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

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    NEWS September 2023

    September 2023. Hi Atlantipedes, At present I am in Sardinia for a short visit. Later we move to Sicily and Malta. The trip is purely vacational. Unfortunately, I am writing this in a dreadful apartment, sitting on a bed, with access to just one useable socket and a small Notebook. Consequently, I possibly will not […]Read More »
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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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Erichthonius

Attica

Attica is an ancient region of Greece which includes Athens. Its early kings are mentioned by Plato (Critias 110 a-b)

“The Egyptian priests, in describing the war of that period, mentioned most of those names – such as those of Cecrops and Erechtheus and Erichthonius and Erisichthon and most of the other names which are recorded of the various heroes before Theseus.”

Attica_mapBuilding on that and the writings of Pausanias (Graeciae Descriptio 1,2,6) and Apollodorus (Bibliotheca 3.14.1)(b), Stavros Marinopoulos has constructed an Attica king-list – Actaeus, Cecrops, Erysichthon, Cranaus (3.14.5), Erichthonius, Pandion, Erechtheus, Cecrops II, Pandion II, Aegeus and Theseus(a). Although some disagree with the details of this list claiming, for example, that Cecrops and  Pandion I and II are duplications, that Erysichthon died before Cecrops died and that Amphictyon succeeded Cranaus, his reconstruction is probably largely correct.

From this, Papamarinopoulos concluded that the kings who opposed the Atlanteans lived in the 16th century BC. Other sources(c) put their reign from the 15th to the 13th centuries BC, so although there are relatively minor differences between commentators, there is a consensus that the 2nd millennium BC was the time of these early kings, but very definitely not the 10th millennium BC. As you will see elsewhere, the Parian Marble substantially supports many elements of Papamarinopoulos’ analysis.

(a) https://web.archive.org/web/20160508103929/http://geolib.geo.auth.gr/digeo/index.php/bgsg/article/viewFile/6631/6393

(b) https://www.theoi.com/Text/Apollodorus3.html

(c) Greek Kings Lists (archive.org) *

 

 

 

Erechtheus and Erichthonius (a)

Erechtheus and Erichthonius are two of the early kings of Athens referred to by Plato (Crit. 110a). Both are recorded in the Parian Marble as being real kings who ruled over Athens in the 15th century BC adding to the credibility of Plato’s narrative as having an historical foundation.

Cecrops

Cecrops (Kekrops) was, according to tradition, reputed to have been the first king of Athens and is the earliest Athenian name referredCecrops to by Plato along with Erechtheus, Erichthonius and Erisichthon (Crit.110a). There was an early belief that Cecrops was originally a native of Saïs, in Egypt, who emigrated to Greece, where he founded Athens. However, this claim was disputed, even in ancient times(a). This, if true, conflicts with Plato, who states (Tim.23e) that Saïs was founded after Athens, not the other way around.!

>One site has suggested that Cecrops and Moses had a lot in common. “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem? After even a cursory examination of the two, it is hard to deny that the founding “myths” of Athens share many curious and intricate coincidences with Jewish history and the symbolisms of Jerusalem. For as the founding myth of Athens goes; Cecrops (herein presented as the Athenian version of Moses), lead the Athenians up out of the land of Egypt.” (d)<

Cecrops is usually depicted as a man with a serpent’s tail, without any clear reason, which for me is vaguely reminiscent of Oannes in Mesopotamian mythology, who had a man’s head with the body of a fish!

Eusebius of Caesarea placed Cecrop’s reign between 1556 and 1506 BC, which if verifiable would provide a possible ‘anchor’ for arriving at a credible date for the destruction of Atlantis.

Wikipedia offers a list of the early kings of Athens which includes two monarchs named Cecrops, the first who is dated according to Eusebius’ calculation and the second, Cecrops II, who supposedly reigned from 1347 BC until 1307 BC!(c)

The existence of Cecrops as a real person who reigned over Athens during the 2nd millennium BC is given further support by the Parian Marble.

