Atlantis : The Lost World

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We all know about the Atlantis the palm , which is a beach resort in Dubai. But this article is not about that.  This article is about  Atlantis : The lost world.  As myths and legends have it,  Atlantis is a fictional island first mentioned in Plato’s dialogues Timaeues  and Critias  written in c. 360 BC. Despite ruling many parts of of Europe and Northern Africa , Atlantis suffered a crushing defeat by the ” Ancient Athens “.

Atlantis inspires today’s light fiction, from science fiction to comic books to films. Its name has become a byword for any and all supposed advanced prehistoric lost civilizations.

For unknown reasons, Plato never completed Critias. Plato introduced Atlantis in Timaeus:

For it is related in our records how once upon a time your State stayed the course of a mighty host, which, starting from a distant point in the Atlantic ocean, was insolently advancing to attack the whole of Europe, and Asia to boot. For the ocean there was at that time navigable; for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, ‘the pillars of Heracles,’ there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together; and it was possible for the travelers of that time to cross from it to the other islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses that veritable ocean. For all that we have here, lying within the mouth of which we speak, is evidently a haven having a narrow entrance; but that yonder is a real ocean, and the land surrounding it may most rightly be called, in the fullest and truest sense, a continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent.[15]

Some ancient writers viewed Atlantis as fiction while others believed it was real. The philosopher Crantor, a student of Plato’s student Xenocates , is often cited as an example of a writer who thought the story to be historical fact.

Atlantis was the domain of Poseidon, god of the sea. When Poseidon fell in love with a mortal woman, Cleito, he created a dwelling at the top of a hill near the middle of the island and surrounded the dwelling with rings of water and land to protect her.

Cleito gave birth to five sets of twin boys who became the first rulers of Atlantis. The island was divided among the brothers with the eldest, Atlas, first King of Atlantis, being given control over the central hill and surrounding areas.

At the top of the central hill, a temple was built to honor Poseidon which housed a giant gold statue of Poseidon riding a chariot pulled by winged horses. It was here that the rulers of Atlantis would come to discuss laws, pass judgments, and pay tribute to Poseidon..

For generations the Atlanteans lived simple, virtuous lives. But slowly they began to change. Greed and power began to corrupt them. When Zeus saw the immorality of the Atlanteans he gathered the other gods to determine a suitable punishment.

Soon, in one violent surge it was gone. The island of Atlantis, its people, and its memory were swallowed by the sea.


This is a summary of the story told by Plato around 360 BC in his dialogues timaeus and criteas. These  writings of Plato are the only specific known references to Atlantis. They have prompted controversy and debate for over two thousand years.

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