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The Last of Atlantis by Nicholas Roerich. Wikimedia Commons

By- Khushi Bisht

For several years, tales of this lost city have been told that existed over 9,000 years ago and was home to wealthy and honorable people. Atlantis, the mysterious island, has been portrayed in many artistic works, including paintings, movies, and novels.

However, we must return to Plato, the great Greek ancient philosopher, to learn about the history of the “Lost City of Atlantis.” The story’s origins can be found in Plato’s Socratic dialogues Timaeus and Critias, which were written around 360 B.C. He claimed Atlantis to be a highly developed civilization that existed approximately 9,000 years preceding his era and that writers and scholars had passed down the legend for generations. Atlantis, according to Plato’s writings, was greater than both Libya and Asia merged together and was located in the Atlantic Ocean.

Plato. Wikimedia Commons

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Plato stated that the founding fathers of Atlantis were half-gods and half-human beings. They built an ‘Utopian’ society and grew into a powerful navy force. Their residence consisted of concentric islands comprising precious metals like platinum, gold, and silver, as well as a diverse range of unique and rare biodiversity. The location of the island has been the subject of much speculation, with some claiming it is located in the Mediterranean, whereas others claim it is close to Antarctica, or the Caribbean, in the Pacific ocean, or even near to Spain.

Athanasius Kircher’s map of Atlantis, placing it in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, from Mundus Subterraneus 1669, published in Amsterdam. The map is oriented with the south at the top. Wikimedia Commons

According to Plato’s myth, the residents of Atlantis began towards becoming arrogant, selfish, dishonest, and immoral. These individuals became hawkish, spread into new lands, and eventually overplayed their hands. Later on, there were foreboding explosions and flooding, culminating in a tragic event in which the entire resources of these people were enveloped by the earth. All of this occurred because the Gods were enraged by people who had become arrogant and immoral and had pursued unethical activities.

The Island of Atlantis was lost forever. The shoreline mud that the island formed as it settled down has made the ocean at that location mysterious and inaccessible. The Gods unleashed a swarm of lightning and explosions so strong that the Utopian empire of Atlantis sunk deep beneath the waves, never to be seen again.

A vision of cosmic catastrophe by Léon Bakst. Wikimedia Commons

There are numerous theories that have been proposed in relation to this topic. One of these theories claims that Plato’s portrayal of the lost city of Atlantis is fabricated. Theorists argue that Plato created Atlantis as his conception of a perfect civilization, and also that the tale of its destruction was meant to be a dire warning about the gods condemning human arrogance. Apart from Plato’s dialogues and the various other ancient Greek writings that have survived, there are no historical records of Atlantis.

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The Fall of Atlantis by François de Nomé. Wikimedia Commons

However, some theories argue that the notion of Atlantis being a real historical landmark, rather than a myth created by Plato. Another theory, based on the work of Charles Hapgood, argues that Atlantis was once a much more warmer version of what became Antarctica.

Although some people accept Atlantis was actual, many others claim Plato told the story as an allegory, which means the story had a secret meaning and it can can disclose a deeper message, typically of ethical value. Since then, several scientists have been looking for evidence of Atlantis’ existence, as well as where it was located and how it vanished. These myths, on the other hand, offer an insight into the history that is yet to be discovered.


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