Zárate, Agustín de (a)
Agustín de Zárate (1514-1560) was a Spanish accountant who travelled to the Indies in 1543. He then spent a year in Peru supporting Gonzalo Pizarro’s rebellion against the Spanish crown. As a consequence he was imprisoned for treason on his return to Spain. While in prison he wrote a history of Peru, Historia del descubrimiento y conquista de las provincias del Peru (Seville, 1577), in which he compared the customs of the Peruvian natives with Plato’s description of the Atlanteans and concluded that the Peruvians had migrated from Atlantis.
Zárate was aware that Plato’s reference to 9,000 years gave it the superficial appearance of a fable and consequently notes that “according to Eudoxus these were not solar years but lunar ‘years’ as calculated by the Egyptian calendar. Therefore the time was 9,000 months or 750 years.”