earlier work entitled Atlantis , of which only a few fragments survive.

John V. Luce notes that when Plato writes about the genealogy of Atlantis's kings, he writes in the same style as Hellanicus, suggesting a similarity between a fragment of Hellanicus's work and an account in the Critias. He notes a number of parallels between the physical organisation and fortifications of Syracuse and Plato's description of Atlantis.

Some ancient writers viewed Atlantis as fictional or metaphorical myth; others believed it to be real. His work, a commentary on Timaeus , is lost, but Proclus , a Neoplatonist of the fifth century AD, reports on it. As for the whole of this account of the Atlanteans, some say that it is unadorned history, such as Crantor, the first commentator on Plato.

Crantor also says that Plato's contemporaries used to criticize him jokingly for not being the inventor of his Republic but copying the institutions of the Egyptians. Plato took these critics seriously enough to assign to the Egyptians this story about the Athenians and Atlanteans, so as to make them say that the Athenians really once lived according to that system.

The next sentence is often translated "Crantor adds, that this is testified by the prophets of the Egyptians, who assert that these particulars [which are narrated by Plato] are written on pillars which are still preserved. Proponents of both Atlantis as a metaphorical myth and Atlantis as history have argued that the pronoun refers to Crantor. Alan Cameron argues that the pronoun should be interpreted as referring to Plato, and that, when Proclus writes that "we must bear in mind concerning this whole feat of the Athenians, that it is neither a mere myth nor unadorned history, although some take it as history and others as myth", he is treating "Crantor's view as mere personal opinion, nothing more; in fact he first quotes and then dismisses it as representing one of the two unacceptable extremes".

Cameron also points out that whether he refers to Plato or to Crantor, the statement does not support conclusions such as Otto Muck's "Crantor came to Sais and saw there in the temple of Neith the column, completely covered with hieroglyphs, on which the history of Atlantis was recorded. Scholars translated it for him, and he testified that their account fully agreed with Plato's account of Atlantis" [34] or J. Luce's suggestion that Crantor sent "a special enquiry to Egypt" and that he may simply be referring to Plato's own claims.

Another passage from the commentary by Proclus on the "Timaeus" gives a description of the geography of Atlantis:. That an island of such nature and size once existed is evident from what is said by certain authors who investigated the things around the outer sea.

Now these things Marcellus has written in his Aethiopica. Other ancient historians and philosophers who believed in the existence of Atlantis were Strabo and Posidonius. This would have placed Atlantis in the Mediterranean, lending credence to many details in Plato's discussion. The fourth-century historian Ammianus Marcellinus , relying on a lost work by Timagenes , a historian writing in the first century BC, writes that the Druids of Gaul said that part of the inhabitants of Gaul had migrated there from distant islands. Some have understood Ammianus's testimony as a claim that at the time of Atlantis's sinking into the sea, its inhabitants fled to western Europe; but Ammianus, in fact, says that "the Drasidae Druids recall that a part of the population is indigenous but others also migrated in from islands and lands beyond the Rhine " Res Gestae During the early first century, the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo wrote about the destruction of Atlantis in his On the Eternity of the World , xxvi.

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But more probably he contemplated some unknown land in the far west beyond the ocean, like the fabled Atlantis of Plato Other early Christian writers wrote about Atlantis, although they had mixed views on whether it once existed or was an untrustworthy myth of pagan origin. The early Christian apologist writer Arnobius also believed Atlantis once existed, but blamed its destruction on pagans. Cosmas Indicopleustes in the sixth century wrote of Atlantis in his Christian Topography in an attempt to prove his theory that the world was flat and surrounded by water: [47].

In like manner the philosopher Timaeus also describes this Earth as surrounded by the Ocean, and the Ocean as surrounded by the more remote earth.


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For he supposes that there is to westward an island, Atlantis, lying out in the Ocean, in the direction of Gadeira Cadiz , of an enormous magnitude, and relates that the ten kings having procured mercenaries from the nations in this island came from the earth far away, and conquered Europe and Asia, but were afterwards conquered by the Athenians, while that island itself was submerged by God under the sea. Both Plato and Aristotle praise this philosopher, and Proclus has written a commentary on him.

He himself expresses views similar to our own with some modifications, transferring the scene of the events from the east to the west. Moreover he mentions those ten generations as well as that earth which lies beyond the Ocean.

