Most people love to quote Plato because he had so much to say about what it meant to be human, but once you jump from philosophy into history, his works can be frustrating.
He was known to take quite a bit of artistic liberty with his version of recorded history (he was a philosopher, not a historian!), so when it comes to his descriptions of the apocalyptic destruction of an ancient civilization known as Atlantis, it’s hard to tell fact from fiction.
So Was Atlantis Real Or Did Plato Make it up?
Was Plato using the story to create an allegory, or was he discussing a real place?
Today’s historians (and more frequently paranormal investigators) have used Plato’s descriptions of Atlantis to build a myriad of theories, but to begin to understand the legend, we have to start with its source material: Plato’s “Timaeus,” and “Critias”.
He describes the city as being located off the coast of Spain and populated by the descendents of Poseidon, god of the sea.
The Atlantians created a utopia and eventually became an impressive naval force in the world. After its inhabitants became too corrupt, according to Plato, Poseidon destroyed their city with a massive wave.
Plato set the story in about 360 B.C., nine thousand years before his own time.
From there, people have continued to search for Atlantis for thousands of years.
For quite some time, mainstream science argued that Atlantis was nothing more than mythology, and that there was no historical evidence for the city’s existence.
Plato, these scientists suggested (and continue to suggest), was telling a story for its allegorical value, not because it was historically accurate.
Some people have claimed to find the city over the years, but their stories have been difficult to validate– and, unfortunately, many have offered conflicting reports of the city’s location.
Some argue that it’s just off the coast of Spain, as Plato suggested, whereas others state its location as being close to Central America or even Antarctica.
In 2011, a team of archaeologists and scientists claimed to have pinpointed the city’s exact location: underneath mud flats in the southern part of Spain. Professor Freund, from the University of Hartford, Connecticut, describes Atlantis as a testament to the power of the tsunami.
Using radar, digital mapping systems, and other underwater technologies, they reportedly discovered memorial-like cities that had been built by refugees from Atlantis in the lost city’s image.
This is consistent with many other natural disasters, as survivors often tried to emulate the culture of the civilizations from which they had fled.
One of the problems with Atlantis is that, as legends go, it’s far from being alone.
Every seafaring culture in the world speaks of a utopian city that was swallowed up by the sea, and each one changes the name and location, though the narrative remains the same.
What Does Orichalcum Have To Do With Atlantis?
There is a metal called orichalcum (aka aruichalcum) mentioned in Plato’s writings that was purportedly a very precious metal second only to gold.
In recent times there has been a great deal of excitement after a number of ingots were discovered in a sunken ship near the coasts of Sicily. These mysterious ingots are comprised of an alloy that is made up of copper, zinc and small traces of iron, lead and nickel.
Could this discovery help to prove that Atlantis is more than a myth?
Other Reported Findings Of Atlantis
Adventurers have been discovering ruins beneath the sea for years, and many of them have claimed that the structures they found were from Atlantis:
- In the late 1990s, the Russians said they had found it off Land’s End.
- In 2000, scientists discovered the ruins of a town in the Black Sea, off the coast of Turkey.
- In 2004, an American discovered man-made wall structures a mile below sea level in the Mediterranean using sonar.
Those are only a handful of the discoveries, many of which were reported by respected scientists or archaeologists who had a reputation to defend.
Even in the modern age, tsunamis have been known to devastate cities and towns. Changes in geography may still conceal the remains of this great civilization from our peering eyes.
It’s also possible that one of the reported discoveries may, in fact, have been the true Atlantis.
The ocean floor is littered with shipwrecks, downed airplanes and other ruined structures– especially in low-lying coastal areas.
For Atlantis believers, the most difficult thing is deciding upon its specific location.
The inability to agree on its location is what has kept those who search for Atlantis scattered across the globe, and also what has kept mainstream science from pursuing it.
If Atlantis exists, its secrets may have drowned when the sea opened wide and swallowed it whole.
Or maybe its ruins are right under our noses, dismissed as pieces of other civilizations.
What do you think about the story of the lost city of Atlantis? Myth or part of our history?
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