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

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    Joining The Dots

    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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Diaz-Montexano

National Geographic

National Geographic or Nat Geo are registered trademarks of the National Geographic Society and are now, sadly, part of the Murdoch communications empire. Its magazine and TV channel enjoy global recognition. Undoubtedly, NG has enhanced our view of the world around us. One piece of NG trivia is that the word ‘tsunami’ first appeared in an English language publication in the September 1896 edition of National Geographic Magazine.

Generally, NG has avoided controversy, but not always(a) , so it will be interesting to see how its new chief James Murdoch, a climate change denier(b), will deal with the NG views on the subject up ’til now(c) . However, for me, it was something of a surprise when NG tackled the subject of Atlantis.

In 2004 NG News published a short article(d) highlighting the theories of Ulf Erlingsson and Rainer Kühne, who, respectively, were advocates for Ireland and Spain as Atlantis locations. Also in 2004, Zeilitsky and Weinzweig claimed to have found submerged man-made structures near Cuba and subsequently sought US government funding for further research there. It has been suggested that NG objected and further exploration did not take place! In 2006 NG gave the Atlantis in America theory of Zapp & Erikson an airing(e).

However, in 2012, Andrew Collins offered a different account of the Zelitsky funding difficulties(m).

In a short 2011 article(l)., NG trotted out the now generally abandoned idea that Atlantis had been a continent. The idea was obviously later dumped by NG as well, when James Cameron et al. went looking for Atlantis in Malta, Sardinia and Santorini in 2016.

December 2012 saw NG publish an article on Doggerland, without any reference to the suggestion that there might be an Atlantis connection. NG has also voiced the scepticism of well-known commentators, such as Robert Ballard and Charles E. Orser jnr(f).

However, I find that the NG treatment of Atlantis inconsistent. In October 2011 an anonymous article(k) on one of their sites, entitled The Truth Behind Atlantis: Facts, declared that Atlantis was continental in size (and so must have been located in an Ocean?) This is based on a misinterpretation of the Greek word meison. Nevertheless last year NG had Simcha Jacobovici, remotely guided by James Cameron, scouring the Mediterranean, from Spain to Sardinia, Malta, and Crete for evidence of Atlantis. This attention-seeking exercise found nothing a few stone anchors that proved nothing and inflicted on viewers an overdose of speculation!

NatGeo TV aired a documentary(g) in 2015 relating to earlier excavations in the Doñana Marshes of Southern Spain by a Spanish team and partly hijacked by Richard Freund. A new NG documentary, hyped with the involvement of James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici, was filmed in 2016, and later broadcast at the end of January 2017. Initially, it was thought by Robert Ishoy to be in support of his Atlantis location of Sardinia, but at the same time Diaz-Montexano was convinced that his Afro-Iberian theory was to be the focus of the film. To coincide with the airing of the new documentary D-M has published a new book, NG National Geographic and the scientific search for Atlantis[1394] with both English and Spanish editions.

Jason Colavito was promised a screener but had the offer subsequently withdrawn. One wonders why?

Once again NG promotes the region of the Doñana Marshes as a possible location for Atlantis(i), based on rather flimsy evidence, such as six ancient anchors found just outside the Strait of Gibraltar. They estimate the age of the anchors at 3,000-4,000 years old but. unfortunately, they are not marked ‘made in Atlantis’. Rabbi Richard Freund, never afraid to blow his own shofar, makes another NG appearance. Jacobovici throws in the extraordinary claim that the Jewish menorah represents the concentric circles of the Atlantean capital cut in half, a daft idea, previously suggested by Prof. Yahya Ababni(k).

What I cannot understand is why this documentary spends time dismissing Santorini and Malta as possible locations for Plato’s Atlantis and at the same time ignoring the only unambiguous geographical clue that he left us, namely that the Atlantis alliance occupied part of North Africa and in Europe as far as Tyrrhenia (Tuscany) and presumably some of the islands between the two.

Overall, I think the NG documentaries have done little to advance the search for Atlantis as they seem to be driven by TV ratings ahead of truth. Perhaps, more revealing is that Cameron is not fully convinced by the speculative conclusions of this documentary.

Jason Colavito, an arch-sceptic regarding Atlantis has now published a lengthy scathing review(j) of  NG’s Atlantis Rising, which is well worth a read. While I do not agree with Colavito’s dismissal of the existence of Atlantis, I do endorse the litany of shortcomings he identified in this documentary.

