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Atlantis - The Lost Empire

ByKamran Faqir

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Throughout history, explorers, scientists, adventurists, archaeologists set out to discover the mystical island of Atlantis, "island of Atlas") is believed to be a fictional island mentioned in an allegory on the hubris of nations in Plato's works Timaeus and Critias. It represents the antagonist naval power that besieges "Ancient Athens", the pseudo-historic embodiment of Plato's ideal state in The Republic. Despite its minor importance in Plato's work, the Atlantis story has considerably impacted literature. The allegorical aspect of Atlantis was taken up in utopian works of several Renaissance writers, such as Francis Bacon's New Atlantis and Thomas More's Utopia. On the other hand, nineteenth-century amateur scholars misinterpreted Plato's narrative as a historical tradition, most famously Ignatius L. Donnelly in his Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. Plato's vague indications of the time of the events (more than 9,000 years before his time) and the alleged location of Atlantis ("beyond the Pillars of Hercules") gave rise to much pseudoscientific speculation. Consequently, Atlantis has become a byword for all supposed advanced prehistoric lost civilisations and inspires contemporary fiction, from comic books to films. While present-day philologists and classicists agree on the story's fictional character, there is still debate on what served as its inspiration. Plato is known to have freely borrowed some of his allegories and metaphors from older traditions, as he did, for instance, with the story of Gyges. This led a number of scholars to investigate possible inspiration of Atlantis from Egyptian records of the Thera eruption, the Sea Peoples invasion, or the Trojan War. Others have rejected this chain of tradition as implausible and insist that Plato created an entirely fictional account, drawing loose inspiration from contemporary events such as Sicily's failed Athenian invasion in 415–413 B.C. or the destruction of Helike in 373 B.C.


Publication Date
Nov 10, 2023
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Kamran Faqir


Perfect Bound
Interior Color
A4 (8.27 x 11.69 in / 210 x 297 mm)

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