Plato’s Atlantis was the precursor to his epic and quantifiable exposition The Republic, a discourse on the ideal society. How government should run, the election of public servants, the laws and the behaviour of its citizens—men. Women were mentioned but weren’t considered as major players in workings of the social order. So was Plato writing about a civilisation that once existed or did he make it all up to create a moralistic story? It is this driving quest that has stirred the imaginations of storytellers and historians for hundreds of years. Was Atlantis a real place?
In the previous post, The Elusive Location of Atlantis Part 1, I wrote about the possible locations of Atlantis, and the strongest theory to emerge was it was in the Atlantic Ocean. The Piri Reis Map of 1513 is perhaps where we should start. Piri Reis was an Admiral with the Turkish Navy and collected maps of the day as well as much older charts. His world map was a compilation based on one Columbus used for his journeys as well as “antique” versions he had in his collection. According to sources, his collections were those that survived the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria. It was alleged these maps were based on ancient charts and may have dated back to the time of Atlantis. The only portion that has survived is of North and South America, Greenland and Antarctica, which hadn’t been discovered by the then explorers at the time or when Piri Reis drew the map.
According to Plato, the island of Atlantis was beyond the Pillars of Herakles and in the Great Ocean. It describes where and how big the island was and why it was referred to as a continent. Perhaps not as big as Australia as an island continent but a significant size.
It’s that time of the year and wow, did it come quick! I blinked and months jettisoned by. December has well and truly arrived. Here in Perth, Australia, it is predicted to be a warm Christmas, 30+ degrees Celsius. Seafood, cold beverages and barbequed dishes will be on the menu. Our family will congregate and spend the day eating and drinking; responsibly of course. ;D
I want to take this opportunity to thank my friends who’ve I met via this blog and other networks and to you, my wonderful and loyal readers. I appreciate the time you’ve taken to visit my blog and for your amazing comments, which I have immensely enjoyed reading and responding to.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and peaceful New Year.
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Historical fiction fantasist Luciana Cavallaro, a secondary teacher, meanders from contemporary life to delve into the realms of mythology. Subscribe to her FREE short story.
The legend of Atlantis has been around for over twenty-four hundred years and people still talk and write about it, including me. There are countless books, both fiction and non-fiction not to mention the documentaries. People are fascinated by the enigma of Atlantis, the achievements of the people and the “utopian” imagery it produced. There are a number of well-known people who wrote about Atlantis and were quite influential in garnering support for their theories. I will be focussing on a few of the more notable individuals whose works created wide-world interest and had an effect on powerful leaders.
The legend of Atlantis begins with Plato who wrote two Socratic dialogues Timaeus and Critias. These are the only two existing written records which refer to the lost continent. The fact that Plato wrote about the fabled city gives credence to the existence of such a place. Like Homer before him and the legend of Troy, Plato heard the story of Atlantis and retold it. According to a number of sources, Plato while a boy was listening to his great grandfather, Solon and other men who recounted the story. Much like the Homer’s Iliad, the legend of Atlantis has a basis in fact, and it’s a matter of washing out the dregs to get to the gold.
Why are people fascinated with Atlantis? What is it about this mythical place that has drawn so much attention for over two thousand years? Is it about the people who once inhabited the island with their sophistication and technological advancements? Or is it the total annihilation of a civilisation, wiped out in one cataclysmic event? For me, on a personal level, the legend of Atlantis conjured a lifelong interest in ancient civilisations, and to learn about the rich diversity our world offers. It is why I began to write stories. It sparked my imagination on what happened to these amazing cultures and what can they still teach us today.