(a) https://www.trueorigin.org/ng_ap01.php

(b) https://gizmodo.com/national-geographic-is-now-owned-by-a-climate-denier-1729683793

>(c) https://web.archive.org/web/20200717231929/https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/climate-change/<

(d) See: Archive 3582

(e) https://www.dcourier.com/news/2006/oct/02/atlantis-theory-by-local-anthropologist-makes-nat/

(f) https://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/archaeology/atlantis/

(g) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyEY0tROZgI & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=choIyaPiMjo

(h) https://mosestablet.info/en/menorah-tablet.html

(i) https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/more-signs-mythical-city-atlantis-its-mysterious-civilisation-found-spanish-marsh-1603470

(j) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/nat-geos-atlantis-rising-a-stew-of-fake-experts-motivated-reasoning-and-weird-claims-that-judaism-contains-atlantean-theology

(k) https://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/5/5/1659107/-Descendants-of-Lost-Atlantis-may-be-wait-for-it-Jews

(l) https://channel.nationalgeographic.com/the-truth-behind/articles/the-truth-behind-atlantis-facts/

(m) https://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread374842/pg11

Moreno Checa, Antonio

Antonio Moreno Checa is a Spanish telecommunications engineer who plunged into the turbulent waters of Atlantology with the publication of La Atlántida. El mito hecho realidad (Atlantis. The myth comes true)[1063]. In it he argues that Atlantis had been situated in the centre of the Atlantic and that a meteorite impact ‘moved’ it to become what is now Greenland(c). The author contacted Diaz-Montexano for comment(a) and D-M responded with an extensive critique(b).

(a) https://georgeosdiazmontexano.wordpress.com/tag/antonio-moreno-checa/ (Spanish)

(b) https://georgeosdiazmontexano.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/atlantis-groenlandia_version_segunda.pdf

(c) https://www.enigmasmisteriososeinexplicables.com/2015/05/el-circulo-de-hermes-atlantida-el-mito.html

Recuenco Andrés, Javier

Javier Recuenco Andrés (1973- ) is an IT engineer from Cadiz in Spain. He has a passion for chess, history and mythology. His interest in the latter has led to his publication of a heavily illustrated The Historical Reality of Javier Recuenco AndresAtlantis in Spanish and English (Kindle only).

He begins with an in-depth examination of a ‘Tartessian’ gold disk that led on to an etymological investigation of the ‘K-N’ inscription on it, which he believes referred to the Conii people who settled in what is now southern Portugal. He speculates that the design of the disk reflects the layout of the acropolis of Atlantis! He has suggested that this acropolis was probably located in the vicinity of the Canary Islands.

In 2013, Recuenco Andrés and Diaz-Montexano jointly published a paper(a) on the academia.edu website offering comparable interpretations of the disk with the same conclusion that it was connected with Atlantis.

Javier dates the foundation of Atlantis to a period between 21,000 and 12,000 BC. Andrés has a hyperdiffusionist view of Atlantis showing rock carvings in North Africa, America, Australia, China and of course his native Iberia as evidence for their global influence. The fall of the Atlantean ‘Empire’ he suggests was between 12,000 and 9,000 BC, as the last Ice Age was ending.

He subscribes to the idea that there was a Gibraltar landbridge, which was breached around 5,500 BC that eventually led to the linking of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, an event originally revealed by Ryan & Pitman.

Javier also believes that Egypt was occupied by Atlanteans from 7000–5500 BC, but that their influence led to the building of the pyramids! In fact, he attributes the pyramids of China and America  to Atlantean influence. He identifies Knossos in Crete as an Atlantean colony in the eastern Mediterranean.

In my opinion, Javier has produced an original work, unlike the regurgitated offerings of so many others. Nevertheless, I think his work has too many assumptions based on excusable subjectivity.

