Saturday, January 15, 2011

THe Lost City of Atlantis

THe Lost City of Atlantis

Copyright (c) 2010 James Holan

"And then in a single day and night of misfortune the Island of Atlantis...was swallowed up by the sea and vanished." -plato

Before any of the major civilizations had even begun to develop, there was one civilization that had already discovered the power of flight, had an advanced knowledge of politics, and a well developed cultural base. However, no one really knows if this civilization ever even existed. According to the ancient philosopher Plato a civilization he dubbed, Atlantis, existed roughly 9000 years before his own time.

The civilization was so advanced that many believe the people of Atlantis had the power to rival the Gods themselves. This theory also leads to the Atlantians destruction, according to Plato. Their destruction is written in Plato's dialogues about Atlantis, the Timaeus and Critias dialogues, which were originally orally passed down in Egyptian culture but were written and translated by Plato into Latin. In the dialogues the character of Timaeus says, "...the Gods became angry with Atlantis for their brash nature..." and thus " their rage destroyed them with a series of catastrophes." These writings seem to be very profound and have led many men and women on epic journeys in hopes of discovering the lost city. But, on another note, it has also led many men and women into debates about the creditability of Plato's dialogues. After all, could these writings merely have been meant to teach people a lesson or make a point in ancient times? The debate rages on and while some still believe the city did in fact exist there is still no physical evidence to support this claim. In the case of the lost city of Atlantis, the English field has been torn because although Plato, along with several other ancient writers and historians, have written records of the islands existents, the world will not provide a material answer. Even though this seems to be the important matter befalling Atlantis, one must wonder: what makes the debate so important to the English field?

People, who generally accept Atlantis having existed, accredit that fact to the theory behind the lack of physical evidence that it exist. They believe that when the Gods' destroyed Atlantis they buried beneath the sea, never to be seen again. This leads these believers with only one goal left in the Atlantis debates, find the lost city, and they themselves have many theories on where it is now located. The most interesting theories tend to form around the America's which, at the time of Atlantis, were not populated at all, not by Indians or Incans. According to writer Tim Allen, the lost city might very well be located in South America in Lake Poopo that rest at an extremely high elevation. He sites, in his book Looking for Atlantis, Several references from Plato's original dialogues. First he takes the descriptions originally used by Plato and applies them to the South American continent. Plato described the lost city as "the whole region rose sheer out of the sea to a great height" according to Allen this suggests the city was located on a mountain or even a plateau of some kind which was "encircled by mountains." Allen goes on to suggests that this could refer to the Andes mountain range which runs along Lake Poopo. With this information in mind he begins to develop a theory that states: the island of Atlantis might have been on Lake Poopo and when the catastrophes accrued the island within the Lake sunk to the button. He further explains and gives many examples on how and why this is possible. These examples range from evidence of gold and coins found around the lake, to even the geological evidence of a catastrophe happening in the time period he was describing. However, how would Plato, a man located not only 3000 miles away and nearly 9000 years into the future know about a civilization that was on the South American continent before there were people there to see it?

Unless Plato had a time machine that was not ever discovered are written about, it does not seem that he could have known about a civilization so far away from him in both distance and the time stream. So, although the theory that Allen presents is very well thought out and very well explained, calculated, researched, and organized, it does not appear at all provable that Plato, being as far away as he was from the actual situation, would have known about this ancient civilization.

However, there was another theory that seemed to process a lot more creditability, not because of its organization, but because of its theory on Atlantis's location. The person in mind is K.T. Frost, a professor of history at Queen's University in Belfast, England. Frost theorized that Atlantis was not, as many people thought, in the Americas; instead he believed it to be located in a very interesting place, Crete. According to Frost the lost civilization of Atlantis was formed 900, not 9000, years before Plato's time and was located on the Island of Crete which did suffer a catastrophe in the form of Mount Santorinas erupting.

The volcano that was approximately half a mile away sent lava rushing into the sea which caused a Tsunami of great proportions into Crete and the Italian Coastal region. When Plato described the destruction of Atlantis he wrote that "the sea swallowed" up the civilization, interestingly enough Tsunami's appear to swallow up whatever they encounter. On top of that Frost explains that the original Island Nation of Crete or the Minoan's as the Cretain people were called, did have a very advanced culture. The Minoan's allowed there women to vote, had an educational system, and even were considered a peaceful nation (this was something not common for the time). All these things when taken under consideration form the basis for a very advanced civilization. When this is incorporated with the fact that Crete was close enough in both time and distance to Plato that he could have known about their culture and existence, it can be seen that Atlantis could be real according to Frost.

There are many different theories about Atlantis among the English field. The question that still needs to be answered, however, is why the English field takes such an interest in the theories? What makes Atlantis such a big phenomenon in the literary world? It seems that Atlantis is one of those great mysteries, and it is well known that English Literature students and professors can not stay away from a good mystery. Atlantis, to the English field, is the final mystery, the greatest one of all. If it can discovered the English field seems to believe that the answer to "life, the universe, and everything" to quote Douglas Adams, will be revealed.

That is what fuels the English debate, which is what makes these two English Professors to derive crazy, if not competent, theories about a civilization that might or might not exist. That leads a lot of people to one final conclusion: There is no Atlantis in real life. The idea of Atlantis is what makes it real, not the actual existence of any Island. To understand this, the English majors must do what they do best, study plain English. It starts with the translation of the world Atlantis from Latin to English. When translated Atlantis mean "The Island of Atlas.

If researchers take into account that Plato could have meant something else when he wrote Atlantis was destroyed by the Gods because the Atlantians disobeyed them, they would realize that if you finish the translation and say Atlas as it was originally intended the text has a whole new meaning. The Gods were not destroying Atlantis, they were destroying the Island of Atlas, or as Atlas officially translated to, the world. The Gods were destroying the world because man was disobeying the Gods orders. To help prove this theory many scholars have suggested that Plato was writing of the inevitable fall of the Roman Empire. He wrote the dialogues towards the end of his life and the end of the Roman Empire, itself. So perhaps there was no Atlantis, maybe Plato was using Crete as an example of things to come in the Roman Empire if it did not listen to its Gods. Whatever the reason for Plato's writings it is certain that the English debate will continue to rage on. Not because there is a lost Island to discover but because the English world needs a debate to keep themselves entertained, and what's better than a mystery?

"...swallowed up by the sea and vanished; wherefore also the ocean that spot has now become impassable and unsearchable, being blocked up by the shoal mud which the island created as it settled down" -Plato Discount martial arts supplies Discount martial arts and Taekwondo supplies

Article from

No comments:

Post a Comment