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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Egyptians

Moreux, Abbe Théophile (L)

Abbe Théophile Moreux (1867-1954) was a renowned French astronomer and meteorologist. He was ordained a Abbe Moreuxpriest in 1891 and became a professor of Mathematics and later, in 1907, he built his own observatory.

In 1924 he published L’Atlantide A-T-Elle Existé? [0716] (Atlantis does it Exist?) in which claimed that the Atlantis legend must have had an historical foundation.

He also argued that the civilisations of the Maya, Inca and Egyptians were incomprehensible without Atlantis. He wrote on the subject of alchemy in a separate work.

During World War II, at the age of 76, he was imprisoned for a few weeks for criticising Herr Hitler.

Zapp, Ivar (L)

ZappIvar Zapp is a former professor of design at the architecture school of Universidad de Costa Rica and co-author, with George Erikson, of Atlantis in America[244] that links Atlantis with the ancient cultures of Central America.

Zapp gave a talk in 2005 in which he identified a location in southwest Costa Rica as the site of Plato’s Atlantis(b). The Amazon customer reviews are worth a look(a).

In 2012 Zapp revealed that he was planning to publish a second book, Babel Deciphered, which will reveal that a maritime civilisation existed globally thousands of years before the Greeks, Egyptians and Sumerians and that this civilisation created the world’s first language(c). It appears that so far he has not found a publisher.

Regarding Atlantis, the same report noted that Zapp commenting on the fall of Atlantis,  “said that (it) was not the literal collapse of a continent into the ocean, but the collapse of knowledge that plunged the world into a dark age where people forgot the language and navigation techniques pioneered by a civilization in the Americas.”

(a) http://www.amazon.com/Atlantis-America-Navigators-Ancient-World/product-reviews/0932813526

(b) http://www.explorecostarica.com/newsmanager/publish/printer_478.shtml (offline Dec. 2015 see Archive 2537)

(c) http://www.prestige-ocean-properties.com/blogs/michael_mills/archive/2012/10/13/unusual-theory-about-stone-spheres-in-costa-rica.aspx

Stallbaum, Johann Gottfried

Johann Gottfried Stallbaum (1793-1861) was a German classicist who isStallbaum best known for his two Latin editions of Plato’s complete works – Platonis Opera omnia of which Volume 7 contains Timaeus and Critias. His Latin texts have been frequently used in the production of vernacular translations.

In 1838 he was content to accept America as Atlantis and suggested that the American continent was probably known to the ancient Egyptians and their Asian neighbours.

Chariots

Chariots numbering ten thousand are mentioned as an important part of Atlantis’ armed forces. However, it is generally accepted that chariots first appeared in Mesopotamia around 3000 BC and became fairly commonplace by the middle of the second millennium BC. There is no evidence of any of the major Late Bronze Age nations having any more than a few hundred chariots. It would also appear that these chariots were normally reserved for nobles, wearing full bronze armour. War chariots were only effective over open and relatively flat ground.

Etruscan_chariot_4We should also keep in mind that the invention of the wheel itself is currently dated to not much earlier than 3500 BC(c) indicating that Plato’s reference to Atlantean chariots is anachronistic if we accept his apparent claim that the war with Atlantis took place around 9600 BC.

With regard to the Atlantis story, we must comment that 10,000 chariots controlled by one army, would only be required if a battleground had large tracts of flat land and if the enemy also possessed a similar force of chariots. Since no such enemy had been identified, we are forced to consider the clear possibility that the chariot numbers, as with so many other of the figures in Plato’s story, are suspect.

The greatest chariot battle in history took place in what is now Syria at the Battle of Kadesh in 1275 BC, between the Egyptians and the Hittites. The total number of chariots involved was between 5,000 and 6,000. In other words a literal acceptance of what Plato wrote suggests that the Atlanteans had twice the number of chariots as that of the opponents at Kadesh combined. On top of that, those that accept the Atlantis story literally  try to tell us that the Atlanteans had 10,000 chariots, eight thousand years earlier than Kadesh, millennia before chariots were invented! As an aside, I should mention that the Battle of Kadesh was not the great victory by Ramses II that is often claimed(f).

The date given by Plato for the destruction of Atlantis is 9600 BC. This would make the existence of chariots at that time, not to mention in such numbers, a complete anachronism. It is not likely that Atlantis to have waged war with 10,000 chariots at that time without their enemies having developing a comparable fighting accessory. As already stated the Atlanteans would not have needed chariots in such numbers unless their opponents also had chariots and that the battlefield was suitable for such a conflict. Plato’s date would appear to be out by about 8000 years. Since chariots were only introduced into Britain in the 5th century BC, in other words after Solon. This would seem to rule out Britain as the home or even a colony of the original empire of Atlantis. Similarly, with no evidence of chariots in the ancient Americas or the Caribbean, it would not be unreasonable to rule them out as the Atlantis of Plato. If the reference to chariots is to be taken as a real attribute of the Atlantean military machine, we are forced to look, in very general terms, to the Mediterranean region, both inside and outside the Strait of Gibraltar as far as the Black Sea and Egypt.

I must also add that from a functional point of view the most efficient chariots required spoked wheels and that the oldest examples of which have been dated no earlier than 2000 BC(a). This alone is a reason to question Plato’s Atlantis date.

Arthur Cottrell, in his Chariot[866], discusses how the chariot lost its dominance in battle but developed as a form of entertainment with the introduction of chariot racing and were frequently used in funerary rituals of a number of cultures. Chariot racing as a spectator sport in Rome dates back to around the 6th century BC. It was also quite popular among the Etruscans and the Lucanians of Sicily in the 5th century BC. It was recently revealed that Roman racing chariots had an additional iron tyre fitted to the right wheel greatly enhancing the charioteer’s chance of winning(e).