(a) See: https://atlantisng.com/blog/javier-recuenco-georgeos-diaz-el-disco-de-bensafrim-simbolo-de-la-capital-de-atlantis-un-ensayo-de-atlantologia-historico-cientifica/comment-page-1/ (Spanish)

Atlantean-Athenian War, The

The Atlantean-Athenian War as described by Plato has not been unambiguously identified with any known conflict. A number of attempts have been made to link the Atlantis story with the Persian Wars, but such an idea is totally at variance with both chronology and geography, for example those wars took place decades after Solon’s visit to Egypt and the Atlanteans had invaded from the west, namely, Italy (Tim.25b & Crit.114c).*In fact what Plato said was that the invasion came from the Atlantic Sea (pelagos). Although there is some disagreement about the location of this Atlantic Sea, all candidates proposed so far are west of both Athens and Egypt.

A completely different interpretation is offered by George Sarantitis, who claims that there were two wars referred to by Plato dated to 9600 BC and 8600 BC[1470].*

An even more unlikely scenario has been put forward by Diaz-Montexano, who suggests that the war took place in what we now know as the Atlantic Ocean, near Gibraltar. His contention is that the Athenians gradually fought the Atlanteans westward across the Mediterranean until a final battle in the Atlantic outside the Strait of Gibraltar. He maintains that this war took place over a number of years and resulted in the gradual emancipation of Atlantean colonies as they advanced towards the Atlantean capital, before its destruction by earthquake.

I find this whole concept rather fanciful for a number of reasons. Diaz-Montexano places this conflict in the 2nd millennium BC, at a time, when the Athenians did not have the naval capability to mount such a sea offensive over 1,500 miles from home and many hundreds of years before the introduction of triremes. There is no documentary evidence or tradition from this era to support such a contention. Plato’s text describes the Athenians defeating the invaders without any suggestion that their war was anything other than defensive. It must also be considered that Plato records (Tim.25d) that the destruction of Atlantis and Athens occurred “at a later time”, meaning subsequent to the war, suggesting that Atlantis survived the conflict.

In my opinion, the question of the war between Atlantis and Athens has not yet been satisfactorily resolved, just as the war between Atlantis and Egypt is still the subject of debate.

Shu (Schu)

Shu (Schu) was an Egyptian god whose function was to separate the earth from the sky. Shu has been frequently identified with the Greek Atlas.

Shu has claimed that he has identified a clear link between the name Iberia and Atlantis. He maintains that Iberia was derived from the Phoenician ‘Yberia’, which means “the island of the God of the Wind or the Air”. He then equates this with the Egyptian Schuty or Schutet – “the country of the God Schu“. Diaz-Montexano follows this with the relationship of Shu to Atlas and consequently is convinced that there is a clear case for identifying Atlantis with Iberia. Diaz-Montexano has promoted the idea of an Afro-Iberian site for Atlantis for some years.

Plato’s Text

Plato’s Text has reached us through a rather circuitous route. Wikipedia notes that ‘the scholastic philosophers of the Middle Ages did not have access to the works of Plato – nor the Greek to read them. Plato’s original writings were essentially lost to Western civilisation until they were brought from Constantinople in the century before its fall.’ Today there are only seven manuscripts of Plato’s work extant, the earliest of which dates to 895 AD and is now in Oxford(c). It is unfortunate that the earliest versions of Plato’s work available to us are only Latin translations of an early original Greek text. Chalcidius undertook the first translation of Timaeus from Greek to Latin in the 3rd century AD.  He translated the first 70% of the text from earlier Greek versions, now lost. The earliest translation of Plato’s complete works into Latin was by Marsilio Ficino in the late 15th century. Janus Cornarius provides us with a Latin translation from earlier Greek sources, apparently different from those used by Ficino. A comparison of the Chalcidius and Ficino translations shows considerable divergences. The Ficino Latin text was in turn translated back into Greek at the Aldina Academy in Venice in the 16th century.

Diaz-Montexano has written, in his hallmark poor English, a short criticism(a) of the quality of medieval translations of Plato’s Timaeus and Critiasthat are the basis of the vernacular versions available today.

There are legitimate questions that can be raised regarding the accuracy of the text used by researchers and since some theories relating to Atlantis are often dependant on the precise meaning of particular words, this lack of an original text, leaves some doubt over the persuasiveness of individual hypotheses.

Many quotations from Plato’s text will have alphanumeric references, which are derived from the 1578 edition of Plato’s works by the 16th century French scholar and printer, Henricus Stephanus, which show his page numbers, and the letters a-e, equally spaced down the margin of each page. Although they bear no relationship to the natural breaks in the debate or narrative, the majority of editions and translations now include them.

