Atlantis: the Lost City Essay

Atlantis: The Lost City “Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent . . . But, there occurred violent earthquakes and floods, and in a single day and night of misfortune. . . the island of Atlantis . . . disappeared in the depths of the sea. ” (Plato: Timaeus, 360 B. C. ) One of the oldest and most intriguing mysteries of this world is the Legend of Atlantis. Where was this lost city? How was it destroyed?

How technologically advanced were these people really? Will historians ever know what truly happened? Many believe the story of Atlantis but no one truly knows where it disappeared to. The earliest reports of Atlantis come to us from Plato. In two of his dialogues, he wrote of a utopian society named Atlantis. In his dialogues “Kritias” and “Timaeus” he describes a flourishing continent outside, what is believed to be, the present day Strait of Gibraltar. Atlantis was wealthy beyond compare, and the people soon grew greedy. This was one major contribution to its downfall.

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He describes a war lasting nine-thousand years between the Atlanteans and the Athenians. He then describes Atlantis, the size of Asia and Libya put together, approximately five to ten million square feet, to have been hit by an earthquake and sent to the bottom of the ocean. Plato then describes Atlantis to be the shape of a bull’s-eye. One central island with rotating rings of land and water extending the central point. This empire was said to have been founded by the god of the sea Poseidon. He had five children whom he divided the continent up and made them rulers over.

The continent itself he named Atlantis after his oldest son Atlas. “…And Poseidon receiving for his lot the island Atlantis, begat children by a mortal woman…and he named them all; the eldest, who was the first king, he named Atlas, and after him the whole island and the ocean were named Atlantic…” (Plato: Kritias 113e ff) Many races have the same basic story of a prosperous land that was destroyed in some way or another. This contributes to many different theories as to where Atlantis really is. One popular theory as to where Atlantis is, is the island of Thera.

In about 1500 B. C. the Aegean island suddenly blew up. “…The volcanic activity on Thera has consisted of eruptions…Four of these eruptions were of such violence and magnitude that the island collapsed…” (Thera Geology, 2009). The worldwide theory of shifting plates, Pangaea, supports this idea of Atlantis. When studying a world map showing Pangaea, everything fits tightly together except parts of North America and Western Europe. There is a gap that some believe to be where Atlantis was. The first person who suggested that Atlantis may be east instead of west was K.

T. Frost. Frost also believed it was much later and was only nine-hundred years before Plato, around 1300 B. C. This theory supports the idea that Atlantis was the island of Crete. Many scientists believe that the island Sanatoria, just 10 miles north, had a very large volcanic eruption in 1500 B. C. This eruption was four times more powerful than Krakatoa, one of the most violent eruptions in volcanic history. This could create a four hundred feet tsunami which would have landed right on Crete and surrounding islands.

This would explain how the Minoans, those on Crete at the time, disappeared like the dinosaurs after (preferred theory here). “By then, the gods’ anger against Atlantis was so strong, that they destroyed it in a single day and night, by earthquakes, and sunk it into the sea, leaving only a mass of mud behind. ” (Plato, Kritias 121b) One highly supported theory is that of Atlantis having been today’s Bermuda triangle. Plato said, “The ocean at that spot, has now become impassable and unsearchable. ” (Atlantis the lost continent).

This statement supports the theory that Bermuda triangle is where Atlantis was. A man by the name of Edgar Cayce, also known as the “sleeping prophet,” believed that he himself was an Atlantean. He believed that it was located near the island of Bimini in Bermuda. He prophesied that in the late 1960’s Atlantis would rise from the ocean. This, however, didn’t happen. One supporting fact is that off the island of Bimini there is a rock formation known as the Bimini Road. This is described as a road, wall, or other structure.

However, most geologists believe this to be naturally made instead of man made. In conclusion, many believe in the lost city of Atlantis. No one knows where it is today, although many claim to have found it. Also, others claim it to not even be on this planet. Due to the fact that it has not been found yet, scientists are skeptical about ever finding the truly mystical city of Atlantis. Works Cited: “Atlantis” (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Atlantis, November 30, 2009). “Atlantis the lost continent” (http://theshadowlands. net/atlantis/index. html, November 30, 2009). Bermuda Triangle” (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Bermuda_Triangle, November 30, 2009). “Extracts from Plato’s dialogues Kritias and Timaeus” (http://www. decadevolcano. net/santorini/atlantis. htm, November 30, 2009). “Krakatoa” (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Krakatoa), November 30, 2009. “Kritias” (Plato: http://classics. mit. edu/Plato/critias. html, November 30, 2009). “Santorini and the Legend of Atlantis” (http://www. decadevolcano. net/santorini/atlantis. htm, November 30, 2009). “Thera Geology” (http://www. uri. edu/endeavor/thera/therageo. html), November 30, 2009.


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