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

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    Atlantipedia will be wound down in 2023. After nearly twenty years compiling Atlantipedia on my own, and as I am now approaching my 80th birthday, I have decided to cut back on the time I dedicate to developing this website. An orderly conclusion rather than an enforced one is always preferable before the Grim Reaper […]Read More »
  • Joining The Dots

    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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Thalassocracy is a term frequently applied to Atlantis as many readers will know. At its simplest it is applied to nations whose wealth is derived from naval supremacy. Other early thalassocracies were the Minoans and the Phoenicians.


Plato describes the busy shipyards full of triremes and their equipment (Critias 117d). While the use of the word ‘triremes’ may be an anachronism it was probably introduced as the easiest way to impress his audience. However, triremes were warships but Critias 117e refers to the commercial harbour which “was filled with ships and merchants from all quarters”. All this would seem to indicate an important trading nation backed by powerful naval support.

Some commentators have highlighted on the apparent conflict between Critias 117 with its description of a naval power and Critias 113e which relates that “at that time neither ships nor sailing were as yet in existence”. However, the context makes it quite clear that the 113e refers to the time of the foundation of Atlantis which may have been during the Late Stone Age, while 117 refers to the Bronze Age.