All of Plato’s Dialogues are to be found on many sites on the Internet. However, we can highly recommend the Perseus website(b) where the works of most ancient authors can be found there in both English and their original languages. It has a number of valuable search tools for both the novice and seasoned student of Atlantology.

(ahttps://www.antiquos.com/La-Atlantida-de-Platon/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=65 (link broken 14/6/16)

(b) https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/

*[(c) https://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/index.php?topic=21170.0;wap2]*

Concentric Rings

The Concentric Rings or other architectural features extracted by artists from Plato’s description of the capital of Atlantis have concentric circlescontinually fascinated students of the story and many have attempted to link them with similar ancient features found elsewhere in the world as evidence of a widespread culture. Stonehenge, Old Owstrey, Carthage and Syracuse have all been suggested, but such comparisons have never been convincing. Diaz-Montexano has recently published(a) an image of a fragment of pottery found near Seville in Spain that shows concentric circles and insists that it is a symbol of Atlantis. Ulf Erlingsson has made a similar claim regarding some concentric circles carved on a stone basin found at Newgrange in Ireland.

Less well-known are the concentric stone circles that are to be found on the island of Lampedusa in the Strait of Sicily(b).

In 1969 two commercial pilots, Robert Brush and Trigg Adams, photographed a series of large concentric circles in about three feet of water off the coast of Andros in the Bahamas. Estimates of the diameter of the circles range from 100 to 1,000 feet. Apparently, these rings are now covered by sand. It is hard to understand how such a feature in such very shallow water cannot be physically located and inspected. Richard Wingate in his book[0059] estimated the diameter at 1,000 yards. However, the rings described by Wingate were apparently on land, among Andros’ many swamps.

Two papers presented to the 2005 Atlantis Conference on Melos describe how an asteroid impact could produce similar concentric rings, which, if located close to a coast, could be converted easily to a series of canals for seagoing vessels. The authors, Filippos Tsikalas, V.V. Shuvavlov and Stavros Papamarinopoulos gave examples of such multi-ringed concentric morphology resulting from asteroid impacts. Not only does their suggestion provide a rational explanation for the shape of the canals but would also explain the apparent over-engineering of those waterways.

At the same conference the late Ulf Richter presented his idea [629.451], which included the suggestion that the concentric rings around the centre of the Atlantis capital had a natural origin. Richter has proposed that the Atlantis rings were the result of the erosion of an elevated salt dome that had exposed alternating rings of hard and soft rock that could be adapted to provide the waterways described by Plato.

Georgeos Diaz-Montexano has suggested that the ancient city under modern Jaen in Andalusia, Spain had a concentric layout similar to Plato’s description of Atlantis. In August 2016 archaeologists from the University of Tübingen revealed the discovery(i) of a Copper Age, Bell Beaker People site 50km east of Valencina near Seville, where the complex included a series of concentric earthwork circles.

Gilgal refai'm

A very impressive example of man-made concentric stone circles, know in Arabic as Rujm el-Hiri and in Hebrew as Gilgal Refaim(a), is to be found on the Golan Heights, now part of Israeli occupied Syria. It consists of four concentric walls with an outer diameter of 160metres. It has been dated to 3000-2700 BC and reputed to have been built by giants! Mercifully, nobody, has claimed any connection with Atlantis.That is until 2018, when Ryan Pitterson made just such a claim in his book, Judgement of the Nephilim[1620].

Jim Allen in his latest book, Atlantis and the Persian Empire[877], devotes a well illustrated chapter to a discussion of a number of ‘circular cities’ that existed in ancient Persia and which some commentators claim were the inspiration for Plato’s description of the city of Atlantis. These include the old city of Firuzabad which was divided into 20 sectors by radial spokes as well as Ecbatana and Susa, both noted by Herodotus to have had concentric walls. Understandably, Allen, who promotes the idea of Atlantis in the Andes, has pointed out that many sites on the Altiplano have hilltops surrounded by concentric walls. However, as he seems to realise that to definitively link any of these locations with Plato’s Atlantis a large dollop of speculation was required.