And in a word it is evident that all of them borrow from Moses, and publish his statements as their own. Aside from Plato's original account, modern interpretations regarding Atlantis are an amalgamation of diverse, speculative movements that began in the sixteenth century, [50] when scholars began to identify Atlantis with the New World. Athanasius Kircher accepted Plato's account as literally true, describing Atlantis as a small continent in the Atlantic Ocean. Contemporary perceptions of Atlantis share roots with Mayanism , which can be traced to the beginning of the Modern Age , when European imaginations were fueled by their initial encounters with the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Most of these interpretations are considered pseudohistory , pseudoscience , or pseudoarchaeology , as they have presented their works as academic or scientific , but lack the standards or criteria. The Flemish cartographer and geographer Abraham Ortelius is believed to have been the first person to imagine that the continents were joined together before drifting to their present positions. In the edition of his Thesaurus Geographicus he wrote: "Unless it be a fable, the island of Gadir or Gades [ Cadiz ] will be the remaining part of the island of Atlantis or America, which was not sunk as Plato reports in the Timaeus so much as torn away from Europe and Africa by earthquakes and flood The traces of the ruptures are shown by the projections of Europe and Africa and the indentations of America in the parts of the coasts of these three said lands that face each other to anyone who, using a map of the world, carefully considered them.

So that anyone may say with Strabo in Book 2, that what Plato says of the island of Atlantis on the authority of Solon is not a figment. The term " utopia " from "no place" was coined by Sir Thomas More in his sixteenth-century work of fiction Utopia. People had begun believing that the Mayan and Aztec ruins could possibly be the remnants of Atlantis. Much speculation began as to the origins of the Maya , which led to a variety of narratives and publications that tried to rationalize the discoveries within the context of the Bible and that had undertones of racism in their connections between the Old and New World.

The Europeans believed the indigenous people to be inferior and incapable of building that which was now in ruins and by sharing a common history, they insinuate that another race must have been responsible. In the middle and late nineteenth century, several renowned Mesoamerican scholars, starting with Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg , and including Edward Herbert Thompson and Augustus Le Plongeon , formally proposed that Atlantis was somehow related to Mayan and Aztec culture.

The French scholar Brasseur de Bourbourg traveled extensively through Mesoamerica in the mids, and was renowned for his translations of Mayan texts, most notably the sacred book Popol Vuh , as well as a comprehensive history of the region. Soon after these publications, however, Brasseur de Bourbourg lost his academic credibility, due to his claim that the Maya peoples had descended from the Toltecs , people he believed were the surviving population of the racially superior civilization of Atlantis. Inspired by Brasseur de Bourbourg's diffusion theories, the pseudoarchaeologist Augustus Le Plongeon traveled to Mesoamerica and performed some of the first excavations of many famous Mayan ruins.

Le Plongeon invented narratives, such as the kingdom of Mu saga, which romantically drew connections to him, his wife Alice, and Egyptian deities Osiris and Isis , as well as to Heinrich Schliemann , who had just discovered the ancient city of Troy from Homer 's epic poetry that had been described as merely mythical. Donnelly stimulated much popular interest in Atlantis. He was greatly inspired by early works in Mayanism , and like them, attempted to establish that all known ancient civilizations were descended from Atlantis, which he saw as a technologically sophisticated, more advanced culture.

Donnelly drew parallels between creation stories in the Old and New Worlds, attributing the connections to Atlantis, where he believed the Biblical Garden of Eden existed. Donnelly is credited as the "father of the nineteenth century Atlantis revival" and is the reason the myth endures today. The Russian mystic Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and her partner Henry Steel Olcott founded their Theosophical Society in the s with a philosophy that combined western romanticism and eastern religious concepts.

Blavatsky and her followers in this group are often cited as the founders of New Age and other spiritual movements. Blavatsky took up Donnelly 's interpretations when she wrote The Secret Doctrine , which she claimed was originally dictated in Atlantis. She maintained that the Atlanteans were cultural heroes contrary to Plato , who describes them mainly as a military threat. She believed in a form of racial evolution as opposed to primate evolution , in which the Atlanteans were the fourth " Root Race ", succeeded by the fifth and most superior " Aryan race " the modern human race.

