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

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Joining The Dots


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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Solon (m)

SolonSolon (c.630- c.560 BC) was an Athenian archon (chief magistrate).*[His reputation rested on his legislative, social and monetary reforms, which contributed to an economic recovery and laid the foundation for the later emergence of democracy. Over time he was elevated to something akin to political sainthood, but not without some critics.]*

Although the story of Atlantis is normally attributed to Plato, the core of the narrative, namely the destruction of a powerful civilisation many thousands of years earlier, through flood, should in fact be credited to Solon, whose ‘notes’ provided the basis for Plato’s work, allegedly based on the content of conversations with Egyptian priests at Sais and Heliopolis. The very detailed descriptions of matters such as the history, topography and fauna of Atlantis are probably later additions by Plato. It is highly unlikely that the Egyptians would have been concerned with the recording of such minutiae relating to their former enemies.

Many commentators doubt that an actual note of Solon’s conversations with the Egyptian priests ever existed, even though in Plato’s Dialogues Critias claims that these were handed down to his relatives. However, here again we encounter a difficulty, in one place Critias [113b] states that he is still in possession of Solon’s notes, in another Timaeus [26a] he declares that he relies on his memory for details of the Atlantis story that his grandfather had told him and which he recited as a child, indicating that he was using two complementary sources.

The Life of Solon by Plutarch is available on the Internet(a).
(a) http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Aabo%3Atlg%2C0007%2C007&query=1%3A1