Rodney Castleden compared the layout of Syracuse in Sicily with Plato’s Atlantis noting that the main city “had seen a revolution in its defensive works, with the building of unparalleled lengths of circuit walls punctuated by numerous bastions and towers, displaying the city-state’s power and wealth. The three major districts of the city, Ortygia, Achradina and Tycha, were surrounded by three separate circuit walls; Ortygia itself had three concentric walls, a double wall around the edge and an inner citadel”.[225.179]

Dale Drinnon has an interesting article(d) on the ‘rondels’ of the central Danubian region, which number about 200. Some of these Neolithic features have a lot in common with Plato’s description of the port city of Atlantis. The ubiquity of circular archaeological structures at that time is now quite clear, but they do not demonstrate any relationship with Atlantis.

The late Marcello Cosci based his Atlantis location on his interpretation aerial images of circular features on Sherbro Island, but as far as I can ascertain this idea has gained little traction.

One of the most remarkable natural examples of concentric features is to be found in modern Mauritania and known as the Richat Structure or Guelb er Richat. It is such a striking example that it is not surprising that some researchers have tried to link it with Atlantis. Robert deMelo and Jose D.C. Hernandez(o) are two advocates along with George S. Alexander & Natalis Rosen who were struck by the similarity of the Richat feature with Plato’s description and decided to investigate on the ground. Instability in the region prevented this until late 2008 when they visited the site, gathering material for a movie. The film was then finalised and published on their then newly established website in 2010(l), where the one hour video in support of their thesis can be freely downloaded(m).

In 2008, George Sarantitis put forward the idea that the Richat Structure was the location of Atlantis, supporting his contention with an intensive reappraisal of the translation of Plato’s text(n). He developed this further in his Greek language 2010 book, The Apocalypse of a Myth[1470] with an English translation currently in preparation.

However, Ulf Richter has pointed out that Richat is too wide (35 km), too elevated (400metres) and too far from the sea (500 km) to be seriously considered as the location of Atlantis.

A dissertation by Oliver D.Smith has suggested(e) the ancient site of Sesklo in Greece as the location of Atlantis, citing its circularity as an important reason for the identification. However, there are no concentric walls, the site is too small and most importantly, it’s not submerged. Smith later decided that the Atlantis story was a fabrication!(p)

Brad Yoon has claimed that concentric circles are proof of the existence of Atlantis, an idea totally rejected by Jason Colavito(j).

In March 2015, the UK’s MailOnline published a generously illustrated article(g) concerning a number of sites with unexplained concentric circles in China’s Gobi Desert. The article also notes some Gobi Desertsuperficial similarities with Stonehenge. I will not be surprised if a member of lunatic fringe concocts an Atlantis theory based on these images. (see right)

This obsession with concentricity has now extended to the interpretation of ancient Scandinavian armoury in particular items such as the Herzsprung Shield(c).

In 2011 Shoji Yoshinori offered the suggestion that Stonehenge was a 1/24th scale model of Atlantis(f). He includes a fascinating image in the pdf.

For my part, I wish to question Plato’s description of the layout of Atlantis’ capital city with its vast and perfectly engineered concentric alternating bands of land and sea. This is highly improbable as the layout of cities is invariably determined by the natural topography of the land available to it(h). Plato is describing a city designed by and for a god and his wife and as such his audience would expect it to be perfect and Plato did not let them down. I am therefore suggesting that those passages have been concocted within the parameters of ‘artistic licence’ and should be treated as part of the mythological strand in the narrative, in the same way that we view the ‘reality’ of Clieto’s five sets of male twins or even the physical existence of Poseidon himself.

Furthermore, Plato was a follower of Pythagoras, who taught that nothing exists without a centre, around which it revolves(k). A concept which may have inspired him to include it in his description of Poseidon’s Atlantis.

(a)  https://www.dubroom.org/download/pdf/ebooks/barry_chamish_-_did_biblical_giants_build_the_circle_of_the_refaim.pdf

(b) https://www.megalithic-lampedusa.com/

(c) https://www.parzifal-ev.de/index.php?id=20

(d) See: Archive 3595

(e) https://academia.edu/3507001/Atlantis_as_Sesklo (now offline)

(f) https://www.pipi.jp/~exa/kodai/kaimei/stonehenge_is_small_atrantis_eng.pdf

(g) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3014736/China-s-Stonehenge-Gobi-Desert-Mysterious-rock-formations-used-worship-sun.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

(h) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150220142611.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ffossils_ruins%2Fancient_civilizations+%28Ancient+Civilizations+News+–+ScienceDaily%29

