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

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    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.Read More »
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Priest, Josiah

Josiah Priest (1788-1851) was a well-known American non-fiction writer of the early 19th century. Much of what he wrote is considered pseudo-scientific. Today he is probably best known for his racism and particularly his fundamentalist use of the Bible to justify slavery.

In his 1835 book American Antiquities[1143]+ he refers a number of times to ‘Atalantis’, a spelling variant frequently used at that time. Apart from Plato, Priest also believed that the philosopher Euclid of Megara (435-365 BC) alluded to Atlantis when in a conversation with Anacharsis, the Scythian philosopher, about the ‘convulsions of the globe’ he spoke of the catastrophic separation of Sicily from Italy, Euboea from Boetia “and a number of other islands from the continent of Europe.” Similarly, in the Atlantic, “there existed, according to ancient traditions, an island as large as Africa, which, with all its wretched inhabitants was swallowed up by an earthquake.”

Priest then refers to Euclid again [p.83] claiming that “here, then, is another witness, besides Solon, who lived 300 years before the time of Euclid, who testifies to the past existence of the island of Atalantis.”

Priest clearly considered Atlantis to have been a large island in the Atlantic that provided a stepping-stone to the Americas. “This occurrence, if the tradition be true, happened about twelve hundred years before Christ, three hundred years before the time of Job, and seven hundred and fifty years after the flood. At the period, therefore, of the existence of this island, a land passage to America, from Europe and Africa, was practicable; also by other islands, some of which are still s This occurrence, if the tradition be true, happened about twelve hundred years before Christ, three hundred years before the time of Job, and seven hundred and fifty years after the flood. At the period, therefore, of the existence of this island, a land passage to America, from Europe and Africa, was practicable ; also by other islands, some of which are still situated in the same direction—the Azores, Madeiras, and TenerifTe islands, about twenty in number.”[p.82]

More recently, Jason Colavito has unearthed details of a row that had developed between Priest and Constantine Rafinesque(a).

 

 [1143]+  https://archive.org/details/americanantiquities

(a) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/josiah-priest-vs-constantine-rafinesque-an-early-fringe-history-vs-science-feud