Pateneit is the name of the Egyptian priest that Solon spoke to in Sais, according to Proclus (5th cent. AD) in his Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus (Vol I). He adds that he also spoke to two other priests, Ochlapi at Heliopolis and Ethimon at Sebbynetus. However, Plutarch (2nd cent. AD) gives the names of the priests at Sais and Heliopolis as Sonchis and Psenophis respectively. It is frustrating that we no longer have access to the sources used by Plutarch and Proclus, but they do seem to enhance the provenance of Plato’s account.
The Thomas Taylor translation of Proclus’ commentary can be read online(a)(b).
Interpretation, which deals with the spoken word, obviously preceded translation which is concerned with the written word and could only have followed the development and spread of literacy. Interpretation in ancient Egypt goes back to 3000 BC when we find the earliest hieroglyphic believed to mean ‘interpreter’(a).
J.V. Luce informs us[120.23] that one of the Saite pharaohs, Psammetichus I (c.664-610 BC), established a school for interpreters, which possibly had its services availed of by Solon during his visit there.
Neith was an ancient Egyptian goddess and patron god of Sais, where Solon is said to have learned about Atlantis. Neith is often identified with the Greek goddess Athena as well as the Berber and Punic goddess Tanith (Tanit, Tanut), although this has been disputed (a). Tanith is said to be derived from the Phoenician lunar goddess and claims have been made that Tanit was also a Hyksos goddess.
The association of Greek with Egyptian deities was originally told to us by Herodotus(b). A similar connection between Greek and Hindu gods has also been identified(c).
(a) http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Mythology/Athena.html (Offline May 2017) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20170326111445/http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Mythology/Athena.html
(b) http://www.artic.edu/~llivin/research/greeks_egyptian_gods/index.html (link broken May 2019) See: Archive 2574
The Kings of Atlantis were, according to Plato, originally the sons of Poseidon and Cleito. They were ten in number and consisted of five sets of male twins. The first-born was Atlas who was given authority over the others, each of whom controlled their own territory. Some commentators reacted with such incredulity to this story, that they have either dismissed this detail or in some cases the entire Atlantis tale as pure fantasy. Of course, it is highly improbable, if not virtually impossible to accept that Clieto had five sets of all male twins. However, we are dealing here with a myth that is an echo of the legends of many other cultures describing their antediluvian origins. Lenormant & Chevallier wrote of this over a hundred years ago:
“…The ten kingdoms of Atlantis are perpetuated in all the ancient traditions. ‘In the number given by the Bible for the Antediluvian patriarchs we have the first instance of a striking agreement with the traditions of various nations. Other nations, to whatever epoch they carry back their ancestors…are constant to the sacred number of ten… In Chaldea (Babylon), Berosus, writing in the third century BC, numerates ten Antediluvian kings whose fabulous reign extended to thousands of years. The legends of the Iranian race commence with the reign of ten Peisdadien (Poseidon?) kings…. In India we meet with the nine Brahmadikas, who, with Brahma, their founder, make ten, and who are called the Ten Petris, or Fathers. The Chinese count ten emperors, partaking of the divine nature, before the dawn of historical time. The Germans believed in the ten ancestors of Odin, and the Arabs in the ten mythical kings of the Adites”.
It may be just coincidence, but Plato tells us that the domain of Atlantis extended as far as Tyrrhenia (modern Tuscany), just south of which was Rome, a city, which according to legend was founded by twin brothers, Romulus and Remus. It has been claimed that the story of their origins are a variation of the story in the Hindu epic Ramayana concerning the twin sons of king Sri Rama, Luva and Kusha(c).
Although Babylon is supposed to have had ten kings before the Flood, it must be noted that they reigned successively rather than concurrently, as was the case in Atlantis.
Attention has been drawn to the fact that Manetho (c. 300 BC), the Egyptian historian called the first sequence of Egyptian god-kings ‘Auriteans’, which has been seen as suspiciously like a corruption of ‘Atlanteans‘.
Some writers have attempted to link these names with specific regions; such as Atlas with Morocco, Eumelos (Gadeiros) with Gades (Cadiz) and Elasippos with Lisbon. Beyond these three there is very little agreement. Lewis Spence correctly points out “Plato expressly states that these names had been Egyptianised from the Atlantean language by the priest of Sais, and subsequently Hellenised in Critias, so that there is little hope that they were transmitted in anything like their original form.” Spence also commented on the similarity of the Phoenician gods and the early kings of Atlantis, an idea suggested earlier by Ignatius Donnelly.
R. Cedric Leonard is convinced that Manetho’s list of Egyptian god-kings is in fact a list of the first kings of Atlantis and expands on this idea on his website(a). However, in his 1979 book, Quest for Atlantis, Leonard has suggested that the kings of Atlantis were human-alien hybrids and that humans are the result of alien genetic experiments!!
Another site(b) identifies the kings of Atlantis with the pantheon of Phoenician gods, an idea first mooted by Ignatius Donnelly(part IV. chap.III). But Donnelly, also suggested, unconvincingly, that the gods of the Greeks were just the deified kings of Atlantis (part IV, chap. II), while it is also possible that they were just personifications of natural phenomena.
An unusual feature of the Atlantean kings is the meeting every fifth and sixth year. Plato explains this as a way of honouring odd and even numbers. However, Bacon & Galanopoulos suggest[263.152] that in fact this may have been the result of an awareness of the eleven-year cycles of rains. I believe that this explanation is equally weak and the subject requires further investigation.
*(a) http://www.atlantisquest.com/Hiero.html (offline March 2018)
Karl Jürgen Hepke was born in 1933 and is a graduate engineer. For over twenty years he has been researching early history. He is the author, in German, of The History of Atlantis with an English translation online(f).