(i) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160809095145.htm

(j) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/rings-of-power-do-concentric-circles-prove-atlantis-real

(k) https://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/EMAT6680Fa06/Hobgood/Pythagoras.html

(l) https://visitingatlantis.com/

(m) https://web.archive.org/web/20171022134926/https://visitingatlantis.com/Movie.html

(n) https://platoproject.gr/system-wheels/ https://platoproject.gr/page13.html (offline Nov.2015)

(o) https://blog.world-mysteries.com/science/a-celestial-impact-and-atlantis/ (item 11)

(p) https://shimajournal.org/issues/v10n2/d.-Smith-Shima-v10n2.pdf

Chain of Transmission

The Chain of  Transmissionof Plato’s tale to us today should be borne in mind when applying any interpretation to elements in the text available to us. We have absolutely no idea how many languages had to carry the story before it was inscribed on their ‘registers’ (Jowett) in Sais, assuming that aspect of the story to be true. The Egyptian priests translated this tale from the pillars for Solon, who then related the story to his friend Dropides who passed it on to his son the elder Critias who, at the age of ninety conveys it to his grandson, the younger Critias, aged nine. Critias then conveyed the tale to his nephew Plato. Platothen composed his Timaeus and Critias dialogues, which eventually reached us through a rather circuitous route.

There are a number of versions of Plato’s family tree, Sprague de Camp records[194.324] three from ancient sources, Diogenes Laërtius, Iamblichus & Proclus, which have small variations. Some sceptics have sought to undermine the credibility of the Atlantis story by highlighting these differences and/or questioning whether the persons recorded by Plato adequately span the years between Solon and Plato. Some of the controversies stem from a number of family members, historical figures of that era and participants in the dialogues who share the same name.On the other hand, I would argue if the Atlantis narrative was just a concoction, I would expect Plato to also have invented a more watertight pedigree.

Plato’s original writings were essentially lost to Western civilisation but for the efforts of Muslim scholars who preserved them until they eventually emerged in Western Europe during the Middle Ages, after they were brought from Constantinople in the century before its fall. In due course the texts were translated into Latin from those Greek versions, which are now lost.

Wilhelm Brandenstein suggested that Solon had combined two accounts, one from Egypt relating to the Sea Peoples and the other concerned a conflict between Athens and Crete(c). However, this is not convincing as it conflicts with too many other details in Plato’s narrative.

Wikipedia notes that ‘the scholastic philosophers of the Middle Ages did not have access to the works of Plato – nor the Greek to read them.’ Today there are only seven manuscripts of Plato’s work extant, the earliest of which dates to around 900 AD. It is unfortunate that the earliest versions of Plato’s work available to us are only Latin translations of the original Greek text.

Chalcidius undertook the first translation of Timaeus from Greek to Latin in the 3rd century AD.  He translated the first 70% of the text from earlier Greek versions, now lost. The earliest translation of Plato’s complete works into Latin was by Marsilio Ficinoin the late 15th century. Janus Cornarius provided us with a Latin translation from earlier Greek sources, apparently different from those used by Ficino. A comparison of the partial Chalcidius and complete Ficino translations shows considerable divergences. The Ficino Latin text was in turn translated back into Greek at the Aldina Academy in Venice in the 16th century.

In chapter two of his History of Atlantis Lewis Spence has produced a version of the Atlantis texts that is an amalgam of various earlier translations ‘acceptable’ to him.

Diaz-Montexano has written, in his distinctive poor English, a short criticism(a) of the quality of medieval translations of Plato’s Timaeus and Critias that are the basis of the vernacular versions available today.

There are legitimate questions that can be raised regarding the accuracy of the text used by researchers and since some theories relating to Atlantis are often dependant on the precise meaning of particular words, this lack of an original text, leaves some doubt over the persuasiveness of individual hypotheses. It is highly improbable that current texts do not contain a variety of errors when we consider the number of links in the chain of transmission.

Many quotations from Plato’s text will have alphanumeric references, which are derived from the earliest printed edition of Plato’s works by the 16th century French scholar and printer, Henricus Stephanus; these show page numbers and the letters A-E at equal distances down each page. Although they bear no relationship to the natural breaks in the narrative, the majority of editions and translations now include them.

