An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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I have recently been able to read in Kindle version – because there is no print edition of this edition, the second – this curious book that tries to justify the location of Plato’s Atlantis in the Aegean Sea.

The summary of the work is approximately as follows. A few thousand years ago Africa and Europe were linked by the isthmus of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean was a relatively empty basin, where the seawater level was much lower than the current one and much lower also than that of the neighboring Atlantic Ocean. Around 5500 a. C. this isthmus was broken due to a strong earthquake, consequently producing a violent transfer of ocean water towards the Mediterranean basin and the Black Sea (then an endorreic freshwater lake). The cataclysm led to the sudden rise of the Mediterranean level, so that many coastal territories were submerged, as well as a large island located between the peninsulas of peloponnese and Anatolia, from which only its highest peaks remained emerged, which we now know as the Cycladic Islands. The author identifies submerged territory with Plato’s Atlantis.

I find the geological approach particularly valuable from this book: it is really surprising that, in the case of the sudden sinking of an entire island, there are so few books on Atlantis that include geological considerations, even though no island sinks into the sea as well as without any trace. In any case, the logical structure of the book is very simple: if the Mediterranean is filled with water, large regions had to be submerged, although the author even offers us a series of calculations of fluid mechanics to estimate the magnitude of the cataclysm to enrich its exposure. The idea, as he himself admits, comes from the work The Universal Flood. New scientific discoveries of an event that changed history,by W. Ryan and W. Pitman (Debate, Barcelona 1999; original title Noah’s Flood).

The main objection I can make to this catastrophic hypothesis— today, overcoming the old debate between cadastrophism and uniformity, Geology admits the existence of violent events, which involve sudden changes accompanied by sudden releases of energy— comes from comparison with a similar situation that occurs today: the Netherlands, which are below sea level , require constant drainage to relieve the water provided by rivers and water leaks from the North Sea, otherwise they would end up waterloyed. Similarly, it should be thought that the isthmus of Gibraltar, formed mostly, according to the author, by sandy sediments of similar composition to the dunes of Valdevaqueros and the western beaches of Tarifa, therefore permeable, would allow Atlantic water to pass gradually towards the Mediterranean, reaching the water balance in a much less violent way.

However, although the geological argumentation of the book is debatable, it is not the main error of the work: the weak point of the work is undoubtedly the philological approach. To begin with, the author uses a very strange Mexican translation of the time and critias platonic dialogues, which I do not quote here so as not to contribute to its dissemination, and in which, by giving a single example, poseidon’s name is translated by Neptune — and, although he sometimes quotes two professors of Greek philology who are asked for help in specifying some point in the text, he clearly does not support his research in the original Greek texts—let alone in a critical edition. And that’s methodologically unforgivable.

The end of this lack of philological rigor occurs when it identifies the Heracles Columns with the islets of Pori and Poreti, which are just two rocky protrusions emerging between the islands of Citera and Crete. Regardless of w.a. in antiquity in such islets there were columns dedicated to Heracles, or even that such a pair of islets became known as the original Columns of Heracles —questio disputata, which we will discuss on another occasion, it is an absolute infidelity to plato’s text, which, when locating the island of Atlantis, was made of a mouth or narrow called Columns of Hercules by the Greeks: in Timeo 24e we read ??? ???, ??? ???, from the mouth or narrow, which does not apply to any intermediate space between two islets completely surrounded by water. Well, if it’s navigating the area, which boat will risk going between the two pitfalls, being able to easily surround them?

On the other hand, Plato also tells us in Timeo 25d that, after the sinking of Atlantis Island, the sea was unsavegable due to the mud produced by cataclysm and that it is at very shallow depths beneath the surface; something that, as we know, was not given in Plato’s time in the Aegean Sea, nor in ours. Moreover, it seems rather strange that the account of something that happened in the Aegean Sea, the courtyard of the house of Greek civilization, had to be recovered by the Greeks thanks to the Egyptians, as if their southern neighbors had to tell them the story of their own home. It seems much more reasonable to think that the Island of Atlantis was located in a remote place: it is what we read in Timeo 24e,where it is said that the Atlantean people marched over several regions of Europe “from the outside, from the Atlantic footlago” (?????? ?????????? ?? ??? ??????????), not from the neighboring inland sea – not intimately – which is the Aegean for the Greeks.

In any case, and despite this enormous philological puerility, and of the extreme security of the author, who finds himself emphasizing the irrefutable and scientific nature of his arguments— since when is the scientific irrefutable?—, I consider it an interesting book, as I say, by the geological approach to the mystery of Atlantis, although the lands that were evidently submerged in the Aegean Sea and which the author identifies with the island do not respond to Plato’s location in the Timeo. The book also contains a curious chapter in which the author reconstructs—or better invents—the Hermocratedialogue, a dialogue never written by Plato and which was to be the third element of the Timeo, Critias and Hermocrates trilogy. The author sets out in this dialogue his own theory about Atlantis by the mouth of Hermocrats, which answers socrates’ questions:However, given the speed at which man is making discoveries lately, we may have the opportunity to continue this conversation at a later time with new facts about Atlantis, although as you have seen, Socrates, the latest developments have been spectacular and I hope that our goddess Athena will reunite us with this object, without having to spend so much time. (p. 215)


(i) The book appears to be the second edition of Zamarro, P. (2000). From the Strait of Gibraltar to Atlantis: (keys that have made it possible to determine the exact extent and situation of Atlantis). S. l.:Paulino Zamarro. This time, yes, print edition.

(ii) An identical location, which places Atlantis in the Aegean Sea and offers maps in everything similar to those of the book at hand, is located in Djonis, Ch.A. (2013). Uchronia? Atlantis Revealed. USA: Page Publishing, Inc. Vid and Atlantis Unveiled: Plato’s Story Was Based on a Real Place.
March 04, 2021 No comments: EmailWrite a blogShare with TwitterShare with FacebookShare on PinterestTags: AtlantisBooks