English: Athanasius Kircher's Map of Atlantis ...
Athanasius Kircher’s Map of Atlantis (c.1669). Note that north is at bottom. Latina: Situs Insulae Atlantidis, a Mari olim absorpte ex mente Egyptiorum et Platonis descriptio. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Atlantis is an ancient, possibly legendary civilization whose military capabilities apparently posed a threat to Europe and Africa before it finally disappeared into the sea.

This known history goes like this:

An Egyptian priest at Sykes showed the Greek statesman Solon ancient temple records telling of Atlantis. Dating back over 9,000 years, the records claimed that massive destruction periodically befalls the Earth, forcing mankind “to begin again like children with no memory of what went before.” The destruction of Atlantis is variously attributed to an earthquake, volcano or high-tech weapons.

The grandfather of the Greek philosopher Plato heard the story of Atlantis from Solon. And Plato writes about Atlantis as a kind of utopia in his dialogues Timeus and Critias.

Subsequent variations of the story say the Atlantians had high-tech death-rays, hot and cold running water and miraculous cures.

But archaeological paintings allegedly depicting Atlantis include boats propelled by men with primitive poles, which doesn’t quite add up: Why so primitive a means of propulsion if Atlantis boasted incredibly high tech resources?

Recent scientific and archaeological expeditions are hoping to uncover hard evidence for Atlantis. Some researchers believe that orbiting electronic instruments will discover Atlantis’ true location. Others are using Google Earth to try to discern the location.

Said to be a paradise before its destruction, Atlantis apparently had a temple of Poseidon at its center. And after its destruction, some survivors are said to have been scattered across the globe by sea. Some believe this accounts for the seemingly paranormal feats of architecture found around the world—from Stonehenge to the massive sandstone etchings in Peru, and the staggering pyramids of Egypt and Aztec Central America.

Also, parallel tales about a lost civilization destroyed by catastrophe were simultaneously recorded by an Egyptian scribe and a Mayan stone cutter.

True or false?

Apparently the Greek government prohibited exploration of an underwater area that researchers believe would prove the existence of Atlantis.

Aristotle seemed to believe that Plato was mythologizing about Atlantis to symbolically warn against “overweening ambition,” as Shakespeare would later caution through his character, Macbeth.

Stargate Atlantis
Stargate Atlantis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paula Byerly Croxon adds that Plato’s myth about Atlantis was “underscored by the visions of Madame Blavatsky and Edgar Cayce.”¹

While it’s easy to be skeptical about the historicity of Atlantis, we should keep in mind that the ancient city of Troy was widely thought to be mythical until an archaeological dig proved its existence in the 1870s.

Whatever the truth may be, the myth continues with the American-Canadian science fiction TV program Stargate Atlantis that appeared in 2006, a spin-off from the very popular Stargate SG-1 series.

¹ The Piatkus Dictionary of Mind, Body & Spirit, London: Piatkus, 2003 p. 24.



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