The entirety of Plato’s Dialogues is to be found on many sites on the Internet. However, I can highly recommend the Perseus website(b) where the works of most ancient authors can be found there in both English and their original languages. It has a number of valuable search tools for both the novice and seasoned student of Atlantology.

*(a) https://web.archive.org/web/20090928000147/https://www.antiquos.com/La-Atlantida-de-Platon/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=65*

(b) https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/

(c) https://www.atlantis-scout.de/atlantis_brandenstein_engl.htm

 

Plain of Atlantis

The Plain of Atlantisis one of the principal features recorded by Plato in great detail. He describes it being “3000 stades in length and at its midpoint 2000 stades in breath from the coast” (Critias 118a, trans. Lee). The shape of the plain is frequently given as ‘rectangular’ or ‘oblong’ and contained an efficient irrigation system that was fed by mountain streams. The fertility of the plain gave the inhabitants two crops annually.

The dimensions given by Plato would translate into 370 x 555 km (230 x 345 miles). However, the late Ulf Richter has recently proposed(a) that the dimensions originally given to Solon by the priests of Sais used the Egyptian khet(52.4 meters) as the unit of measurement. Possibly Solon recorded the figures without mentioning the units employed. In Ireland, we changed over to the metric system some years ago, but builders still speak and write of using ‘2×4’ lengths of timber without specifying that they are referring to inches. Such unqualified notations made at present could be interpreted in the future as 2×4 centimetres. This illustrates how reasonable Richter’s suggestion is. The acceptance of it would give us a more credible 105 x 157 km (65 x 97 miles) as the dimensions of this plain. Richter also maintains that the plain was in fact a river delta, which explains the remarkable fertility of the land.

Jim Allen, who supports an Andean location for Atlantis, offers a strong argument against other principal Atlantis candidates by critically examining the plains included in alternative location theories(c). However, it must be pointed out that Allen had to divide Plato’s imensions for the plain by two in order to shoehorn it into his chosen location.

While I accept that there is evidence that there was flooding on the Altiplano, it took place some thousands of years before the Bronze Age Atlantis described by Plato and certainly long before he wrote “this is why the sea in that area is to this day impassible to navigation, which is hindered by mud just below the surface, the remains of the sunken island.” (Timaeus 25d – Desmond Lee) This not a description that can be applied to anywhere on the Altiplano during the 1st millennium BC. Apart from that, Plato’s account clearly states that Atlantis was submerged and was still so in his own day, making Allen’s critique somewhat redundant.

An interesting suggestion, although badly flawed, was made by Jean Deruelle who has proposed ‘Doggerland‘ in the North Sea as the location of Atlantis, added an interesting twist to Plato’s description of the Plain. Deruelle, an engineer and a geologist by profession, offers a hypothesis that is rational, highly precise, and based on his areas of expertise. No other hypothesis than Deruelle’s tackles so credibly the most outlandish elements in Plato’s description of Atlantis: the description of a vast plain, surrounded by a man-made ditch, 180 meters broad and thirty meters deep, large enough to circulate supertankers: it was not a ditch, but a dyke, build over centuries to protect a large part of Doggerland against the slowly rising waters of the North Sea.”(d)

Diaz-Montexano maintains that Plato never said that the plain was shaped like a rectangle.

The Mediterranean, between Sicily and North Africa has been offered by a number of commentators, such as Alberto Arecchi and Alex Hausmann, as the location of the Plain of Atlantis. There is evidence of large areas of land having been submerged within the region between Malta and the Pelagie Islands. I include here a passing reference from Ernle Bradford who sailed the region which may be of interest to supporters of a Central Mediterranean Atlantis. When discussing the Egadi Islands off the west coast of Sicily he describes Levanzo, the smallest of the group as being “once joined to Sicily, and the island was surrounded by a large fertile plain. Levanzo, in fact, was joined to more than Sicily. Between this western corner of the Sicilian coast and the Cape Bon peninsula in Tunisia there once lay rich and fertile valleys-perhaps, who knows, long lost Atlantis?” [1011.57]

The number of different locations that have been proposed for the plain is obviously a reflection of the number of sites suggested for the city of Atlantis. I list the most popular below with the added comment that, at best, only one can be correct while all may be wrong.