Rudolf Steiner , the founder of anthroposophy and Waldorf Schools , along with other well known Theosophists, such as Annie Besant , also wrote of cultural evolution in much the same vein. Some subsequent occultists have followed Blavatsky, at least to the point of tracing the lineage of occult practices back to Atlantis. Blavatsky was also inspired by the work of the eighteenth-century astronomer Jean-Sylvain Bailly , who had "Orientalized" the Atlantis myth in his mythical continent of Hyperborea , a reference to Greek myths featuring a Northern European region of the same name, home to a giant, godlike race.

Julius Evola 's writing in also suggested that the Atlanteans were Hyperborean , Nordic supermen who originated at the North Pole see Thule. Also some Esoteric groups, including the Theosophic Society, do not consider Atlantean society to have been superior or Utopian—they rather consider it a lower stage of evolution. Edgar Cayce was a man from humble upbringings in Kentucky who allegedly possessed psychic abilities, which were performed from a trance-like state.

In addition to allegedly healing the sick from this state, he also spoke frequently on the topic of Atlantis. In his "life readings," he purportedly revealed that many of his subjects were reincarnations of people who had lived on Atlantis. By tapping into their collective consciousness , the " Akashic Records " a term borrowed from Theosophy , [68] he declared that he was able to give detailed descriptions of the lost continent.

As continental drift became widely accepted during the s, and the increased understanding of plate tectonics demonstrated the impossibility of a lost continent in the geologically recent past, [70] most "Lost Continent" theories of Atlantis began to wane in popularity. The continuing industry of discovering Atlantis illustrates the dangers of reading Plato. For he is clearly using what has become a standard device of fiction—stressing the historicity of an event and the discovery of hitherto unknown authorities as an indication that what follows is fiction.

The idea is that we should use the story to examine our ideas of government and power. We have missed the point if instead of thinking about these issues we go off exploring the sea bed. The continuing misunderstanding of Plato as historian here enables us to see why his distrust of imaginative writing is sometimes justified.

One of the proposed explanations for the historical context of the Atlantis story is a warning of Plato to his contemporary fourth-century fellow-citizens against their striving for naval power.

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Kenneth Feder points out that Critias's story in the Timaeus provides a major clue. In the dialogue, Critias says, referring to Socrates' hypothetical society:. And when you were speaking yesterday about your city and citizens, the tale which I have just been repeating to you came into my mind, and I remarked with astonishment how, by some mysterious coincidence, you agreed in almost every particular with the narrative of Solon.

Feder quotes A. Taylor, who wrote, "We could not be told much more plainly that the whole narrative of Solon's conversation with the priests and his intention of writing the poem about Atlantis are an invention of Plato's fancy. Since Donnelly's day, there have been dozens of locations proposed for Atlantis, to the point where the name has become a generic concept, divorced from the specifics of Plato's account. This is reflected in the fact that many proposed sites are not within the Atlantic at all.

Few today are scholarly or archaeological hypotheses, while others have been made by psychic e. Most of the historically proposed locations are in or near the Mediterranean Sea: islands such as Sardinia , [75] [76] [77] Crete , Santorini Thera , Sicily, Cyprus, and Malta ; land-based cities or states such as Troy , [78] Tartessos , and Tantalis in the province of Manisa , Turkey ; [79] Israel - Sinai or Canaan ; [ citation needed ] and northwestern Africa.

The Thera eruption , dated to the seventeenth or sixteenth century BC, caused a large tsunami that some experts hypothesize devastated the Minoan civilization on the nearby island of Crete, further leading some to believe that this may have been the catastrophe that inspired the story. Others have noted that, before the sixth century BC, the mountains on either side of the Gulf of Laconia were called the "Pillars of Hercules", [37] [38] and they could be the geographical location being described in ancient reports upon which Plato was basing his story.

The mountains stood at either side of the southernmost gulf in Greece, the largest in the Peloponnese , and that gulf opens onto the Mediterranean Sea. If from the beginning of discussions, misinterpretation of Gibraltar as the location rather than being at the Gulf of Laconia, would lend itself to many erroneous concepts regarding the location of Atlantis.

Plato may have not been aware of the difference. The Laconian pillars open to the south toward Crete and beyond which is Egypt.

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The Thera eruption and the Late Bronze Age collapse affected that area and might have been the devastation to which the sources used by Plato referred. Significant events such as these would have been likely material for tales passed from one generation to another for almost a thousand years. The location of Atlantis in the Atlantic Ocean has a certain appeal given the closely related names. Popular culture often places Atlantis there, perpetuating the original Platonic setting as they understand it.