None of these earliest kings reigned before the middle of the second millennium BC, which would seem to argue against Atlantis attacking Athens eight millennia earlier, long before the city even existed or had a ruler.<

Atlantisforschung offers a more extensive article about Cecrops(b).

(a) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecrops_I

(b) Kekrops I. – Atlantisforschung.de (atlantisforschung-de.translate.goog)

(c) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_kings_of_Athens 

(d) https://mosesegyptianised.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/moses-and-cecrops/ *

Parian Marble

The Parian Chronicle or Marmor Parium is inscribed on a stele made of high-quality semi-translucent marble found on the Aegean island of Paros, which was greatly prized throughout the Hellenic world during the 1st millennium BC. The site of the quarries is now being turned into an Archaeological Park with the intention of it eventually becoming a World Heritage Site.(o)

An enhanced view of the Middle section of the Parian Marble.

An enhanced view of the Middle section of the Parian Marble.

Two sections of the stele were found on the island in the 17th century by Thomas Arundell (1586-1643), 2nd Baron Arundell of Wardour, an ancestor of the 12th Baron, John Francis Arundell (1831-1906), who wrote a rebuttal [0648]  of Ignatius Donnelly’s Atlantis theory. A final third section was found on Paros in 1897, silencing claims that the first two were fakes.

As early as 1788, Joseph Robertson (1726-1802) declared the Chronicle to be a modern fake(e) in a lengthy dissertation[1401]+,  a claim disproved by the discovery of the final piece over a century later. Even before the third fragment was found, Franke Parker published an in-depth study of the inscription in 1859(f). More recently Peter N. Lindfield has reconstructed the debate that raged around the authenticity of the Parian Marble in the late 1780s(q).

This important register recounts the history of Greece in chronological sequence from 1581 BC until 264 BC and it is reasonably assumed that the latter date was the year it was written.

The first king of Athens is noted on the stele as the mythical Cecrops commencing 1582 BC. This is important as Cecrops is also mentioned by Plato in the Atlantis texts (Critias 110a). This date is far more realistic than the 9,600 BC told to Solon by the Egyptian priests to be the time of the foundation of Athens. The Parian Chronicle seems to have been given little attention regarding the Atlantis mystery. This lack of a direct reference to the Atlantean war may be explained by a comment in Britannica and cited elsewhere(k) which notes(g) that “the author of the Chronicle has given much attention to the festivals, and to poetry and music; thus he has recorded the dates of the establishment of festivals, of the introduction of various kinds of poetry, the births and deaths of the poets, and their victories in contests of poetical skill. On the other hand, important political and military events are often entirely omitted; thus the return of the Heraclidae, Lycurgus, the wars of Messene, Draco, Solon, Cleisthenes, Pericles, the Peloponnesian War and the Thirty Tyrants are not even mentioned.”

Of the philosophers, I note that Anaxagoras, Aristotle and Socrates are listed, but Plato is excluded(m). The high 29% of the entries focused on cultural events and personalities may explain this. So, although the Marble is a valuable document it is very far from being comprehensive.

The Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard University has published a series of lengthy papers by Andrea Rotstein in which she reviews(i) various aspects of the Parian Marble and commented that “The Parian Marble, as many have noted, may be disappointing as a historical source. People and events that we deem important are missing: Lycurgus, Solon, Cleisthenes, Pericles, and the Peloponnesian wars, do not appear in the extant text.” (j)

Furthermore, Wikipedia lists pages(h) of wars, battles and sieges involving the Greeks, few of which are mentioned in Parian Marble, although quite a number of Alexander’s exploits are recorded. Even the critical naval Battle of Salamis with the Persians is encapsulated on the ‘Marble’ in a mere seven words – “in which battle the Hellenes were victorious”.

Another name mentioned on the stele and by Plato is that of Deucalion. While there is some debate regarding the exact date of the deluge named after him, all commentators agree that it occurred in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. J.G. Bennett(b) has calculated the date of this Flood to around 1478 BC, while Britannica(c) offers 1529 BC. Stavros Papamarinopoulos developed his own king list based on other ancient sources, which generally parallels the Parian content(d).

