Deriv; Bust of Plato, map of Santorini, 1703, underwater ruin.

Atlantis: Examining the Legendary Tale of Plato

(Read the article on one page)

Around 360 BC, in his dialogues of Timaeus and Critias, the Greek philosopher Plato introduced an incredible story, a tale of an enigmatic island civilization which has since captivated the imagination of every generation that followed. This was the story of Atlantis, thought to be one of the most advanced societies of the ancient world, an idyllic island paradise of skillful navigators capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean to conquer and explore!

"For it is related in our records how once upon a time your State stayed the course of a mighty host, .....and it was possible for travelers of that time to cross from it (from Atlantis) to the other islands and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses the veritable (Atlantic) ocean ..." – Plato

Plato’s Tale

Today, popular theories place Atlantis in locations like off the coast of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean, around the Azores islands in the middle of the Atlantic, somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle off the coast of the United States, or even in more exotic locations such as Antarctica and Indonesia. Of course more mainstream studies point to the tiny island of Santorini, the island of Crete, Malta, Spain, and other archaeological sites around the Mediterranean. Overall, there are countless theories on the location of Atlantis, while more seem to surface every year.

Artist’s representation of Atlantis.

Artist’s representation of Atlantis. Source: BigStockPhoto

Despite all the scientific and nonscientific speculation though, and due to the lack of tangible evidence in the past, the vast majority of modern historians believe that Plato’s tale of Atlantis is either a myth, or they assume Plato crafted a story around a fictional place while using a mix of real elements from later times.

Is it possible then that the story of Atlantis was entirely a figment of Plato’s imagination? It is certainly possible, although if the story is not real, how otherwise can we explain the tangible evidence that supports Plato's story, including a recently discovered site that perfectly matches Atlantis' description.

Essentially, and contrary to a common belief that Plato’s Atlantis may have been somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, a recent study shows that Plato's island of Atlantis was in the Mediterranean Sea and just few kilometers north of the island of Santorini. This now-underwater primary island, along with the island of Santorini, fits Plato's entire description of Atlantis.

Lost in Translation

To successfully decode Plato’s puzzle, and to ensure that the meaning from the original Greek story was not lost during translation, the English version was compared to the Greek format which has entirely different syntactic structure. (Actually, when it comes to Greek, sometimes even a single comma can cause a short sentence to have two different meanings. A good example is a famous quote from the oracle of Delphi. "Go, return not die in war" can have two entirely opposite meanings, depending on where a missing comma is supposed to be - before or after - the word "not.") This recent evaluation of Plato's text revealed that simple errors and flawed interpretations by early translators led many researchers in the past to look for Atlantis in all the wrong places. Consequently, unlike all past “discoveries,” including recent ones that led to more speculation rather than real evidence, for the first time, there is a tangible site where all the physical characteristics perfectly match Plato’s account.

Lost Island Found

It seems that 11,000 years ago, according to Plato the story of Atlantis took place, many of the Cyclades Islands were connected by a flat terrain, today called the “Cyclades Plateau.” This now-400 feet (122 meters) underwater plateau formed the body of a large island, while the modern islands of the Cyclades fashioned rows of mountains that emerged in all the “right places,” when those are compared to Plato’s story!

Just as Plato described Atlantis, the northern portion of this island was entirely comprised of mountains which reached the shores. There was an oblong valley directly below this mountainous region, and a second valley closer to the center of the island that was encircled by low rise mountains. This central valley was two thirds in size of the oblong valley. Moreover, Santorini itself, a setting of an island within an island, and a place where many mainstream archaeologists in the past had placed the crown-city of Atlantis, falls precisely within 5.6 miles (nine km) from the grand island, and as Plato depicted (See image below, from the book “ Uchronia Atlantis Revealed ”.)

Pages

Comments

Djonis says: "Essentially, and contrary to a common belief that Plato’s Atlantis may have been somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, a recent study shows that Plato's island of Atlantis was in the Mediterranean Sea and just few kilometers north of the island of Santorini."

This is rubbish. Plato, in Timaeus, explicitly says that Atlantis was a power that "came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean." He distinguishes the Atlantic Ocean, which he refers to as "the real sea," and "the true ocean," from the Mediterranean Sea, which he describes as "the sea which is within the Straits of Heracles," and as being "only a harbor, having a narrow entrance."

So the only way that someone can claim that the "island of Atlantis" was inside the Mediterranean Sea is to claim that "The Straits of Heracles" was not what referring to what we now call the Straits of Gibraltar, but some other strait within the Mediterranean Sea. There is absolutely no evidence in support of such a notion.

