John C. Rolfe
Ammianus Marcellinus (330-395 AD) was a Greek historian, who was well-known to the Roman Emperor Julian.>He is one of a number of classical authors accepted as supporting the existence of Atlantis.<
He is widely quoted on the internet as having written that the destruction of Atlantis was an accepted fact by the intelligentsia of Alexandria. However, I am indebted to Bernhard Beier of Atlantisforschung.de for pointing out that no such statement was made by Marcellinus, referring to the English translations of his work by John C. Rolfe(a) and Charles D. Yonge(b). On the Atlantisforschung website(c) be suggests that the quote originated from an overly liberal interpretation of a line from Lewis Spence’s The History of Atlantis[259.33]. He described a class of earthquakes that suddenly swallows up large tracts of land as had happened in the Atlantic to a large island.
>A paper on the Atlantisforschung website ends with the following balanced comment;
“It certainly seems legitimate to classify the Roman historian as one of the ancient advocates of the historicity of the Platonic Atlantis account. However, his preoccupation with the subject was apparently only peripheral, and his apparent acceptance of the idea that a great island once sunk in the Atlantic is probably mainly due to his special esteem for Solon, Plato and the Ancient Egyptians to understand. After all, he apparently assumed the existence of a highly developed – in a completely unbiblical sense – ‘antediluvian’ culture that left its traces in later Egypt. It is possible that the lost parts of his ‘Res gestae’ contained other interesting clues to the mysteries of the prehistory, but this can only be speculated on.”<