An Allegory is the most common description offered by sceptics of Plato’s Atlantis story, eager to deny any historical value in the narrative. Parallels have been drawn with the Persian wars; Plato’s experiences in Syracuse and even more obtusely Alan Alford who proposed that “Atlantis – was an allegory for the myth of the creation of the Universe.”
Rand Flem-Ath quite reasonably argues that the idea of Atlantis as an allegory makes sense only if there is no realistic geographic explanation for Plato’s description of the site of the lost land. Consequently if an interpretation of the story can indicate a credible location and time for the destruction of Atlantis then the allegory theory is considerably weakened.
If the Atlantis mystery is ever finally resolved, I am inclined to think that it will be found that Plato used the prehistoric destruction of a powerful civilisation as a core to his story and wrapped it in the details of events closer to his own time presenting the entire account as a morality tale.
Nevertheless, it is interesting that Plato’s ‘ideal state’ of Atlantis is claimed as the inspiration for both Sir Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’ and St. Augustine’s ‘City of God’ among many others.