According to legend, Atlantis was renowned for its buildings and unusual formation of the island. In his dialogue Critias, Plato goes to extreme lengths to describe features of the island and important buildings. Many of these mirror the island of Santorini and the palaces found on Crete. The skill of engineering and architecture of Atlantis and that on the two islands was superior. The palace at Knossos is an impressive site. Much bigger than I expected when I visited 11 years ago and walking along the old Royal roads that connected the many palaces on the island was an experience I’ll never forget.
Here are a few connections worth mentioning, quotes taken from Plato’s Critias.
‘They bridged over the zones of sea which surrounded the ancient metropolis, making a road to and from the royal palace.’
In this image you can see the blue zone of the sea, the bridge where the figures are on the left and the road where in the centre two people are standing watching the flotilla head south for Crete.
‘…from the sea they bored a canal… making a passage… which became a harbour… leaving an opening sufficient to enable the largest vessel to find ingress.’
The same image above, at the top there is a canal connecting to the sea which forks around the main island.
‘…stone quarried from underneath the centre island… was white, another black and a third red.’
Here you can see the three distinct colours just above the buildings.
‘…the walls and pillars and floor, they coated with orichalcum.’ Orichalcum is a red metal similar to iron ore. Check out this article “Divers retrieve Atlantis metal orichalcum from ancient shipwreck”
The red colour of orichalcum was used throughout the palace at Knossos
‘…they had fountains, one of cold and another of hot water.’
There’s a great website with photos taken of the aqueducts and storage of water from Knossos and Phaistos
‘…they made cisterns, some open to the heavens, others roofed over, to be used in winter as warm baths.’
‘…the country immediately about and surrounding the city was a level plain, itself surrounded by mountains which descended to the sea.’
As you can see from the aerial view the outlying region surrounding Knossos is arable and a plain.
‘…the whole country was…very lofty and precipitous on the side of the sea.’
Many of the ancient empires took advantage of the physical geography and built the most important buildings on the highest vantage point or the most central location. Be it a royal palace, a temple, pyramid or tomb, they were very good at using psychology (even if they didn’t know what it was called at the time) to create awe and induce supplication from their constituents.
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As always, your comments are valued and welcomed.
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 http://eepurl.com/bhESs1