Monday, April 7, 2008
A History of Atlantis.
I found the video on You Tube.Charlton Heston was a long time favorite despite his political views.You may wish to watch it rather than read this as both are lengthy.I had gotten this together though.
Atlantis Fact Or Fiction?Part 1
The only record we have of Atlantis is from the Greek Philosopher Plato.
Greek philosopher - 427-347 B.C.
Note: Dates are approximate, there is some uncertainty as to his birth and death
Plato was a student of Socrates until the latter's death in 399 BC at the hands of the Athenian authorities. After his teacher's death, Plato traveled extensively, including journeys in Egypt.
In 387 BC he returned to Athens and founded the Academy, a school of science and philosophy, that became the model for the modern university. Perhaps the most famous student of the Academy was Aristotle whose teachings have had tremendous impact on philosophy through today.
Due to the Academy's safekeeping, many of Plato's works have survived. His extant writings are in the form of letters and dialogues, the most famous of which is probably The Republic. His writings cover subjects ranging from knowledge to happiness to politics to nature.
Two of his dialogues, Timeaus and Critias, hold the only known original references to the island of Atlantis.
All of the men, except for Timaeus, who take part in or are mentioned in Timaeus and Critias are known to have actually existed in ancient Greece. Records of their lives and deeds have been recorded in other writings from the time period.
Note: There are 2 people named Critias related to the story of Atlantis and this can lead to some confusion. There is the Critias who actually takes part in the dialogues. He is the one who tells the story of Atlantis to Socrates. Then there is Critias who was the grandfather of the Critias of the dialogues. This elder Critias told the story of Atlantis to his grandson, Critias, who then conveyed the story to Socrates in the dialogues.
The dialogues are conversations between Socrates, Hermocrates, Timeaus, and Critias. Apparently in response to a prior talk by Socrates about ideal societies, Timeaus and Critias agree to entertain Socrates with a tale that is "not a fiction but a true story."
The story is about the conflict between the ancient Athenians and the Atlantians 9000 years before Plato's time. Knowledge of the distant past apparently forgotten to the Athenians of Plato's day, the story of Atlantis was conveyed to Solon by Egyptian priests. Solon passed the tale to Dropides, the great-grandfather of Critias. Critias learned of it from his grandfather also named Critias, son of Dropides.
Those who actually take part in the dialogues:
# Timaeus - there is no historical record of him.
# Critias - Plato's great grandfather.
# Socrates - Plato's mentor and teacher. He was condemned to death by authorities in Athens for "corrupting the moral of Athenian youth"; He lived from 469 to 399 BC.
# Hermocrates - statesman and soldier from Syracuse.
Those mentioned in the dialogues:
# Solon - Athenian traveler, poet, and lawgiver who lived from approximately 638-559 BC. According to Plato it was he who learned of the story of Atlantis from an Egyptian priest.
# Dropides - Critias' great grandfather who was told the story of Atlantis by Solon, a distant relative and close friend.
# Critias - Son of Dropides and grandfather of the Critias who takes part in the dialogues. It was he who related the story of Atlantis to the Critias of the dialogues.
The Story of Atlantis
Over 11,000 years ago there existed an island nation located in the middle of the Atlantic ocean populated by a noble and powerful race. The people of this land possessed great wealth thanks to the natural resources found throughout their island. The island was a center for trade and commerce. The rulers of this land held sway over the people and land of their own island and well into Europe and Africa.
This was the island of Atlantis.
Atlantis was the domain of Poseidon, god of the sea. When Poseidon fell in love with a mortal woman, Cleito, he created a dwelling at the top of a hill near the middle of the island and surrounded the dwelling with rings of water and land to protect her.
leito gave birth to five sets of twin boys who became the first rulers of Atlantis. The island was divided among the brothers with the eldest, Atlas, first King of Atlantis, being given control over the central hill and surrounding areas.
At the top of the central hill, a temple was built to honor Poseidon which housed a giant gold statue of Poseidon riding a chariot pulled by winged horses. It was here that the rulers of Atlantis would come to discuss laws, pass judgments, and pay tribute to Poseidon..
To facilitate travel and trade, a water canal was cut through of the rings of land and water running south for 5.5 miles (~9 km) to the sea.(Large enough for ships to sail.)
The city of Atlantis sat just outside the outer ring of water and spread across the plain covering a circle of 11 miles (1.7 km). This was a densely populated area where the majority of the population lived.
Beyond the city lay a fertile plain 330 miles (530 km) long and 110 miles (190 km) wide surrounded by another canal used to collect water from the rivers and streams of the mountains. The climate was such that two harvests were possible each year. One in the winter fed by the rains and one in the summer fed by irrigation from the canal.
Surrounding the plain to the north were mountains which soared to the skies. Villages, lakes, rivers, and meadows dotted the mountains.
Besides the harvests, the island provided all kinds of herbs, fruits, and nuts. An abundance of animals, including elephants, roamed the island.
For generations the Atlanteans lived simple, virtuous lives. But slowly they began to change. Greed and power began to corrupt them. When Zeus saw the immorality of the Atlanteans he gathered the other gods to determine a suitable punishment.
Soon, in one violent surge it was gone. The island of Atlantis, its people, and its memory were swallowed by the sea.
This is a summary of the story told by Plato around 360 BC in his dialogues Timaeus and Critias.
A Quite Different Thought
Erich von Däniken was born April 14th, 1935, in Zofingen, Switzerland.
Writer and Hotellier Erich von Däniken claims that extraterrestrials had contact with the ancient world and that we are descendants of these creatures (ancient astronauts). His books have sold 63 million copies worldwide. He has also been featured on television series. Erich von Däniken's most famous book is Chariots of the Gods.
Despite the fact that after Chariots of the Gods came out some of the material von Däniken used as evidence was shown to be fraudulent and his arguments have been refuted, Erich von Däniken remains extremely popular and many people believe him.
Sources: ancient astronauts