Hepke maintains two websites(a)(b) that have a good portion of their content in English and cover a range of Atlantis related subjects. However, in an overview(d) of his work, he moves into the area of UFO’s and alien intervention, which for me is a ‘turn off’.
Hepke follows the opinion of Lewis Spence who was probably the earliest to postulate the idea of ‘two Atlantises‘. The first located in the North Atlantic and was flooded by rising sea levels following an impact with a comet or asteroid. He believes that this impact was responsible for some axial displacement of the earth. The second was the Atlantis described by Platoand in the opinion of Hepke was centred in Tartessos, the Tarshish of the Bible, in Andalusia, Spain. He specifies the present Puerto de Santa Maria(e), immediately north of Cadiz, as the site of Tarshish, where recent excavation, have revealed Phoenician remains and a very ancient racecourse.
Hepke agrees with the idea that Plato’s 9,000 ‘years’ were in fact lunar cycles and should be accepted as 692 solar years, which when added to the date of Solon’s visit to Sais would give a date of 1192 BC for the demise of Atlantis. Hepke points out that current understanding indicates a date of 1250 BC for the catastrophic impact that led to the destruction of Atlantis and that 1190 BC was the date of the first battle between the Egyptians and the Sea Peoples. However any slight date discrepancies could be explained by the fact that the 9,000 ‘years’ referred to is highly unlikely to have been intended as exact. In the same way that people of today will casually speak of an event in the 18th century as having occurred ‘a couple of hundred’ years ago, with an accepted accuracy that could be 50 years out.
What is strange is that if Hepke is equating the Sea Peoples with the Atlanteans, this conflicts with Plato’s story, which suggests that the Egyptians did not have to fight the Atlanteans, who were engaged in warring with the Athenians diverting their forces away from Egypt.
Hepke delivered a paper(c) to the 2011 Atlantis Conference on Santorini. He outlined his Atlantis theory locating it on the plain of the River Guadalete which runs into the Bay of Cádiz near Puerto de Santa Maria.
Hepke has also added some links to video clips to his websites.
Jacques Hébert is the author of Atlantide: La Solution Oubliee concerning Atlantis. As a former Parisian police chief, he claims to have applied his skills in that field to solving the mystery of Plato’s island. He critically re-examines the original text and offers an interpretation that he believes provides a more rational and harmonious reading of the narrative. His conclusion is that Atlantis lay in the Indian Ocean and that its culture was derived from the Indus valley. He specifically identifies the Yemeni island of Socotra as part of the Atlantean civilisation
Hébert identifies Bab el Mandeb as Plato’s Pillars of Heracles, by assuming that Solon mistook the description of that strait, given to him by the priests of Sais, with the Strait of Gibraltar, which has similar features. The earthquake that destroyed Atlantis is attributed by him to a close encounter with an extraterrestrial body.
A 2004 interview with Hébert can be read online(a).
(a) http://www.vox-populi.net/article.php3?id_article=21 (French)
Dr. Émile Mir Chaouat follows the views of Butavand and agrees that Plato’s 9,000 years should be taken as months and consequently dates the destruction of Atlantis to 1400 BC. He agrees, in common with many other writers, that the Sahara once had a large inland sea which contained Atlantis. He believes that its Mediterranean port was located at Cerne. He points out that Athena and Neith the goddess of Sais were identical and suggests that the name of the legendary North African queen Tin Hanan may be a corruption of Athena [(A)tin-ha(nan)]. In 1925 Byron Khun de Prorok claimed to have found the tomb of Tin Hanan, renowned queen of the Tauregs, in the Hoggar Mountains. Chaouat’s published his views in a 1953 booklet, Lumiére sur l’Atlantide.
Athene is the goddess that gave her name to the Greek capital. Interestingly the pre-Hellenic people of Greece, the Pelasgians, believed that the goddess Athene or Athena was born beside Lake Tritonis in Libya. The North Africans had a legendary queen called Tin Hanan that Dr. Chaouat identified with Athene [(A)tin-ha(nan)]. De Prorok claimed to have found her tomb.
Both are similarly represented, Neith with a bow and arrow, Athene with a shield and spear. Neith is also associated with the Libyan goddess Tanit.
Some commentators have sought to link Athene with the Egyptian god Aten, while one website(a)(b) has claimed that Athene was the biblical Eve. The latter idea is also expressed on the Answers in Genesis website(c).
*(a) http://www.solvinglight.com/features/HowObvious.htm (offline 27/3/15) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20170104144308/http://www.solvinglight.com/features/HowObvious.htm
(b) http://www.solvinglight.com/features/HowObvious02.htm (offline 27/3/15) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20160817154044/http://solvinglight.com/features/HowObvious02.htm*
(c) https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/adam-and-eve/athena-and-eve/ (offline May 2017 – See Archive 2500)
Asty is another name that Athenians had for their city. According to Diodorus Siculus (Book 1) it is claimed that the Athenians were colonists from Sais in Egypt and that they brought the name Asty from the city of the same name there, which is thought to be Alexandria. Sais was the centre of the cult of the Egyptian goddess Neith and accepted by Plato (Tim. 21E) as identical to Athena after whom the Greek city was named. Tim. 21E uses the term Asty in the Latin translation of Chalcidius only, a fact highlighted by R. McQuillen who also claims(a) that Atlantis was in fact located in the Nile Delta and uses Asty as a starting point for his thesis.
*(a) http://gizacalc.freehostia.com/Atlantis.html (link broken 16/6/14) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20110711034907/http://gizacalc.freehostia.com/Atlantis.html*.
Amasis II, was the Greek name of Ahmose who reigned from 570-526 BC. Amasis is given by Plato as the name 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, 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.