The Canary Islands and Madeira Islands have been identified as a possible location, [83] [84] [85] [86] west of the Straits of Gibraltar, but in relative proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. Detailed studies of their geomorphology and geology have demonstrated, however, that they have been steadily uplifted, without any significant periods of subsidence, over the last four million years, by geologic processes such as erosional unloading, gravitational unloading, lithospheric flexure induced by adjacent islands, and volcanic underplating.

Several hypotheses place the sunken island in northern Europe, including Doggerland in the North Sea , and Sweden by Olof Rudbeck in Atland , — Doggerland, as well as Viking Bergen Island , is thought to have been flooded by a megatsunami following the Storegga slide of c. Some have proposed the Celtic Shelf as a possible location, and that there is a link to Ireland. In , a team, working on a documentary for the National Geographic Channel , [93] led by Professor Richard Freund from the University of Hartford , claimed to have found possible evidence of Atlantis in southwestern Andalusia.

Spanish scientists have dismissed Freund's speculations, claiming that he sensationalised their work. A similar theory had previously been put forward by a German researcher, Rainer W. Several writers have speculated that Antarctica is the site of Atlantis, [] [] while others have proposed Caribbean locations such as the alleged Cuban sunken city off the Guanahacabibes peninsula in Cuba , [] the Bahamas , and the Bermuda Triangle. Areas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans have also been proposed including Indonesia i. In order to give his account of Atlantis verisimilitude , Plato mentions that the story was heard by Solon in Egypt, and transmitted orally over several generations through the family of Dropides, until it reached Critias, a dialogue speaker in Timaeus and Critias.

While it was never completed, Solon passed on the story to Dropides. Modern classicists deny the existence of Solon's Atlantis poem and the story as an oral tradition. Hellanicus of Lesbos used the word "Atlantis" as the title for a poem published before Plato, [] a fragment of which may be Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 11, Writing only a few decades after the Timaeus and Critias , the historian Theopompus of Chios wrote of a land beyond the ocean known as Meropis.

This description was included in Book 8 of his Philippica , which contains a dialogue between Silenus and King Midas. He also reports that an army of ten million soldiers crossed the ocean to conquer Hyperborea , but abandoned this proposal when they realized that the Hyperboreans were the luckiest people on earth. The creation of Utopian and dystopian fictions was renewed after the Renaissance, most notably in Francis Bacon's New Atlantis , the description of an ideal society that he located off the western coast of America.

Thomas Heyrick followed him with "The New Atlantis" , a satirical poem in three parts. His new continent of uncertain location, perhaps even a floating island either in the sea or the sky, serves as background for his exposure of what he described in a second edition as "A True Character of Popery and Jesuitism". The title of The New Atalantis by Delarivier Manley , distinguished from the two others by the single letter, is an equally dystopian work but set this time on a fictional Mediterranean island.

When the high priest of this ideology is tempted by a slave girl into an act of irrationality, he murders her and precipitates a second flood, above which her severed head floats vengefully among the stars. Its three parts consist of a verse narrative of the life and training of an Atlantean wise one, followed by his Utopian moral teachings and then a psychic drama set in modern times in which a reincarnated child embodying the lost wisdom is reborn on earth.

In Hispanic eyes, Atlantis had a more intimate interpretation. The land had been a colonial power which, although it had brought civilization to ancient Europe, had also enslaved its peoples. Its tyrannical fall from grace had contributed to the fate that had overtaken it, but now its disappearance had unbalanced the world. This was the point of view of Jacint Verdaguer 's vast mythological epic L'Atlantida After the sinking of the former continent, Hercules travels east across the Atlantic to found the city of Barcelona and then departs westward again to the Hesperides.

The story is told by a hermit to a shipwrecked mariner, who is inspired to follow in his tracks and so "call the New World into existence to redress the balance of the Old". This mariner, of course, was Christopher Columbus. Verdaguer's poem was written in Catalan , but was widely translated in both Europe and Hispano-America.

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There is a similar ambivalence in Janus Djurhuus ' six-stanza "Atlantis" , where a celebration of the Faroese linguistic revival grants it an ancient pedigree by linking Greek to Norse legend. In the poem a female figure rising from the sea against a background of Classical palaces is recognised as a priestess of Atlantis. The fact that Atlantis is a lost land has made of it a metaphor for something no longer attainable. For the American poet Edith Willis Linn Forbes , "The Lost Atlantis" stands for idealisation of the past; the present moment can only be treasured once that is realised.

