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

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Atalantis

Euclid of Megara

Euclid of Megara (435-365 BC) was a Greek philosopher and a pupil of Socrates. Although he wrote six dialogues, none have survived. Our principal source is Diogenes Laërtius who used his text.

Josiah Priest refers to Euclid as a believer in the reality of Atlantis in his 1835 book American Antiquities [1143.82/3]. Apparently, Euclid met with Anacharsis the Scythian philosopher and their discussions turned to the ‘convulsions of the globe’ including the separation of Sicily from Italy and the destruction of Atlantis.

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.”

Beyond the isthmus, of which I have just spoken, said Euclid, 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.”

Furthermore, according to Euclid, it was the Black Sea that broke into the Aegean Sea, rather than the other way round. Since Anacharsis came from the northern coast of the Black Sea we can reasonably assume that he had local knowledge to back up this suggestion!

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

 

Kirwan, Richard

Richard Kirwan (1733-1812). Irish scientist a supporter of the theory of phlogiston.

Richard Kirwan (1733-1812) was an Irish scientist, who had a brief (no pun intended) career as a barrister, which he abandoned in favour of his scientific interests, ending up as president of the Royal Irish Academy from 1799 until his death.

Kirwan is usually linked with Buffon, Whitehurst and Pennant regarding the reality of Atlantis (Atalantis) and its location in the Atlantic.

McCulloh, Dr. James Haines (L)

Dr. James Haines McCulloh (1793-1870) was an officer in the U.S. Army, who wrote(a) a number of books on the origins of the native Americans. In the course of his work he touched on the subject of Atlantis, or as he called it Atalantis, supporting the idea of it being located in the Atlantic in the following words;

“The speculations of Ray, Whitehurst, Buffon, Kirwan, and Pennant, upon the subject of the island Atlantis, are all in favour of its former existence, and the arguments they produce from the present appearance of the Azores, Canaries, etc., are as plausible as can be expected when the great antiquity of the subject is considered. If to their considerations our few proofs be added, it may not be presumptuous to think the tradition almost well established.” [0876].

(a)  https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5hQOAAAAQAAJ&q=atlantis#v=snippet&q=atlantis&f=false