Plato’s Atlantis: Island or Continent?
Plato’s Atlantis: Island or Continent? Many writers insist on referring to Atlantis as a continent in spite of the fact that Plato only used the Greek word nesos, which means ‘island’. In the early part of the 20th century Adolf Schulten pointed out that nesos had also been used in connection with the Nile, the Indus, the Tiber and Tartessos. It should be noted that all the examples given by Schulten have river mouths with islands which included Spain’s Guadalquivir, the leading contender for the location of Tartessos and possibly Atlantis. Plato’s text does refer to a continent beyond the island (of Atlantis) so that it cannot be claimed that the Greeks of the period had no word to describe such a large landmass.
Plato provides dimensions for a plain on the main island where the capital was situated, but together with most of the other numbers recorded by him; they would appear to be either overstatements used for dramatic effect or the result confusion arising from the use of different units of measurement.