For some male poets too, the idea of Atlantis is constructed from what cannot be obtained. Charles Bewley in his Newdigate Prize poem thinks it grows from dissatisfaction with one's condition,. Auden , however, suggests a way out of such frustration through the metaphor of journeying toward Atlantis in his poem of A few late nineteenth century verse narratives complement the genre fiction that was beginning to be written at the same period.

Two of them report the disaster that overtook the continent as related by long-lived survivors. In Frederick Tennyson 's Atlantis an ancient Greek mariner sails west and discovers an inhabited island, which is all that remains of the former kingdom. He learns of its end and views the shattered remnant of its former glory, from which a few had escaped to set up the Mediterranean civilisations.

A Seer is taken to Mona's burial chamber in the ruins of Atlantis, where she revives and describes the catastrophe. There follows a survey of the lost civilisations of Hyperborea and Lemuria as well as Atlantis, accompanied by much spiritualist lore. William Walton Hoskins admits to the readers of his Atlantis and other poems Cleveland OH, , that he is only Its melodramatic plot concerns the poisoning of the descendant of god-born kings.

The usurping poisoner is poisoned in his turn, following which the continent is swallowed in the waves. An angel foresees impending catastrophe and that the people will be allowed to escape if their semi-divine rulers will sacrifice themselves. Beecher's The Lost Atlantis or The Great Deluge of All Cleveland OH, is just a doggerel vehicle for its author's opinions: that the continent was the location of the Garden of Eden; that Darwin's theory of evolution is correct, as are Donnelly's views.

Atlantis was to become a theme in Russia following the s, taken up in unfinished poems by Valery Bryusov and Konstantin Balmont , as well as in a drama by the schoolgirl Larisa Reisner. His page The Fall of Atlantis records how a high priest, distressed by the prevailing degeneracy of the ruling classes, seeks to create an androgynous being from royal twins as a means to overcome this polarity. When he is unable to control the forces unleashed by his occult ceremony, the continent is destroyed.

The Destruction of Atlantis, for military concert band in Paintings of the submersion of Atlantis are comparatively rare. The most dramatic depiction of the catastrophe was Leon Bakst 's "Ancient Terror" Terror Antiquus , , although it does not name Atlantis directly. It is a mountain-top view of a rocky bay breached by the sea, which is washing inland about the tall structures of an ancient city.

A streak of lightning crosses the upper half of the painting, while below it rises the impassive figure of an enigmatic goddess who holds a blue dove between her breasts. Vyacheslav Ivanov identified the subject as Atlantis in a public lecture on the painting given in , the year it was first exhibited, and he has been followed by other commentators in the years since. Sculptures referencing Atlantis have often been stylized single figures. It represents a single figure, clad in a belted skirt and wearing a large triangular helmet, who sits on an ornate throne supported between two young bulls.

As a result, a portion of the population will mutate into fish-like creatures. Global warming and rising water levels are practical problems for the world in general and here in the Netherlands in particular". Robert Smithson 's Hypothetical Continent Map of broken clear glass, Atlantis was first created as a photographical project on Loveladies Island NJ in , [] and then recreated as a gallery installation of broken glass.

North America. South America. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Atlantis disambiguation. Plato from Raphael 's The School of Athens — Main article: Timaeus dialogue. Main article: Critias dialogue. See also: Nazism and occultism. Main article: Location hypotheses of Atlantis. New York: Penguin.

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Plato also wrote the myth of Atlantis as an allegory of the archetypal thalassocracy or naval power. Atlantis, according to Plato, had conquered all Western parts of the known world, making it the literary counter-image of Persia. See Welliver, Warman Leiden: E. Classical Review. Renaissance Studies. New York: McGraw-Hill. In Cleary, John J. Archaeologists broadly agree with the view that Atlantis is quite simply 'utopia' Doumas, , a stance also taken by classical philologists, who interpret Atlantis as a metaphorical rather than an actual place Broadie, ; Gill, ; Nesselrath, One might consider the question as being already reasonably solved but despite the general expert consensus on the matter, countless attempts have been made at finding Atlantis.

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