H. R. Stahel
Hans Rudolf Stahel is possibly Swiss(a) and an architect by profession, he is also the author of a guide to Atlantis entitled Atlantis Illustrated, with a foreword by Isaac Asimov. While Stahel has located Atlantis in the Atlantic, Asimov opted for the destruction of Thera as the inspiration for Plato’s story.
The illustrations are good, but unfortunately are only in black and white. Stahel based all the designs and plans of Atlantis on Plato’s descriptions. His drawings, more than anything else, demonstrate the improbability of dimensions recorded by Plato. The consistent degree of over-engineering forces us to question the accuracy of Plato’s numbers and consider whether this perceived exaggeration is the result of an erroneous transcription of numerals or a misunderstanding of the units of measurement employed.
Stahel depicted Atlantis as an island, centred on the Azores with a chain of islands stretching from there to Newfoundland more or less in a straight line. He also envisages an Atlantean Empire stretching from parts of the west coast of America to include the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio river basins, Central America and as far south as the Amazon basin. East of the capital he includes all of coastal Europe and the Mediterranean (except Greece), along the coast of north and west Africa, the Middle East and on into India. Imaginative if nothing else.
*The only other book attributed to H.R. Stahel is Die Pfahlbauer – Entstehung und Geschichte eines Pfahlbaudorfes, which deals with ancient European pile-dwellings that are comparable with the numerous crannogs of Ireland(b) .
Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) was one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century. He was best known for his science fiction writing but also wrote many popular science books. His total output is reckoned to exceed 500 books, written or edited.
Asimov wrote the foreword to H. R. Stahel’s Atlantis Illustrated in which he expressed the view that Plato’s Atlantis story was inspired by the catastrophic destruction of Thera and then subsequently embellished it with a location in the far west.*Stahel’s text supports an Atlantic location centred on the Azores.*
Perhaps he expressed greater wisdom when he wrote that “There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death.” –The Stars in Their Courses (1971)