Friday, 22 November 2013

A Brief Look at The Mystery of Atlantis

The Mystery of Atlantis

Atlantis has evoked mystery within humanity throughout the centuries and though many would deny its existence, the different interpretations of it are worth exploring.Plato mentioned Atlantis in his dialogues Timaeus and Critias wrote around 360 BC. Plato says it was a land and naval power which had conquered most of Western Europe and Africa in the 10th millennium BC and that it was an island in front of the Pillars of Heracles. However, Plato suggests after the Atlanteans invasion of Athens failed the city sank into the ocean, leading to its demise. 

                                         A Map of the Atlantean Empire according to Ignatius L. Donnelly
Ignatius L. Donnelly increased interest in Atlantis with the publication of his book Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. He attempted to establish that all known ancient civilisations descended from Atlantis. He also made other connections suggesting the Great Flood mentioned in the Bible was the flood that destroyed Atlantis.  Many of the books theories have lead to the modern day concepts of Atlantis. Donelly himself thought that Plato's account of Atlantis was largely factual. Donelly also suggests other things about Atlantis, such as that the gods and goddesses of the ancient Greeks, Phoenicians, Hindus and Scandinavians were simply the kings, queens and heroes of Atlantis. Donelly also suggests the acts attributed to them in mythology  are actually a confused recollection of actual historical events.

Of course all this only applies if Atlantis actually existed. After the theory of continental drift became more accepted the popularity of most 'lost continent' theories began to decline. However, a key argument could be the simplistic idea that the concept of Atlantis proves that the myth comes from some fact. Others, may argue that Plato simply came up with it as a metaphor to show the results of greed, corruption and a decline in virtue. However, this may not be necessarily true. But, what is almost certainly true is that Atlantis remains a mystery.

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