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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Ivan Linforth

Linforth, Ivan (L)

Ivan Linforth (1879-1976) was a renowned American Hellenist scholar, who was Professor of Greek Studies at the University of California. In his Solon the Athenian[045] he controversially expressed the view that Plato himself brought the Atlantis story back to Athens and that the introduction of Solon into the provenance of the tale was “a literary device”.

To me, this seems highly improbable, as it would require Plato to lie and then implicate the highly regarded Solon in the same untruth. Then, for good measure, claim that his own family was complicit in transmitting this account from Solon to him. If this is the best that a scholar could come up with, I despair. Plato wrote Timaeus and Critias in his old age, not a time when a highly respected person normally resorts to lying.

Compounding this is the fact that the late Antonis Kontaratos identified an unprecedented twenty-two instances in the Atlantis narrative where Plato, directly or indirectly, claims the story to be true.

Amasis

Amasis II, was the Greek name of Ahmose who reigned from 570-526 BC. Amasis is given by Plato as the AmasisIIname of the Egyptian pharaoh at the time of Solon’s visit to Sais. However, Phyllis Young Forsyth[266.38] protests that Plato did not claim that Amasis was on the throne at time of Solon’s visit, but merely identified Sais as the home of Amasis. The English translations of Tim.21e by Bury, Jowett and Lee are compatible with this, as is the German translation of Plato’s text by Franz Susemihl(a) John Michael Greer[0345], among others, supports this view.

Firm historical information for this period is often scanty and sometimes contradictory. However, it is thought that Solon left Athens for a number of years and some of that period may have overlapped with part of Amasis’ reign. Herodotus is our principal source of information regarding Amasis and he clearly mentions (Bk.1.30) that Solon was at the court of Amasis.  Zhirov quotes  the views of V.S. Struve, who believed that Herodotus’  3rd century BC dates were out by 25 years. 

Ivan Linforth strongly disputes[041.300] the idea of Solon meeting Amasis  as “chronologically quite improbable”. He claims that Solon (c.630-560 BC) had returned to Athens before the reign of Amasis. John Michael Greer[0345.15], not very convincingly, attempts to counter this idea with the suggestion that at the time of Solon’s visit, Amasis had not yet ascended the throne.

(a) http://www.atlantis-schoppe.de/susemihl.pdf