The close of the Bronze Age saw an end to the supremacy of the war chariot with the introduction of new weaponry and military tactics. Robert Drews is Professor of Classics and History at Vanderbilt University has claimed in his book, The End of the Bronze Age[865],that these changes were responsible for the collapse of so many eastern Mediterranean cities around 1200 BC. A review(b) of Drews’ book should also be read.

In conclusion, Plato’s reference to 10,000 chariots being employed in 9600 BC is either a colourful embellishment or a mangled account of the military power of an unnamed Bronze Age society. If the former, supporters of this early date for Atlantis must explain the total lack of archaeological evidence of chariots as early as 9600 BC as well as its comtinued absence during the succeeding six or seven thousand years. Plato’s numbers are clearly flawed and are a matter that I hope to deal with more comprehensively in the near future.

(a)  http://drmsh.com/ron-wyatt-egyptian-chariot-wheels/

*(b) https://web.archive.org/web/20180704153826/http://alanlittle.org/weblog/chariots.html*

(c) http://www.livescience.com/18808-invention-wheel.html

(c) http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-technology/revolutionary-invention-wheel-001713?utm_source=Ancient-Origins+Newsletter&utm_campaign=b95d000e67-Top_Trending_Stories_Oct_No2_REAL_12_10_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2dcd13de15-b95d000e67-85158329

(e) http://www.seeker.com/secret-of-roman-race-chariots-found-2187581176.htm

(f) https://phys.org/news/2018-01-evidence-pharaoh-ramses-fake-news.html

 

Asia

Asia is a term used by Plato, particularly in connection with his description of Atlantis being greater than Libya and Asia together. Leaving aside the various arguments that the original passage meant that Atlantis was greater in ‘power’ rather than in geographical extent or that a change of a single letter in the Greek text would indicate a location ‘between’ Libya and Asia, we must again keep in mind that many words changed their meaning over the centuries. Edward Gibbon, the renowned 18th century English historian, noted that Greek and Roman writers used the term Asia to refer to Turkey, while others identify its use as a reference to ancient Lydia, a relatively small kingdom in western Turkey, rather than the vast continent it describes today. The same confusion is found in relation to Plato’s use of ‘Libya’ and also the ‘Pillars of Heracles’.

*Complicating matters further is the fact that the Egyptians considered themselves to be Asian, a fact recorded by Plato (Tim.24b).*

Furthermore, in Tim.24e, Plato informs us that Atlanteans were intent on the domination of all of the eastern Mediterranean including ‘Asia’, a clear indication that the Atlanteans arrived from the west.

Requena, Professor Rafael

requenaProfessor Rafael Requena (1879-1946) was a Venezuelan archaeologist, doctor and politician. He was the author of several books including one in 1932; Vestigios de la Atlántida[526] in which he wrote of his belief that Atlantis was a very large island in the Atlantic that was settled by the ancient Egyptians and from there subsequently went on to develop colonies in America.

In 1934, Requena was reported in the April edition of Modern Mechanix and Inventions to have concluded that in very early times the world was divided into two large continents, North and South Atlantis and that rock inscriptions then recently discovered in Venezuela by him had been written by people from lost South Atlantis(a).

*(a) http://archive.is/zGrQQ#selection-127.0-249.179*

Gordon, John S. (L)

John S. Gordon (1946-2013 ) was a senior fellow of the Theosophical Society of England and is the author of two books with an Atlantis connection – The Rise andFall of Atlantis[339] and Egypt: john_gordonChild of Atlantis[338]. In them he considers a radical re-appraisal of the age of the Egyptian civilisation, as he was convinced that Plato’s 9000 years are to be taken literally.

Furthermore, Gordon proposed that in addition to Plato’s story recounting a real civilisation his narrative also contains ‘a complex metaphor for cosmic creation.’ However, neither book brings us any nearer to locating Atlantis and is of little value to serious Atlantis seekers. He constantly quoted Blavatsky as a reliable source and is quite happy to accept Cayce’s ‘revelation’ that the Atlanteans had flying machines. This begs the question, that with such a technological advantage, how were they defeated by the Athenians?

Gordon suggests that the region of the Canaries and the Azores was the most likely location for Atlantis, which was destroyed by the eruption of a supervolcano and suggests that Atlantean migrants founded that ancient Egypt civilisation. However, nobody has addressed the unavoidable questions that flow from that idea. Firstly, is it credible that the Egyptians would not have recorded such a pedigree and related it to Solon? and secondly, is it not strange that the Atlanteans would launch an attack on their own relatives?

In 2012 Gordon returned to the subject of very ancient origins of the Egyptians with the publication of Land of the Fallen Star Gods[1110],  which is a re-working of Egypt: Child of Atlantis. Along with a recycling of earlier material he also re-introduces us to the colourful concept of ‘the cosmic dung ball’!

Sigüenza y Góngora, Carlos de

Siguenza2Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora (1645-1700) was born and died in Mexico City. For a time he joined the Jesuits. He was a professor of mathematics and was both an astronomer and a geographer, creating the first map depicting all of New Spain by one of its citizens.

Writing on the ancient history of Mexico, he speculated on the origins of its inhabitants suggesting that they arrived from Atlantis, which in turn had been colonised by  Egyptians[1323]. His views in this regard were heavily influenced by the writings of Athanasius Kircher.

He supported this contention with a list of cultural similarities, in particular, their use of pyramids. This idea of Atlantean migrants was adopted by a number of more recent commentators such as Rafael Requena.