Atlantis is the name given by Plato to a lost civilisation that he claims to have been told to his ancestor, Solon, by Egyptian priests. J. Warren Wells has pointed out[783.13] that the earliest use of the word ‘Atlantis’ was by Hesiod in his Theogony centuries before Plato. The word on its own simply means ‘daughter of Atlas’, while combined with the Greek word ‘nesos’ it translates as the ‘island of Atlantis’ and is probably a ‘Hellenisation’ by Solon or Plato of the original name recorded by the Egyptians. Wells also notes that Atlas was associated with the Hesperides considered to be situated, like the sunset, in the west.
>Another likely source of confusion is the fact that any ancient civilisation was probably known by a number of names, descriptive and/or derogatory, by other cultures. This raises the possibility that Atlantis may already be known to us, but by a different title. To determine if this was the case we need ancient chronologies to be better synchronised, particularly in the Mediterranean region.<
The word is spelled slightly differently in the various western European languages.