Also, the plain of Atlantis, as described by Plato, was much bigger than the Cyclades Plateau ever was. Its dimensions were said to be 2000 by 3000 stadia, or 230 miles by 340 miles (No, it is not controversial that 1 mile = 8.8 Greek stadia). Other scholars have tried to argue that all of the numbers in Plato's dialogues were off by a factor of 10. The problem with this hypothesis is that if the measurements of length were off by a factor of 10, so should all of the other numbers, including how long ago Atlantis supposedly existed. But Djonis maintains that his "Atlantis" sank when Plato said it did - about 9000 years before his time. To suggest that Plato got the time measurements right but the length measurements wrong is absurd.

Djonis also makes the egregious error of conflating Athens with Atlantis at the end of his article. He says: "Poetically once more, he compared these small islets to the 'bones of the wasted body' of the 'country' that once was there," with a quote that follows. But this quote is actually referring to not Atlantis, but the ancient Athens that existed contemporaneously with Atlantis and was supposedly destroyed in the same cataclysm.

Here is the context of the quote: "Even the remnant of Attica which now exists may compare with any region in the world for the variety and excellence of its fruits and the suitableness of its pastures to every sort of animal, which proves what I am saying; but in those days the country was fair as now and yielded far more abundant produce. How shall I establish my words? and what part of it can be truly called a remnant of the land that then was? The whole country is only a long promontory extending far into the sea away from the rest of the continent, while the surrounding basin of the sea is everywhere deep in the neighbourhood of the shore. Many great deluges have taken place during the nine thousand years, for that is the number of years which have elapsed since the time of which I am speaking; and during all this time and through so many changes, there has never been any considerable accumulation of the soil coming down from the mountains, as in other places, but the earth has fallen away all round and sunk out of sight. The consequence is, that in comparison of what then was, there are remaining only the bones of the wasted body, as they may be called, as in the case of small islands, all the richer and softer parts of the soil having fallen away, and the mere skeleton of the land being left."

Clearly, Plato is referring to ancient Athens, which he calls Attica, in this passage, and not Atlantis.

While this is just a single mistake, it is one that demonstrates that the author has a superficial understanding of Plato's dialogues, whether in English or the original Greek.

This recent evaluation of Plato's text revealed that simple errors and flawed interpretations by early translators led many researchers in the past to look for Atlantis in all the wrong places. Consequently, unlike all past “discoveries,” including recent ones that led to more speculation rather than real evidence, for the first time, there is a tangible site where all the physical characteristics perfectly match Plato’s account.

This is so stupid it beggars belief. Here is a person who cannot understand the basic facts about the text he is reading, making the amateurish mistake of conflating Athens and Atlantis...and he is bold enough to suggest that there have been translation errors? No, no. The errors are in the author's interpretation and understanding of the dialogues, not in the translations. The scholars who translated these works from Greek to English were first class scholars. This is just a rhetorical trick that the author of the article is using to make his point. Shameful.

Djonis' article and book have done a tremendous disservice to Atlantis research.

Explain yourself more, what have been misunderstood exactly ?

What do you think you know thats others dont ?

 

The author of this article has completely misunderstood Plato, or has intentionally twisted his words.

I'm completely convinced some global disaster hit life on earth big time. In my head that's a given certainty.

Also, remember that Plato is recounting events from 9000 years before his own time, so his stories cant be taken as literal as they are History Passed Down through Word unlike written history. Pluto just happened to write what he heard. But one has to think in bigger context to understand what happened on earth 12-13000 years ago. Thanks to new discoveries in science evidence of GLOBAL cataclysmic 12-13000 years is becoming reality and not only did it wipe of many animals it also wiped out a past advanced civilization that spread across the planet.

Pages

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Top New Stories

“Lord Rama got fed up with asking a non-responding Varuna (God of the oceans) to help him and took up the Brahmastra.” (Fair Use) Ram Setu – a natural phenomenon or perhaps a manmade bridge built to save a queen?
Built by a king and his army to save a queen from the clutches of a rival? Or maybe a bridge to a land which led Adam to his atonement? While both of these ideas are far-fetched, current research suggests the Ram Setu link between India and Sri Lanka is not natural as most people have been told to believe, but is a man-made bridge which is thousands of years old.

Human Origins

Map of sites and postulated migratory pathways associated with modern humans dispersing across Asia during the Late Pleistocene.
Most people are now familiar with the traditional "Out of Africa" model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research

Ancient Places

The eerie mansion that is today known as Loftus Hall.
Driving along the isolated road that runs down the scenic Hook Peninsula in Ireland’s Ancient East, it is easy to spot the mansion that has earned itself the reputation as the most haunted house in Ireland. If ever a building fit the stereotype of a home haunted by its bloody and tragic past, this was it...

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article