The Lost City of Atlantis
Around 350 BC, Plato, the Greek philosopher, wrote about a beautiful island in the Atlantic Ocean that went under the ocean waves in one day and one night. It took two books to describe the history and details of this almost magical island. For years people have been looking for this mysterious lost city, Atlantis.
Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias written in 360 BC, contain the earliest references to Atlantis. For unknown reasons Plato never completed Critias. In Timaeus Plato writes that a powerful empire has been located to the west of the "Pillars of Hercules" on an island in the Atlantic Ocean. The nation there had been established by Poseidon, the God of the Sea. Poseidon fathered five sets of twins on the island. The firstborn, Atlas, had the continent and the surrounding ocean named for him. Poseidon divided the land into ten sections, each to be ruled by a son, or his heirs. The capital city of Atlantis was a marvel of architecture and engineering. The city was composed of a series of concentric walls and canals. At the very center was a hill, and on top of the hill a temple to Poseidon. Inside was a gold statue of the God of the Sea showing him driving six winged horses. [pic]
The story goes that about 9000 years before the time of Plato, after the people of Atlantis became corrupt and greedy, the gods decided to destroy them. A violent earthquake shook the land, giant waves rolled over the shores, and the island sank into the sea, never to be seen again. So, is the story of Atlantis just a fable used by Plato to make a point? Or is there some reason to think he was referring to a real place? Well, at numerous points in the dialogues, Plato's characters refer to the story of Atlantis as "genuine history" and it being within "the realm of fact." Plato also seems to put into the story a lot of details about Atlantis that would be unnecessary if he had intended...
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