Divine Twins (Dioscurism) occur frequently in many cultures worldwide(c), Greek mythology being no exception, although Plato’s report that five sets of twins were the original rulers of Atlantis, it provides one of the more unusual elements in the account. Could there be any connection between the male twins of the Atlantis and the male twins, Romulus and Remus, who founded Rome or Amphion and Zethos who established Thebes?
Greek and Roman mythologies also shared the twins Castor and Pollux. Furthermore, a Christian reference to them can be found in the Acts of the Apostles (28.11), where St.Paul is said to have left Malta for Rome on a ship displaying the sign of Castor and Pollux.
The idea of Divine twins is also found in the old Slavic pantheon according to Michael Shapiro in a 1982 paper(g)*and found across European mythologies(i).*
According to Jim Allen, the leading proponent of the idea of Atlantis having existed in the Andes, the Aymara kingdoms which existed on the Andean Altiplano also governed in pairs, so he has no doubt that the story of Atlantis had its origins in a Bolivian legend(a). It is accepted that ‘The Hero Twins’ are part of Mayan mythology in the form of Xbalanque and Hunaphu. The anthropologist Robert L. Hall has detected twins in the native symbolism as far north as the Mississippi. The existence of twin rulers also existed in Bronze Age Scandinavia – one being the chief of war, the other the chief of rituals.
A recent paper by Alastair Coombs entitled The Atlantis Twins offered further thoughts on possible prehistoric references, including a suggested link with Göbekli Tepe. This article was expanded and retitled Göbekli Tepe & the Atlantis Twins and was later published on Graham Hancock’s website(d).
In December 2017, Anton Mifsud, the doyen of Maltese Atlantologists, published an intriguing suggestion(f), when he pointed out that on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Neo-Platonist Michelangelo, something odd can be perceived in the central panel, known as The Creation of Adam. There, we find ‘god’ surrounded by five pairs of flightless ‘cherubs’. This is reminiscent of Poseidon’s five pairs of twin sons that ruled Atlantis. However, Christian iconography invariably shows cherubs with wings, so it begs the question; why this departure from the norm? Mifsud contends that together with other aspects of the fresco, this depiction is closer to Plato’s ‘god’, Poseidon, than that of the Mosaic creator in Genesis!
My own view is that the story of the five sets of male twins is just one of the mythological threads in Plato’s Atlantis narrative. P.P. Flambas who has taken a generally literal view of Plato’s account, admits the improbability of happening to one couple through natural means. However, in correspondence, he defensively quotes the somewhat dubious(e) case of “the greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707–c.1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia.”
(g) Michael Shapiro, Neglected Evidence of Dioscurism (Divine Twinning) in the Old Slavic Pantheon, JIES 10 (1982), 137-166.