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?
I have watched many documentaries by reputable production houses that follow historians as they try to unravel the text by Plato; the exciting and innovative field of underwater archaeology that use ROVs to aid their search; and various commenters discussing the possible location of Atlantis. Some documentaries highlight plausible arguments for and against the Atlantis legend. The name Atlantis was given by Plato but I would surmise the real designation was changed by him as he was marrying fact with a developing hypothesise.
One of the more recent documentaries Atlantis: The Evidence, produced by BBC Timewatch team and features historian Bettany Hughes, presents strong case for Santorini being Atlantis. She carries with her Plato’s works of Timaeas and Critas and links a number of sections to the physical evidence on the island. She goes to the site of Akrotiri, the city buried during the catastophic volcanic eruption, the effects felt as far as Egypt. The famous frieze discovered there clearly displays the concentric circles, the bridges linking the lands, the ships—sea faring and ocean vessels, which Plato described. It is easy to imagine Santorini is Atlantis. The proof Hughes presents is compelling and has merit.
Another documentary on Atlantis and part of the Lost Worlds series discusses the links between the Minoan culture and the legendary city. The computer rendering of Knossos is brilliant and so is the recreation of Akrotiri. In his dialogues, Plato mentions hot and cold running water. There is evidence the palace of Knossos did have access to hot and cold water, plus sewerage pipes, pipes for fresh water, baths and toilets! This was also shown in the ruins of Akrotiri.
Finding Atlantis, explores Southern Spain, a strong contender for the location of Atlantis. Plato advocates the land lies beyond the Pillars of Herakles and is as big as Libya and Asia put together. See Elusive Location of Atlantis Part 1 and Part 2 for further details. The geography of the land as it stands today is not the same as was 1600BCE and what is left are the Azores Islands and smaller isles.
Other documentaries you may be interested in:
Lost city of Atlantis
There is more but these are ones I’ve believe are worth watching.
Plato mentions the sophistication of Atlantis not only the buildings but the people as well. From what little we do know, the Minoans were an advanced culture and if Thira hadn’t been destroyed, the western world as we know it, would be very different.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my series on the myth of Atlantis. As always, your comments are welcomed.
Historical fiction fantasist Luciana Cavallaro, a secondary teacher, meanders from contemporary life to the realms of mythology. Subscribe to her FREE short story.
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