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The Atlantis – a Mythical Society

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It is human nature to become infatuated with the unknown. The world holds endless myths and legends. For over 2000 years people have fantasized about a Mythical society that goes by the name Atlantis. Beginning with the Ideas of Plato, an ancient Greek philosopher. There are countless ideas about what and where Atlantis is. According to Plato its remnants lie in the Mediterranean Sea.

According to Plato Atlantis is a wealthy and advanced civilization which was swept into the sea. Plato tells the readers of Timaeus “In a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in a like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea.” In his dialogues, Atlantis is an island, surrounded by water, then surrounded by earth, and again surrounded by water with one more layer of land surrounding the island. The Atlanteans dedicated a Massive temple to Poseidon made of gold and orichalcum on a hill in the center circle.

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Atlantis was a shipping center for thousands of ships sailed for trade, exploration and empire because the Atlanteans constructed a canal: “Beginning from the sea they bored a canal of three hundred feet in width and one hundred feet in depth and fifty stadia in length.” Atlantis had a stronger Navy than any civilization ever and superior technology to all of their enemies. With this navy the Atlanteans conquered the entirety of the Mediterranean except for Greece, a nation that later conquered them. The Atlanteans were supposedly technologically similar to modern day western civilization, they had hot and cold running water, plumbing, and many “modern” commodities. Atlantis fell by the hands of the Athenians. After growing weary of years and years of Atlantean domination the Athenians decided to battle with them for control of the Mediterranean Sea. After the Athenians won, the Atlantean army retreated to their island, which was bearded with waves and earthquakes until it sank to the bottom of the Mediterranean sea.

It’s a mystery whether or not Atlantis was a real place or simply a metaphor for a utopian society that became corrupt. Plato had invented many other civilizations as a metaphor in order to teach a lesson. It has all of the components necessary to create an epic fable; a race of men that were the children of a god, advanced technology, and a mysterious end. Plato wrote “They despised everything but virtue.” To the people of Plato’s time, this could have been seen as a quintessential civilization. It may have been too perfect to be true.

However; there are many compelling facts that point towards Atlantis being real. One of the biggest of these are the words of Plato himself. Unlike many of his fictional work, Plato clearly stated that this was true story. Plato says that Solon, the great lawmaker of Athens, told him the story and that Solon heard it from the Egyptians. Plato would not have told a lie using Solons name. Solon was a great man who was well respected by the Athenians for his wisdom and diplomacy. There is not a single “answer” to the mystery of Atlantis. Many people believe that say that it was just a story made by Plato or Solon. A parable made to make the Athenians fear hubris. There have been archaeologists that say that they found Atlantis in the Mediterranean Sea around the isle of Crete. There are still others that say Atlantis is really at the deepest pits of the Atlantic Ocean, but was destroyed by whatever immense force killed the Atlanteans, and could possibly never be found.

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