An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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Joining The Dots

I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato's own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.


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Diodorus Siculus (L)

Diodorus Siculus (c. 90-21 BC) was born in Agyrium, Sicily. He travelled extensively through Europe and Asia gathering information that was to be incorporated in his Bibliotheca Historica, a work of forty books divided into three parts. Unfortunately, only the first five books are extant(a). He quotes extensively from an earlier historian Skytobrachion. Nevertheless in this remnant of his work we find Diodorus making a number of references to Atlantis.

He calls the land bordered by the Atlantic and surrounded by the Atlas Mountains, ‘Atlantis’, which would be modern Morocco. Diodorus tells how a great king there, renowned as an astrologer, called Atlas, named the whole region and the sea after himself. Diodorus writes that following the death of the Titan, Hyperion, the world was divided among the sons of Uranus. Accordingly, Cronus and Atlas were given the regions on the coast of Oceanus (Atlantic). A mountain was called after Atlas and the local inhabitants named Atlantioi.

What is strange here is that according to Greek myth, Atlas is noted as the son of Iapetus, yet Plato has Atlas as the son of Poseidon. This divergence between Diodorus and Plato would seem to indicate that Diodorus was NOT depending on Plato for details of his Atlantis story. Plato did not refer to an astrologer and gives a different lineage for Atlas.

Diodorus claims that the people of Atlantis had no knowledge of the fruits of Ceres the Roman goddess of plant growth. This appears to suggest that the Atlanteans did not have cereals and consequently no bread or brewing! It may be worth noting that American Indians also lacked any knowledge of cereals.

He also writes about the Amazons, a warlike tribe ruled by women, from North Africa, where they lived on an island in ancient Lake Tritonis. He relates how this lake disappeared when earthquakes created a breach to the Mediterranean. This latter point may have particular relevance to atlantologists who identify the Tunisian coastal region as the location of Atlantis.

Diodorus gives details of a war fought by the Amazons against the Atlantioi, which they won. He also relates how the Phoenicians discovered in the Atlantic, an island of great wealth and beauty (Book V) and that this island was found by accident when they were carried by the Atlantic currents to its shores.

*[(a)  http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Diodorus_Siculus/home.html]*