I couldn’t resist borrowing Douglas Adams’ title of the fourth book of his series Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for this blog post. Brilliant books if you haven’t read them. Apt too, as the dolphins leave planet Earth knowing it was fated to be destroyed long before the humans cottoned on. This makes me wonder whether the Atlanteans got warnings as to what would happen if they continued to behave contrary to the gods’ structured tenets? If they had, in what form did the warnings come? The final act of the gods was finite and the effects impacted many cultures. This is why I believe Plato took his main premise of the story from the eruption of Thera and subsequent dissolution of the Minoan culture.
Natural disasters have preliminary echoes before they culminate in a destructive force. Prior to any tsunami, an earthquake occurs. If there is a large body of water nearby, an earthquake can trigger the killer waves thousands of kilometres away from the site. It is usually followed by a distinctive rise and fall of the water level and then the waves come. The first wave may not be the most dangerous and, can take from 5 minutes to hours to build the terrible force of a tsunami. It’s not restricted to the ocean or sea, a tsunami can travel up rivers and streams that is connected to the ocean.
Thera had two major elements going against it: one, the volcano at its centre and two, an earthquake. It set off a series of triggers that caused the volcano to erupt and collapse on itself, engulfing the land around it and causing the tsunami. The shape of Santorini today, is the result from that devastating effect of nature. After years of investigation, there is no evidence of bodies on Thera as there were when Vesuvius exploded and smothered Pompeii, Herculaneum and smaller settlements. So where did the inhabitants go?
One theory is there were a series of earthquakes felt on the island and the people took them as signs from the gods and evacuated. They left behind a staggering legacy of how they lived, valuable information for archaeologists and historians to piece together their lives. The second theory is the people didn’t leave the island and were incinerated by the lava of the volcano. If the latter happened that is a terrible way to die. I think the people managed to escape taking with them only things they could carry.
The Atlanteans were not as fortunate as the Therans hence, Plato’s moral of the story. If they did get warnings and heed them, then Plato’s dialogues would not be as interesting or sparked thousands of years of discussion on the myth of Atlantis and whether it was real or not.
This concludes my series on Plato’s Atlantis and hope you enjoyed the articles as much as I did researching and writing them. The dilemma is now what to write about next! I may take a break from writing a blog series, only for a little while. Have a few ideas brewing. I am open to suggestions if you have a few.
Before I sign off, here’s a message from the dolphins:
Thank you for visiting and reading.
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
Tsunami Facts: How They Form, Warning Signs, and Safety Tips, National Geographic News
The Destruction of the Minoan Civilization, Archaeology, Mythology and History of Crete : Minoan Civilization