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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Erechtheus

Telechines (L)

Telchines is the name given to a group of legendary people associated with both Rhodes and Crete. However, the German writer, Specht Heidrich, maintains that the early Greeks believed the Telchines to have been a real people. In a 2004 book[1098] he describes them as an evil seafaring people who attacked the Greeks and were later destroyed by a flood. Heidrich placed Atlantis on Crete and then identified the Telchines as Atlanteans. Emmet Sweeney thought[700.193] that if Heidrich is correct his Telchine attack may be reflected in the story of Eumolpus, who attacked Athens during the reign of Erechtheus.

Attica

Attica is an ancient region of Greece which includes Athens. Its early kings are mentioned by Plato (Critias 110 a-b)

“the Egyptian priests, in describing the war of that period, mentioned most of those names – such as those of Cecrops and Erechtheus and Erichthonius and Erisichthon and most of the other names which are recorded of the various heroes before Theseus.”

Attica_mapBuilding on that and the writings of Pausanias (Graeciae Descriptio 1,2,6) and Apollodorus (Bibliotheca 3.14.1)(b), Stavros Marinopoulos has constructed an Attica king-list – Actaeus, Cecrops, Erysichthon, Cranaus (3.14.5), Erichthonius, Pandion, Erechtheus, Cecrops II, Pandion II, Aegeus and Theseus(a) . Although some disagree with the details of this list claiming, for example, that Cecrops and  Pandion I and II are duplications, that Erysichthon died before Cecrops died and that Amphictyon succeeded Cranaus, his reconstruction is probably largely correct.

From this, Papamarinopoulos concluded that the kings who opposed the Atlanteans lived in the 16th century BC. Other sources(c) put their reign from the 15th to the 13th centuries BC, so although there are relatively minor  differences between commentators, there is a consensus that the 2nd millennium BC was the time of these early kings, but very definitely not the 10th millennium BC. As you will see elsewhere, the Parian Marble substantially supports many elements of Papamarinopoulos’ analysis.

(a) http://geolib.geo.auth.gr/digeo/index.php/bgsg/article/viewFile/6631/6393

(b) http://www.theoi.com/Text/Apollodorus3.html

(c) http://www.argyrou.eclipse.co.uk/myths/KingLists.htm

 

Erechtheus and Erichthonius (a)

Erechtheus and Erichthonius are two of the early kings of Athens referred to by Plato (Crit. 110a). Both are recorded in the Parian Marble as being real kings who ruled over Athens in the 15th century BC adding to the credibility of Plato’s narrative as having an historical foundation.

Cecrops

Cecrops (Kekrops) was, according to tradition, reputed to have been the first king of Athens and is the earliest Athenian named referredCecrops to by Plato along with Erechtheus, Erichthonius and Erisichthon (Crit.110a).*There was an early belief that Cecrops was originally a native of Saïs, in Egypt, who emigrated to Greece, where he founded Athens. However, this claim was disputed, even in ancient times(a).

Cecrops is usually depicted as a man with a serpent’s tail, without any clear reason, which for me is vaguely reminiscent of Oannes in Mesopotamian mythology, who had a man’s head with the body of a fish!*

Eusebius of Caesarea placed Cecrop’ reign between 1556 and 1506 BC, which if verifiable would provide a possible ‘anchor’ for arriving at a credible date for the destruction of Atlantis.

The existence of Cecrops as a real person who reigned over Athens during the 2nd millennium BC is given further support by the Parian Marble.

*(a) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecrops_I*

Panathenaea (L)

Panathenaea was an important annual festival of Pallas Athene that according to tradition dated from the time of the legendary king Theseus. From 566 BC Pisistratus, the Athenian aristocrat, arranged that every fourth year, when the festival would be known as the Greater Panathenaea, music and poetry competitions were included, together with games and the festival was extended by three or four days.

During annual Lesser Panathenaea there was a solemn procession to the Acropolis in thanksgiving to Athene for having saved the city, giving it victory over the ‘nation of Poseidon’. Ammianus Marcellinus recounts how the peplum, a richly embroidered robe of Minerva (the Roman equivalent of Athena) was carried in this procession, on which could be seen a representation of the war between the Athenians and the Atlantides. That this was a clear reference to the defeat of the Atlanteans is supported by Humboldt, Böckh, Donnelly[1179.91], Baldwin[0653.396] and Joseph. A minority view is that the victory celebrated by the procession was that which was fought against the Persians.

The fact that this ceremony was performed at least 138 years before Plato was even born would appear to demonstrate that he could not have invented the existence of Atlantis and in fact the celebratory procession was inaugurated long before the Persian Wars began.

The Parian Marble allows us to calculate the date of the first Panathenaea occurring in 1506/5 BC. If ‘the nation of Poseidon’ is not a reference to Atlantis, what does it refer to? One suggestion, perhaps more contentious, is that it is an illusion to the Sea Peoples.

The contest between Athena and Poseidon on the West pediment of the Acropolis is related to the later conflict between Erechtheus, an early king of Athens, and the Eleusinians under the leadership of Eumolpos. Keep in mind that Poseidon is the father of Eumolpos, dated by some to reigning around 1400 BC.

New research by Professor Efrosyni Boutsikas of the University of Kent has shown(a) that the start of the annual festival was signalled by the appearance of the Draco constellation over the Erechtheion on the Acropolis of Athens.

(a) http://www.unreportedheritagenews.com/2011/04/rising-above-acropolis-constellation.html