A further item of interest is the date ascribed to the Trojan War, on the stele, as 1218 BC, but again some controversy surrounds this precise date. While there are a number of flawed details in the Parian Chronicle, probably due to the use of defective sources or perhaps transcription errors, the very specificity of the recorded dates strongly suggests that it was produced in order to offer a real historical record and not merely to recount Greek mythology.

The chronicle is far from being comprehensive, particularly regarding the earlier years when understandably information is more sparse.

I believe that the full implication of the inscriptions for the Atlantis debate has yet to be realised.

A paper in 2018 by George Kokkos took a brief look at some important events confirmed by the Parian Chronicle(p).

It is interesting that Valerius Coucke (1888-1951) a Belgian theologian who had studied the controversial subject of the chronology of the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel, employed the Parian Marble to support his theories(l). Independently, Edwin R. Thiele (1895-1986), an American archaeologist, who engaged in a study of the same period arrived at similar conclusions and is in complete agreement that the start of the divided monarchy began in Nisan of 931 BC, despite using different methods to arrive at this date. This may be interpreted as confirmation of the historical value of the Parian Marble!

A 2020 paper by Tony Petrangelo offers his view of the Parian Marble  and its relevance to both the Atlantis Story and the dating of the Trojan War.(n)

>In March 2024, Caleb Howells writing for Greek Reporter also invoked(r)  the Parian Marble to support circa 1500 BC as the era in which Atlantis existed. He particularly refers to the mention of Cecrops, Erechtheus, Erichthonius, and Erysichthon by both Plato and the Parian Marble, mythical kings of Athens, thought by some to have been real historical figures.

Although this is far from conclusive, I note that Plato refers to a spring on the Athenian acropolis (Crit.112d) that was destroyed during an earthquake, apparently at the time of Atlantis. Rainer Kühne notes that this spring only existed for about 25 years but was rediscovered by the Swedish archaeologist, Oscar Broneer, who excavated there from 1959 to 1967. The destruction of the spring and barracks, by an earthquake, was confirmed as having occurring at the end of the 12th century BC. This evidence also points to the 2nd millennium BC as the time of Atlantis!<

An English translation of the Parian Marble is available on the internet(a).

[1401]+ https://archive.org/details/parianchronicle00robegoog 

(a) https://www.attalus.org/translate/chronicles.html#239.0

(b) https://www.systematics.org/journal/vol1-2/geophysics/systematics-vol1-no2-127-156.htm#9

(c) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20160818063347/https://www.libraryindex.com/encyclopedia/pages/cpxktwkjsf/parian-chronicle-athens-archonship.html

(d) https://web.archive.org/web/20160508103929/http://geolib.geo.auth.gr/digeo/index.php/bgsg/article/viewFile/6631/6393

(e) https://archive.org/details/parianchronicle00robegoog

(f) http://dbooks.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/books/PDFs/590755570.pdf

(g) https://www.britannica.com/topic/Parian-Chronicle

(h) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_Greece

(i) Andrea Rotstein, Literary History in the Parian Marble (archive.org)

(j) 4. The Parian Marble as a Literary Text (archive.org)   (Chapter 4)

(k) https://theodora.com/encyclopedia/p/parian_chronicle.html (link broken) See Archive 3638

(l) Valerius Coucke – Wikipedia

(m) https://chs.harvard.edu/chapter/6-literary-history-in-the-parian-marble/  (Chapter 6)

(n) https://atlantis.fyi/blog/the-parian-marble-and-platos-atlantis  

(o) Paros Marathi Archaeological Park – Parian Marble Lychnitis 

(p) Parian Marble: An incredible ancient chronicle – George Kokkos  

(q) A FAKE OR GENUINE ARTEFACT? THE PARIAN CHRONICLE AND PERCEPTIONS OF AUTHENTICITY IN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY BRITAIN | The Antiquaries Journal | Cambridge Core 

(r) When Exactly Is Atlantis Believed to Have Existed? – GreekReporter.com *