The story of Atlantis begins quite literally with two
of Plato's dialogues, Timaeus
and Critias. These accounts are the only known
written records which refer specifically to a lost civilization
Many people believe the tale to be complete fiction, the
creation of a philosopher's imagination used to illustrate
an argument. Others believe that the story was inspired
by catastrophic events which may have destroyed the Minoan
civilization on Crete and Thera. Still others maintain
that the story is an accurate representation of a long
lost and almost completely forgotten land.
Greek philosopher - 427-347 B.C. Note: Dates are approximate,
there is some uncertainty as to his birth and death. Plato
was a student of Socrates until the latter's death in
399 BC at the hands of the Athenian authorities. After
his teacher's death, Plato traveled extensively, including
journeys in Egypt.
In 387 BC he returned to Athens and founded the Academy,
a school of science and philosophy, that became the model
for the modern university. Perhaps the most famous student
of the Academy was Aristotle whose teachings have had
tremendous impact on philosophy through today. Due to
the Academy's safekeeping, many of Plato's works have
survived. His extant writings are in the form of letters
and dialogues, the most famous of which is probably The
Republic. His writings cover subjects ranging from knowledge
to happiness to politics to nature. Two of his dialogues,
Timeaus and Critias, hold the only known original references
to the island of Atlantis.
Timaeus and Critias
Timaeus and Critias, two of Plato's dialogues, are
the only existing written records which specifically refer
to Atlantis. The dialogues are conversations between Socrates,
Hermocrates, Timeaus, and Critias. Apparently in response
to a prior talk by Socrates about ideal societies, Timeaus
and Critias agree to entertain Socrates with a tale that
is "not a fiction but a true story."
The story is about the conflict between the ancient Athenians
and the Atlantians 9000 years before Plato's time. Knowledge
of the distant past apparently forgotten to the Athenians
of Plato's day, the story of Atlantis was conveyed to
Solon by Egyptian priests. Solon passed the tale to Dropides,
the great-grandfather of Critias. Critias learned of it
from his grandfather also named Critias, son of Dropides.
THE STORY OF ATLANTIS
Over 11,000 years ago there existed an island nation located
in the middle of the Atlantic ocean populated by a noble
and powerful race. The people of this land possessed great
wealth thanks to the natural resources found throughout
their island. The island was a center for trade and commerce.
The rulers of this land held sway over the people and
land of their own island and well into Europe and Africa.This
was the island of Atlantis.
Atlantis was the domain of Poséidon,
god of the sea. When Poseidon fell in love with a mortal
woman, Cleito, he created a dwelling at the top of a hill
near the middle of the island and surrounded the dwelling
with rings of water and land to protect her. Cleito gave
birth to five sets of twin boys who became the first rulers
of Atlantis. The island was divided among the brothers
with the eldest, Atlas first King of
Atlantis, being given control over the central hill and
surrounding areas. At the top of the central hill, a temple
was built to honor Poseidon which housed a giant gold
statue of Poseidon riding a chariot pulled by winged horses.
It was here that the rulers of Atlantis would come to
discuss laws, pass judgments, and pay tribute to Poseidon.
To facilitate travel and trade, a water canal was cut
through of the rings of land and water running south for
5.5 miles (~9 km) to the sea.
Son of Cronos and Rhea. Brother of Zeus.
God of Earthquakes and god the liquid Element, of which
the most impressive representation is the sea in its unlimitedness
and its wild power. Sometimes, it(he) goes out of the
palace on a tank hitched with horses in the colours of
algae and foam, to steer the movements of streams, to
calm or to arouse storms,by striking the sea of the trident
or by roaring orders of the enormous and profound voice.
The sailors worship him and implore him to obtain a good
crossing. His power extends not only over the maritime
element, but also over the sweet waters and Nymphs; so,
he contributes, by dissipating humidity, in the fertility
of fields, and it is often considered as an agrarian divinity.
Atlas (king of Atlantis), in the Greek mythology,
one of the sons of Poseidon the god of the Sea, appointed
by his father as supreme sovereign of Atlantis. Atlas
is the elder brother of the ten sons of Poséidon and Clito,
a girl living in the mythical island of Atlantis, domain
of the god of the Sea. Poseidon cut Atlantis in ten parts,
one for each of his sons. Atlas, who receives the central
mountain, is also appointed by Poséidon as the supreme
sovereign of the island. Legend tells us that he was a
good king, and makes his territory prosperous, among the
richest in the world.
city of Atlantis sat just outside the outer ring of water
and spread across the plain covering a circle of 11 miles
(1.7 km). This was a densely populated area where the
majority of the population lived. Beyond the city lay
a fertile plain 330 miles (530 km) long and 110 miles
(190 km) wide surrounded by another canal used to collect
water from the rivers and streams of the mountains. The
climate was such that two harvests were possible each
year. One in the winter fed by the rains and one in the
summer fed by irrigation from the canal. Surrounding the
plain to the north were mountains which soared to the
skies. Villages, lakes, rivers, and meadows dotted the
Besides the harvests, the island provided all kinds of
herbs, fruits, and nuts. An abundance of animals, including
elephants, roamed the island. For generations the Atlanteans
lived simple, virtuous lives. But slowly they began to
change. Greed and power began to corrupt them. When Zeus
saw the immorality of the Atlanteans he gathered the other
gods to determine a suitable punishment.
Soon, in one violent surge it was gone. The island of
Atlantis, its people, and its memory were swallowed by