Plain of Atlantis

Mesara Plain on Crete (Braymer)

Central Plain of Ireland (Erlingsson)

Sea of Azov (Flying Eagle & Whispering Wind)

Altiplano of Bolivia (Jim Allen)

Andalusian Plain (Diaz-Montexano)

North Sea (Doggerland) (Jean Deruelle)

Plain of Catania, Sicily

Plain of Campidano, Sardinia

Souss-Massa Plain, Morocco (Michael Hübner)

Greenland (Mario Dantas)

Beni Bolivia (David Antelo)

Mesopotamia in Argentina (Doug Fisher)

Black Sea (Werner E. Friedrich)

Plain of Troy (J.D.Brady)

South of England (E.J. deMeester)

Carthage (Pallatino & Corbato)

Celtic Shelf (Dan Crisp)

Western Plain, Cuba (Andrew Collins)

Portugal (Peter Daughtrey)

Wales (Paul Dunbavin)

Florida (Dennis Brooks)

Atlantic Floor (Michael Jaye)

Baffin Bay, Greenland (Ian Fox)

Between Sicily and Malta (Axel Hausmann)

Pannonian Plain, Hungary+(Ticleanu, Constantin & Nicolescu)

Guadalete River Plain (Karl Jürgen Hepke)

Indonesia (Dhani Irwanto)

Saudi Arabia (Stan Deyo)

Venezuelan Basin (Caribbean) Brad Yoon

(a) https://web.archive.org/web/20160326200714/https://www.atlantis-schoppe.de/richter.pdf

>(c) https://web.archive.org/web/20200707234820/http://www.atlantisbolivia.org/plaincomparison.htm<

(d) https://www.q-mag.org/the-great-plain-of-atlantis-was-it-in-doggerland.html

Geology

Geology is one of the many ‘ologies’ brought into play by modern Atlantis studies. Plato records that the stone quarries of Atlantis produced red, white and black rock that was extensively used to adorn the capital port city.

Stone with all these colours are usually associated with volcanic eruptions in the form of tufa, pumice and lava. The Central Mediterranean is home to the most seismically and volcanically unstable region in that entire 2,300 mile long sea.

Plato also notes that “at a later time” following exceptional earthquakes (Tim. 25d), Atlantis was devastated by inundation and the Athenians wiped out by being “swallowed up by the earth”. The proponents of the Iberian Atlantis, such as Diaz-Montexano, will have to explain the geology that would simultaneously cause such destruction at two points separated by over 1,500 miles assuming that if they were that far apart and that the two events were concurrent.

However, the answer may lie in the fact that before Plato the terms ‘Atlantic’ and ‘Pillars of Heracles’ had meanings other than what we understand by them today. The western Mediterranean was known to some as the Atlantic Sea and the straits of Sicily and Messina, between Africa and Italy, were, among other locations, referred to as the Pillars of Heracles. In order to share the consequences of even severe earthquakes would place Atlantis at it nearest to Athens somewhere in the vicinity of Malta, only 500 miles away. There is clear evidence of such seismic convulsions in that region.

Another view of Atlantean geology is offered by Carl Martin(a). He opts for the Azores as the remnants of Atlantis which was destroyed by post-glacial crustal adjustments. He speculates that Atlantis “might have suffered from the effect of rebound compensation?”, and wonders if it “could  have been “sucked” down to make up for the crustal rise in North America and Northern Europe?”

R. Cedric Leonard also advocates the Azores as Atlantis based mainly on the oceanographic surveys of over half a century ago(b).>Also in the mid-twentieth century there were still efforts to justify a view of geology and Atlantis based on what are now outdated theories such as the different views held by Hörbiger and Malaise(d).<

The announcement in May 2013 that part of a previously unknown mini-continent had been found in the Atlantic, 900 miles off the coast of Brazil, immediately got some of the print media linking it to Atlantis(c). It should be kept in mind that Plato never described Atlantis as a continent, but consistently referred to it as an island, which along with other islands led to a continent. Even today travellers going from Sicily to Southern Italy, refer to going to the ‘continente’.

(a) https://missionatlantis.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/atlantis-geology-platos-location-perfect/

(b) https://web.archive.org/web/20161209175953/https://www.atlantisquest.com/Geology.html

(c) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2320782/The-Brazilian-Atlantis-Geologists-hidden-continent-buried-beneath-Atlantic-Ocean-dating-100-MILLION-YEARS.html

>(d) Atlantis Vol.7. No.4 May 1954<